View Full Version : New England Fall Color

Don Kellogg
1-Oct-2009, 18:27
I am going to be in New England from October 9 to 19. We plan to go to Acadia National Park for 3-4 days and then head to Northern New Hampshire around Conway and Mt. Washington. I have a few concerns: 1. Coping with the anticipated rain. Should I use an umbrella or plastic bag? I have seen a a fairly good sized umbrella that sort of attachs to a tripod. I can't seem to find one. Any experience? 2. Where else would be the most productive venue? I have considered Vermont around Woodstock. We will be driving around probably fighting crowds and coping with other "leaf peepers." Suggestions would be appreciated. Don Kellogg

Nathan Potter
2-Oct-2009, 11:18
Crowds can be problematical at popular places in fall foliage season in New England. However the rush of tourists dwindles considerably in October at Acadia - it's a good bet depending on what kind of subjects you are after. Depending on the season arriving in northern NH after Oct. 12 can be iffy. Color will be gone above about 1500ft. in northern NH and VT; river valleys will still likely show color. You would be better off in central to southern NH and VT from say 12 to 19 Oct. if you are after principally fall foliage. It can be cold - even with snow in mid Oct. Hey, this June I was in a sleet storm atop Cadallac Mt. on Mt. Desert Is.

I spent the better part of this summer in the areas you mention and the rain drove me crazy. I spent more time drinking coffee than doing photography. I think that cycle is still pervasive in the northeast so you'll need the freedom to get out during periods of no rain. I never found it efficient to try LF work in rain or drizzle but when I do I usually set up under the open back door of my 4 runner. I drive that vehicle where ever I want so that is a good solution for bad weather and hard to get to places.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

2-Oct-2009, 12:39
Gawd, do I miss the New England Autumns. Though Southern California is beautiful, it just doesn't change so drastically.

This is just a suggestion—my father, an avid golfer, had this umbrella. It was six feet in diameter with a 6˝" shaft and a clamp on the end of the handle to clamp it to a golf cart. He would adjust the umbrella and take his golf shot, hands free. You might consider this.

I also use an umbrella on occasion, and it's a golf umbrella. I use it to keep the sun off of me in these hot southlands. I however, use 13-year old child labor to hold the umbrella for me.


2-Oct-2009, 14:28
I have considered Vermont around Woodstock. We will be driving around probably fighting crowds and coping with other "leaf peepers." Suggestions would be appreciated. Don Kellogg

Don, I obviously don't know who "we" (the others in your party) will be, but you might consider Woodstock because there's so much there for visitors who aren't necessarily photographers, and LOTS of inside venues in town that will help you avoid the rain and still be able to do some shooting if indoor shots attract your interest. Architecture throughout town is great, from the Woodstock Inn to the covered bridge to the buildings in the shopping district in town, and Billings Farm (adjacent to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller estate, a national park itself) includes a working farm and a fabulous museum of New England life. The mansion next door is home to the Carleton Watkins negatives that Billings acquired (if the museum curator's on site when you're there, you could have a real treat in store if historical photographic treasures interest you). In short, Woodstock should enable you all to dance in and out between showers and still have some great opportunities, both photographic and "non". If kids will be with you, the farm is a must.

Color here is at about 70% now... I'm afraid we'll be past peak by the time you get here, but it's nonetheless a stop worth considering.

3-Oct-2009, 04:05
While in Acadia I would recommend a trip to the Schoodic peninsula. It is part of the park but across Frenchman's Bay. Wonderful coastline scenery to shoot as well as nice small towns and harbors.

Larry Gebhardt
3-Oct-2009, 11:57
You don't want an umbrella to clip to your tripod. It will vibrate in the wind, and possibly tip your setup.

The Kancamagus is the most popular route in NH for leaf peeping, but the color may be past by the end of your trip. http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2458/ If you go expect crowds, though it won't be too bad on the weekdays.

I'm not sure on the best areas for foliage, but there is lots to see in the Mount Washington area, and south into Franconia Notch.

Check this site for an estimate of color. http://foliage.visitnh.gov.ns1www.silvertech.net/index-flash.html

Nathan Potter
3-Oct-2009, 19:04
I didn't get specific about places around Acadia but if you like coastal fishing village type environs then mhanc above has a good suggestion. The Schoodic subsection of Acadia (about the next penninsula east of Acadia) is very nice. In particular the fishing village of Corea ME just east of Schoodic is one of the best on the coast of ME. THE best photographically is probably Stonington ME. at the tip of the Deer Isle penninsula within striking distance of Acadia.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

john biskupski
4-Oct-2009, 16:03
I'm in Brattleboro VT around October 25 for an LF Fine Focus Workshop with Richard Ritter, and am planning a week's vacation with my wife touring around New England after that. I had been thinking of heading north up Route 100 to see the smaller roads and villages, but from what I've been reading, about weather and loss of foliage at that date, would I be better advised to stick south, or maybe head towards the coastal regions? Advice welcomed.

David Rheubottom
4-Oct-2009, 18:37
I live in southern New Hampshire quite near to Vermont. The foliage is already turning and it looks like the leaf peeper season will be early this year. Ordinarily we expect the peak season to be in the second week of October. By the 25th the trees will probably be bare. If you can, come early, start in the south and travel northwards. A Google search will give you good regional coverage of conditions. Cheers, David

5-Oct-2009, 18:29
Check out either the Boston Globe or Boston.com for fall color guides. I have seen maps published on where peak color is and this is updated over the course of the month. I don't know if this is on line but is worth a search. You could also check out a New Hampshire map and drive one of the east west highways in search of color. The Kankamangus Highway north of Lake Winnipesaukee is also a good road to drive. Color peaks in south and central New Hampshire around Columbus day

QT Luong
6-Oct-2009, 07:32
I have seen a a fairly good sized umbrella that sort of attachs to a tripod. I can't seem to find one.

I've been looking for one for years, but couldn't find one.

What I now use is the combination of regular unbrella, Bogen Super clamp and Avenger Add-a-Head: http://store.birdsasart.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=27

Don Kellogg
8-Oct-2009, 12:44
Thanks everybody for your suggestions. Our plan is Bar Harbor, Maine Northern and central NH and then the environs of Woodstock, Vermont. My wife is a non-photograher and I think she will do well in Woodstock! Actually it's kind of reward for the heavy photo stuff early in the trip. Thanks again. Don Kellogg

13-Oct-2009, 13:37
In my opinion there are more reds and oranges in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts than in Vermont. We were just on Highway 100, a well traveled route leaf peeping rout in Vermont almost all the color was yellow and gold.