Thursday, September 17, 2009

Maine Fall Foliage Updates

Information Source: Maine Office of Tourism. Map - Current Maine foliage conditions for September 16. (Credit: Maine Department of Conservation)

Bookmark and ShareThe Maine Office of Tourism in Augusta, Maine, just sent us a message stating that all that rain that occurred during the first half of the summer proved beneficial for the impending fall foliage season, as leaf-bearing trees are healthy and primed for their annual color change.

"Good foliage development is a prerequisite for good fall color," said Bill Ostrofsky, a forest pathologist with the Maine Forest Service. "The plentiful summer rain allowed the foliage to develop vigorously, and most crowns now appear full, dense, and very lush. All regions appear to be on track for another spectacular season."

Aroostook County and northern portions of Piscataquis and Somerset County forest rangers report low leaf color, at this writing -- less than 30 percent peak and low leaf drop. For the remainder of the state, low color and very leaf drop is the norm.

Ostrofksy states that the health of foliage in northern, southern and "Downeast" regions is particularly good. With overnight temperatures in the low 40s and a continued decrease in daylight will create the gradual change in leaf color from north to south through late October.

Multiple Maine state parks will offer guided hikes on Sundays in October, allowing for some anticipated spectacular views of turning foliage.

"Maine state parks are popular destinations for leaf peepers," said Department of Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan. "The educational hikes will be a fun way to see and photograph foliage in a park forest."

Maine's fall foliage conditions are updated each Wednesday through Oct. 21 at Web Site visitors can sign up to receive the weekly reports by email and post comments about their Maine foliage adventures on the Foliage Forum page.

Some Maine fall events happening this weekend:

*The inaugural Acadia Night Sky Festival on Mt. Desert Island
*The 3rd Annual Two Countries, One Bay Art Studio Tour in Lubec, Eastport and Calais
*The 12th Annual Bethel Harvest Fest.

"It's the perfect time to visit an apple orchard or a family farm with a cornstalk maze," said Pat Eltman, director of the Maine Office of Tourism. "And there's fun for all ages at community harvest festivals happening through October."

For more information about events and activities in Maine this fall log onto

Editor's note: If interested in a photo essay book on New England fall foliage, check out The Colors of Fall: A Celebration of New England's Foliage Season

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