September 16, 2020 – Today marks the official start of reporting 2020 fall foliage conditions in Maine. Maine’s leaf-bearing trees will show off their brilliant colors of yellow, orange, and red in the upcoming weeks. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) 2020 Fall Foliage Report for Wednesday, September 16, 2020, reports spotty color change (10 percent) in the forest.
Typically, northern Maine (zones 6 and 7) reaches peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. The rest of the state’s progression of color will start occurring from north to south in mid-October. Coastal Maine typically reaches peak conditions mid-to-late October.
“Despite the drought conditions throughout Maine, we anticipate a brilliant fall foliage season,” notes Gale Ross, Maine’s fall foliage spokesperson. “As with every autumn, the weather determines Maine’s extended foliage outlook. Please keep your fingers crossed for warm days, followed by chilly nights, which will set us up for that perfect panoramic display of fall colors during the foliage season.”
Aaron Bergdahl, Forest Pathologist with DACF’s Maine Forest Service, reports that overall, Maine’s abundant, healthy, resilient and diverse forests assure us of an excellent display of colors.”
During these unusual times, please be safe while exploring Maine this fall. For travel and visitor information as it relates to COVID-19, go to visitmaine.com/travel-with-care.
Many of Maine’s annual fall events that residents and visitors alike have grown to love have been canceled or have become virtual this year, but there are still ways to enjoy autumn in Maine safely. Celebrate the changing season with apple picking at a local orchard. In addition to picking your own apples, some orchards like Ricker Hill in Turner provide even more fun with hard cider for the adults and fresh apple cider donuts. Or, bring the whole family to find your way through an elaborate corn maze, like this year’s design at Treworgy Orchards in Levant that honors Maine’s bicentennial. If you’re looking to get out and about this weekend, check out Freeport’s Makers on Main that will take place every Saturday until Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 10), featuring artwork, crafts, and treats.
As Maine foliage transitions from north to south throughout the season, the optimal place to spot the changing leaves should first lead you to Aroostook County. Enjoy social distancing in the fresh air and roam the historical landmarks and river views of St. John Valley by bike. For an incredibly scenic drive, pack up the car for the Fish River Scenic Byway (Route 11) from Portage to Fort Kent. Expect to stumble upon meadows, forested stretches for foliage sightings, Maine’s highest peak, and picturesque Eagle Lake. Keep your eye out for an array of wildlife from eagles to moose.
Autumn enthusiasts can visit the state’s official foliage website at www.mainefoliage.com to sign up to receive weekly reports by email and are encouraged to share foliage images from regions throughout the state as the progression of color begins. Be sure to tag your images with @mainefoliage on Instagram and use #MaineFoliage. Our Facebook page will also include safe ways to enjoy fall this year. For more information about visiting Maine safely this fall, visit maine.gov/covid19.
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