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Catching the colors of fall may seem like an oddity to those that experience prime fall foliage annually. But for many, the spectacle of color is a truly unique experience worth traveling great distances to experience. There are many places across the world with stunning autumn colors, and each one is unique. There is just something special about the vast swath of color spread across the old hills and mountains of America’s northeast that simply captivates.

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Travelers thinking about a trip to catch sight of fall foliage should first check out the forecasts for leave color changes that year. Travelers may think they know when the best time to experience fall color is, but it changes a bit each year. Here is a look at the foliage forecast for 2022 as well as the earliest and best times for vibrant colors.

Fall Foliage And Its Progression South

A great number of things from rainfall in the spring to humidity in the summer affect the end result which is fall foliage. As there are so many variables that affect the vibrancy and timing of the foliage, every year is a bit different.

However, fall foliage has been researched for years so the predictions for when leaves will change can be quite reliable. Perhaps the most dependable aspect of fall foliage is that it will progress north to south.

So, travelers looking to experience color changes in the early fall will likely need to venture to the far northern states like Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont. Those looking to experience foliage in mid-October may have the best luck in locations like Massachusetts or Connecticut.

Leaf Peeping In September

Those looking to catch the color change early in the season, as summer slowly transitions to fall, will have a great time venturing the far north of some of the most northern states in the continental US.

Maine with its stretches of untouched wilderness is always a good choice. The White and Green Mountains in New Hampshire and Vermont are a spectacle this time of year. Travelers can even check out the most upper of Upstate New York, especially around Champlain, for some great colors too.

Related: 10 Places To See The Best Fall Foliage Throughout Europe

Early season leaf peeping has the benefit of having more consistent and reliable weather. Summer has been gone for too long, so it is likely that many of the sunny and warm which allow travelers many opportunities got outdoor exploration in the stunning foliage.

Leaf Peeping In October

Travelers looking to catch the best color in the later part of the season will not have to venture as far north. Especially by mid-October, colors have peaked across much of New England. Parts of southern New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island will still be showcasing some great late-season colors though.

These destinations are a bit more populated than their northern counterparts so what they have to offer travelers is a bit different too. More shops, restaurants, and markets await leaf peepers in these destinations. This is the prime season for many businesses in these regions.

Related: 10 Places In Canada To See Fall Foliage

The greatest advantage to leaf peeping in October is the closeness to Halloween. With so many local businesses getting into the spirit of the encroaching holiday, travelers will have a great time enjoying both the stunning backdrop of prime late-season colors and the atmosphere of Halloween.

Leaf Peeping Tourism In New England

New England in the fall has a unique sense of mysticism to it. Be it the cool, slightly foggy mornings that are just a bit crisper each morning as winter approaches, or long walks with a do through earthly shades of reds, oranges, purples, and shades of yellow and gold.

These colors bring travelers to sleepy, usually lacking visitors, towns that wake up when the colors begin to change.

Any travel photographer should have New England in autumn on their bucket list. With this color comes more than just stunning vistas. There are tours, events, shows, and more across New England for travelers to partake in.

Travelers should be sure to grab a hot cup of apple cider and a pumpkin muffin from the local general store and soak up this annual phenomenon of New England fall foliage.

Top Five Cities For Fall Foliage In New England

In no particular order, here is a look at the top five cities for fall foliage in New England.

  • Woodstock, Vermont - The “quintessential New England village” and go-to leaf-peeping destination.
  • Waterville Valley, New Hampshire - This secluded valley sits in the cradle of the White Mountains offering 360-degree views of foliage.
  • Salem, Massachusetts - October leaf-peepers should venture to Salem Massachusets to mix wonderful local foliage with Halloween.
  • Bar Harbor, Maine - A great early season pick that comes with all the benefits of also being in Bar Harbor, Maine.
  • Bethel, Maine - Perhaps the hands down, go-to, best early-season destination to catch fall foliage in New England.