Albany, NY- With the colorful fall foliage season upon us, vacation regions around New York are preparing for a busy travel season – one that draws thousands of foliage watchers to the state’s roadways and waterways, hiking and biking routes, small towns, scenic spots, country fairs, and harvest festivals . It is also when the I LOVE NEW YORK “Leaf Peepers” swing into action – scouring New York’s countryside to gather the information Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism uses to compile its weekly fall foliage reports.

As part of our new fall promotion, I LOVE NEW YORK is offering "Foliage Trip Pay-offs," a series of regional driving routes rich with activities and stops to encourage consumers to choose New York for foliage peeping. Look for these fall foliage driving tours on iloveny.com beginning September 15th thru November 15th.

Get Up-to-Date Fall Foliage Color Reports Online

New York’s weekly I LOVE NEW YORK fall foliage color reports begin Wednesday, September 10, and continues until the end of the foliage season, around the first week in November. Each Wednesday afternoon throughout the season, reports are updated online to provide the latest information on foliage color conditions in each region of the state.

The weekly foliage report, a detailed map charting fall color progress, vantage points for viewing spectacular foliage, suggested autumn getaways and weekly event listings are available by visiting the I LOVE NEW YORK web site at www.iloveny.com.

Reports are also available by dialing, toll-free, 800/CALL-NYS (800/225-5697) from anywhere in the U.S., its territories and Canada. From all other areas, the number is 518/474-4116.

For information on becoming a volunteer Leaf Peeper, e-mail your name, address and phone number to foliage@empire.state.ny.us.

Foliage Means Business for New York State

The spectacular colors of a New York State autumn mean more than just pretty scenery to those in the State’s travel and tourism industry. The fall foliage season means big business for New York; it’s one of the state’s most popular travel seasons. This so-called “shoulder season” has become a favorite time for weekend getaways and week-long vacations, as well as the traditional drive to the country to view nature’s colorful display.

New York State’s Advantage

Why do people from all over the world head to the spectacular New York State foliage display? Unlike the rest of the country, the northeast is particularly blessed with a great variety of broad-leaved trees, which help give the region’s foliage a spectacular color range. New York State has almost as many acres of such trees as the rest of the Northeast combined.

The change in color from the bright greens of summer to the brilliant hues of fall follows a predictable pattern across the state. It begins high in the Adirondack and Catskill mountains in late August and early September, and spreads out and down across the hills and valleys of the state, ending on Long Island and in New York City in late October to early November. It takes about two weeks for the colors to complete their cycles in any given area, with peak brilliance lasting three to four days in any one spot.

How Leaves Change Color

Seasonal conditions and the resultant chemical changes in the leaves are the key factors in the timing and coloration of the leaves. Generally, clear, sunny days and cool nights with temperatures in the 40’s bring about the most striking autumn colors.

Three chemicals within the leaves – chlorophyll, carotenoids and anthocyanins – are involved in the annual color change process. As temperatures cool and the days shorten, cells at the base of the leaves disintegrate, blocking passages from the leaves to the branches and causing chlorophyll to decompose.

Chlorophyll is what gives most plants their green color. As the chlorophyll fades, colors in the other pigments – the carotenoids and anthocyanins – come to the surface. Trees with leaves having a preponderance of carotenoids – like beech, birch and willow – turn varying shades of yellow. When anthocyanins predominate – as in the case of many maples, dogwoods and sumac – reds and purples appear.

 

For more information on travel in New York State, please visit iloveny.com.

 

 

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