Maine Fall Foliage Season is Almost Here
September 2, 2014
For more information, contact: Gale Ross at (207) 287-5153
Maine’s fall foliage website has a fresh look and new resources for trip planning
AUGUSTA, Maine –While the State of Maine is enjoying an abundance of sunshine and beautiful late summer weather, now is the time to start planning your fall foliage trip. Beginning Wednesday, September 10, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) and the Maine Office of Tourism will provide an update on gradual change in leaf color from north to south culminating in peak conditions in late-October.
"Maine fall foliage is world-renowned and draws visitors from all over the country and around the globe," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "The fall foliage website and weekly foliage updates are examples of how Maine welcomes visitors and is ‘Open for Business’. Word is spreading. In just one area alone—farm-related agri-tourism—income has increased 78% over the last five years."
DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb noted that even though the Department’s forestry employees have been reporting conditions since 1959, they are finding new ways to promote Maine and attract new visitors. "Advances in technology are helping state government be more responsive to taxpayers and accessible to the public," said Commissioner Whitcomb said. "The Department’s fall foliage website got over 450,000 page views in the last year alone. That level of interest and interaction provides new opportunities to showcase Maine products, events and the best parts of Maine."
Maine’s official fall foliage website: www.mainefoliage.com has a new look, with additional links to scenic byways and to the Maine office of tourism. State officials are optimistic that the 2014 fall foliage season will be spectacular.
According to Bill Ostrofsky, Forest Pathologist within the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the season appears to be "on schedule." "Tree foliage is in great shape this year, and we’ve had abundant rainfall with relatively cooler temperatures during the spring and summer, which leads up to a spectacular season," Ostrofsky said.
To produce the weekly report on fall foliage conditions, DACF forest rangers submit on-the-ground observations each week throughout the reporting season (September 10 through October 25) at www.mainefoliage.com – Maine’s official fall foliage website. The site includes a map indicating current foliage conditions with a useful foliage color key that is updated weekly. Visitors to the site can also find information on Facebook.
While navigating the website, leaf peepers can register to receive weekly reports and submit their favorite fall foliage photos. The site also provides information about complimentary ranger-led fall foliage tours in Maine State Parks.
Generally, the northern region of Maine is at or near peak the last week of September into the first week of October. Central, Southern and Western mountains are nearing peak conditions October 6 through October 18. Coastal Maine reaches peak conditions October 13 through 25.
Now is the time to plan a late-September getaway to Zone 6 and 7 in northeastern and northwestern Maine which includes Fort Kent, Caribou and Presque Isle to experience the first colors of autumn. There are scenic driving tours recommended on www.mainefoliage.com for the St. John Valley Cultural Byway and the Aroostook County circuit.