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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bright Future for 2009 Maine Fall Foliage

Photo: Early foliage color Tuesday on Munsungan Lake in Piscataquis County north of Baxter State Park. Credit: Maine Department of Conservation

Bookmark and ShareEditor's preface: While New Hampshire and Vermont are household names when it comes to fall foliage leaf peeping, we suggest keeping in mind the other four New England states -- that Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have some traditionally mighty fine fall foliage. To keep up to date on fall foliage colors in New England, we recommend calling all the following state hot lines: Connecticut 888.288.4748 , Maine 1.888.MAINE.45,Massachusetts 800.227.6277, New Hampshire 800.258.3600 , Rhode Island (Department of Tourism) 800.556.2484 , Vermont 800.837.666

And now back to our regularly scheduled program... Fall Foliage in Maine!

Just got some great news from our New England neighbors at the Maine Office of Travel and Tourism in Augusta, Maine, that fall foliage color in the northern half of Maine is ranging from 30 to 75 percent peak.

That's the word, according to the state Department of Conservation. Aroostook County and Piscataquis and Somerset County forest rangers observe 50-75 percent peak color in the northern sections and low leaf drop, the report states.

Aroostook State Park Manager Scott Thompson states that the low-lying areas surrounding the park are 50 to 60 percent toward peak, and the ridges of hills and mountains are nearing peak. He expects peak color to develop during the next two weekends if overnight temperatures continue to drop in the Presque Isle area.

Color in Northwestern locations-- including Jackman, Eustis and Greenville, and northeastern locations like Millinocket and Houlton -- have moderate color, or 30 to 50 percent toward peak according to the report. Leaf drop in both regions is still less than 10 percent, according to the report.

Rangers report 10 to 30 percent color change in the western mountains region from Bethel to Rangeley, central locations from Augusta to Bangor, and the downeast coast from Belfast to Eastport. Leaf drop is less than 10 percent in these regions.

Southern coast foliage color is still very low, or less than 10 percent toward peak, according to the report.

In related news, the Department of Conservation announced that Aroostook State Park will host the first in a series of state park guided foliage hikes on Sunday, Sept. 26. For information about the hike and to register, visit http://take-it-outside.com/hike.shtml.

Maine's fall foliage conditions are updated every Wednesday through Oct. 21 and posted on www.mainefoliage.com. Web site visitors can sign up to receive the weekly reports by email and post comments about Maine foliage adventures on the Foliage Forum page.

Other fun fall events happening this weekend include the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, the Punkinfiddle National Estuaries Day Celebration in Wells, and the Family Arts Festival in Brunswick.

For more information about events and activities happening in Maine this fall, log on to http://www.visitmaine.com.


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