Fall Foliage Report - Week 4Adirondacks, Thousand Islands-Seaway regions leading way, Catskills coming on strong


This is the fourth 2008 FALL COLOR REPORT for New York State. Reports are obtained from field observers and reflect expected color conditions for the coming weekend. FALL COLOR REPORTS are issued every Wednesday.

Vibrant, peak foliage is expected to arrive in many areas of the Adirondacks and some areas of the Thousand Islands-Seaway region by this weekend, with beautiful, near-peak foliage coming to some areas of the Catskills, according to observers for Empire State Development’s I LOVE NEW YORK program.


In Franklin County, foliage observers in Mt. Arab and Tupper Lake project peak foliage with 95 percent color change. Some leaves in those areas are starting to fall, leaving an explosion of assorted shades of pumpkin, apricot, and carrot to dominate the landscape. Sugar and soft maples continue to display their brilliant leaves of burgundy, copper and cherry, and the birches and beeches are adding tones of goldenrod and mustard to the display. To the east, in Essex County, foliage spotters in Wilmington at Whiteface Mountain expect nearly 100 percent foliage change by the weekend, with bright leaves of dark red, orange and gold. Lake Placid should expect 75 percent or more foliage transition, with brilliant red, orange and yellow leaves. Travelers driving around the Village should expect varied amounts of color change depending on location and elevation.  Old ForgeTravelers to Old Forge in Herkimer County should also look for peak colors this weekend, with color transition between 75 and 100 percent, highlighted by bright red, orange and gold leaves contrasting beautifully with the evergreens.


Leaf peepers in Hamilton County’s Indian Lake are predicting between 60-80 percent color change, depending on location, with bright red, yellow and some orange leaves providing a great contrast with the remaining green. Red maples are extremely red and bright. Northern Warren County can expect approximately 50-65 percent change, while about 50 percent of the leaves will be changed in the southern portion. Look for muted-to-brilliant shades of yellow, orange, red and rust. In the Lake Champlain areas of Essex County expect around 50 percent color change with occasional sparks of bright yellow, orange, red and dark red leaves.


Color change is also coming on strong in the Catskills region. In Sullivan County, foliage spotters in Monticello expect near-peak conditions, with 75 percent color change by the weekend, highlighted by very brilliant orange, red and gold leaves. Greene County is expected to be near peak; look for some beautiful purple highlights amidst the predominating bright red, orange and yellow leaves. Foliage reporters in Kingston, Ulster County, also expect near-peak foliage, with color change rapidly occurring throughout the county. Expect about 75 percent transition with yellow, orange and fiery red leaves predominating. In Delaware County, a wide range of near-peak colors will greet travelers this weekend, with about 75 percent color change. At Belleayre Mountain, in Highmount, Ulster County, 50 percent of more color change is predicted for the weekend, with bright red and yellow leaves predominating.


Peak fall colors are expected to also arrive in the Adirondack Mountain portions of the Thousand Islands-Seaway region this weekend. In the southeastern portion of St. Lawrence County, almost 100 percent color transition is expected, with bright, brilliant red and orange foliage. In the northern portion of the county, 80 percent of the leaves are expected to be changed, with nice shades of orange and burgundy. Foliage spotters in Oswego County, reporting from the Salmon River area near Pulaski, expect 50 percent color change, with maples showing a nice blend of red, orange and russet; oaks and ash are yellow and bronze, and birches are edged in yellow. Farther upriver, on the Tug Hill Plateau, foliage change will be more advanced. In Jefferson County, Alexandria Bay leaf peepers project 50 percent color change by weekend, with bright red, orange and yellow leaves.


In the Capital-Saratoga region, look for foliage at midpoint of color change. In Saratoga County, foliage should average around 60 percent color change, with vibrant red, orange and yellow leaves overtaking the fading green. In the Grafton area of Rensselaer County, expect 50 percent color change with bright red and orange leaves. Schenectady County will see varied amounts of color transition, with change ranging from 25-35 percent and green, yellow, gold, and some purple leaves of average brilliance. Out in the Voorheesville area of Albany County, around Thacher Park, approximately 30-40 percent leaf change is expected, with brilliant yellow and orange shades complimented by touches of red. In southern Albany County, foliage spotters in Slingerlands are calling for 30 percent change with mostly yellow leaves emerging from the green, complimented by some bright red leaves.


Just to the west, in the Central Leatherstocking region, the foliage change will, on average, be at midpoint, although foliage spotters in Chenango County are projecting some near-peak to peak colors this weekend with 75 percent color transition and bright bursts of red and orange mixing in with the predominating yellow leaves.  In southern Herkimer County, foliage spotters based in Mohawk are looking for 50-60 percent transition with green leaves giving way to shades of gold and yellow, accompanied by splashes of orange and red. Madison County is expecting 50 percent leaf change, with bright orange and yellow leaves. In the Greater Binghamton area of Broome County, look for bright yellow, orange and red leaves. Schoharie County expects 50 percent color change with red, orange, rust, yellow and gold leaves of above average brilliance. In Otsego County foliage change is expected to be between 40 and 45 percent, with yellow, orange and red leaves of average brilliance. Oneida County spotters in Utica expect between 35 and 40 percent change with fading green leaves rapidly giving way to gold, orange, yellow and brown leaves and highlights of deep red and crimson.


Overall, leaf change in the Finger Lakes region is expected to vary between the early stages and midpoint by the weekend. Tompkins County foliage spotters in Ithaca expect more than 50 percent change, highlighted by bright red, orange and yellow leaves. Chemung County is expecting 50 percent change with the orange, rust, gold and purple leaves of the early changing trees starting to mix in with emerging yellow, red and rhubarb-colored foliage. Look for some pockets of peak to near peak foliage among the earlier changing trees. Wayne, Tioga and Livingston counties also expect 50 percent leaf change.  Foliage spotters in Syracuse, Onondaga County, predict leaf change to be at midpoint, with many average-to-bright yellow leaves and smatterings of red and purple. Livingston County is looking at 50 percent color change with orange and red leaves of average brilliance. Cortland County should see about 40 percent transition with bright gold and red leaves.


Other areas of the region are still in the early stages of change. Foliage spotters in Rochester and Monroe County report that foliage change is still in the early stages, with color transition ranging from 25 to 45 percent. While green-leaf trees predominate, yellow-leaf trees, such as Eastern Cottonwood, Yellow Birch and Paper Birch are beginning to show color change. Silver Maples and Gray Birches are showing orange-brown shades, and there is an early presence of Russet-colored trees, such as White Ash and some of the darker-leaf maple trees. Steuben County is projecting 30-40 percent change; Cayuga County, 30 percent; and Seneca, Ontario and Schuyler counties, 25 percent.


This weekend, the Chautauqua-Allegheny region will be at midpoint of color change. Spotters in Allegany State Park are calling for 60 percent color change with red, orange, yellow and gold leaves advancing over the green in many locations. In Belmont, Allegany County, expect 45 percent color change with bright yellow, orange and red leaves. Leaf peepers in Cattaraugus County’s Little Valley project 40 percent change, with green, yellow and red leaves of average brilliance and some pockets of near-peak foliage. In Chautauqua County existing green foliage is giving way to orange and yellow leaves of average brilliance.  


In the Greater Niagara region, foliage change will range from the early stages in most areas to midpoint in Niagara County, where foliage spotters in Lewiston expect bright gold and yellow leaves, joined by some orange and red, to begin to dominate the diminishing green landscape. Orleans County will be approaching midpoint by the weekend, with about 40 percent color change marked by yellow and orange highlights of average brilliance. Foliage change projections of 20 percent have come in from Genesee, Erie and Wyoming counties.

The Hudson Valley and areas south are still in the early stages of color change. In Columbia County, foliage spotters in Hudson expect 25-35 percent change with gold and dark-red leaves of average brilliance. In Highland, in southern Ulster County, expect 30 percent change with bright and beautiful red, yellow and orange leaves. Dutchess County projects 30 percent change with bright, dazzling yellows, very bright oranges and some deep maroons and purples. Twenty percent color change is expected for Westchester County and the Bear Mountain area of Rockland County; 15 percent for Orange County; and 10 percent for New City area of Rockland County.


Foliage change is still at the very early stages in New York City and on Long Island. Spotters at Clay Pit Ponds State Park on Staten Island project 15 percent change by the weekend with emerging shades of yellow, red and purple.