A Foliage Guide From a New Englander…

In my last post, where I talked about snapping some foliage photos in Old Sturbridge Village– I had commented how we were presently in what I considered to be the peak and most beautiful Autumnal scenery here in New England- and how it can come and go in an instant.

For example, just a couple of nights ago- we had some unexpected torrential downpours and pretty wild thunderstorms in the area which blew away a significant amount of the leaves from the trees that had, just hours earlier- been glowing against a blue, cloudless sky.

The weather here can be very fickle, after all!

Well, I had actually received a couple of e-mails since that post went live from potential visitors to the Northeast who had wanted to know a little more about perfectly timing a trip to see the changing leaves and renowned foliage where I live! And while I don’t consider myself to be an expert by any means- I thought I’d share some tips/tricks and the general timeline I’ve learned from being born and raised here in Massachusetts.

And while we may be swiftly approaching the end of “peak” leaf peeping time here for 2022- I’m hoping this can be of help for those who may be en route to New England or planning a visit next year! (Side Note: It’s beautiful here year-round, too! Not just in the Fall!)

First things first, climate is everything- and we can usually get a pretty good sense of how our Autumn is going to look by the very end of August. If it’s hotter than usual (and global warming has made this happen a little more frequently)– we can see the leaves start to change prematurely. Such was the case this year, when the first glimpses of reds, oranges and golds started appearing at the very beginning of September- although the temperatures promptly dipped shortly thereafter- which seemed to buy us a little more time as Summer gradually showed itself out.

Typically, the leaves are at their brightest and most colorful in early-to-mid-October- and they stay that way for a couple of weeks before they start falling off of the trees or going brown/drying out. By late October and early November we’re usually “post-peak” as Winter temperatures and overnight frost begin making their way across the region.

It should be noted, though- that the leaves tend to start changing from North to South- so places like Maine, northern New Hampshire and Vermont will hit peak peeping conditions a little earlier than, say, Central or Western Massachusetts- so if you’re planning a trip here around Halloween or the first week of November- you can try going just a little further South (like Rhode Island or Southern Connecticut) and you may still capture some spectacular photos!

And a great resource to reference is this weekly Foliage tracker from the Smoky Mountains website- which actually helps track foliage across the country- not just the Northeast! You can see past and future weeks/estimations from early September through the end of November- which helps make planning a trip a little easier!

I hope you all get to experience a New England Autumn someday. Despite having lived here for many, many years- it’s something I never get tired of seeing and being a part of each year!


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Hi! I'm Ashley. I'm a blogger and a radio personality with a makeup and shoe addiction based out of Boston and the Pioneer Valley. These are my (mis)adventures.

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