September 15, 2021 — Today is the official start of Maine’s fall foliage season. Maine’s leaf-bearing trees will show off their array of fall colors in the upcoming weeks. The 2021 Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry reports very little color change throughout most of the state. Forest rangers in northern Maine are reporting a 10 percent color change, with low leaf drop.
Typically, northern Maine (zones 6 and 7) reach 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.
Foliage Prediction for 2021
“Maine experienced moderate drought this spring but received a sufficient amount of rainfall the month of July, which brought many portions of the state back to near normal rainfall levels. Aaron Bergdahl, Forest Pathologist for the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, anticipates an excellent fall foliage season with the favorable changing conditions we have experienced. We are already experiencing shorter warms days and cool nights. This transition sets us up for the seasonal display of colors that we all look forward to,” — Gale Ross, Maine fall foliage spokesperson.
“When visiting Maine, please keep in mind that some businesses are experiencing staffing challenges. So be patient and kind and enjoy our beautiful surroundings. Also, please remember to review our Keep Maine Healthy tips on maine.gov,” adds Ross.
Fall Foliage Trip Ideas
- For those wanting to celebrate the changing season, take a road trip to Old Orchard Beach to enjoy the Annual Old Orchard Beach Car Show this Friday or Saturday and end the day with a relaxing stroll on the beach. Bethel Harvestfest also takes place this Saturday on the town common, featuring live music, artists and craft vendors, a farmers’ market, kids’ activities and an apple pie contest. September is the ideal time to take advantage of Maine’s many orchards for apple picking, many with activities for children, hard cider for adults and other local agricultural products.
- 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.
- For an optimal scenic drive in The County with opportunities to spot wildlife, try the newly designated St. John Valley/Fish River National Scenic Byway. On Route 11 from Portage to Fort Kent, the portion has views of meadows, forested stretches for foliage sightings, Maine’s highest peak, and picturesque Eagle Lake. For a more active way to take in the autumn hues, roam the historical landmarks and river views of St. John Valley by bike.
Autumn enthusiasts can visit the state’s official foliage website at www.mainefoliage.com to sign up to receive weekly reports by email, and can share their photos from throughout the state as the progression of color begins. Our Facebook page will include statewide events throughout the foliage season, and our Instagram account (@mainefoliage) will also feature colorful fall shots. For more information about fall activities and events in Maine, go to www.visitmaine.com.
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Foliage Report for September 21, 2022
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