Maine’s fall foliage season began today with the first foliage report from the state Department of Conservation. Officials are forecasting a colorful season based on the current health of Maine’s forest.
“With a few localized exceptions, the forest statewide is in good health, thanks to the abundant and relatively well-distributed rain we’ve had since spring”, said Bill Ostrofsky, a forest pathologist with the Department of Conservation, Maine Forest Service. “The great majority of hardwood trees have carried a full complement of healthy foliage, and appear to be on typical schedule for changing. Overall, expect leaf coloration to be magnificent once again for this season.”
The report also marks the start of the 50th season of tracking foliage color and leaf drop by forest service rangers. Maine’s weekly public foliage reports began in 1959 under former Forestry Commissioner Austin Wilkins.
“In the early years of reporting, rangers simply took notes from their post and phoned or snail mailed their observations to forestry headquarters”, said Department of Conservation Commissioner Patrick
McGowan. “Today, rangers use email to share their observations and to send photographs of changing foliage that are posted on the official Maine foliage Web site“, McGowan said.
Currently, rangers throughout the state are observing very low leaf color, or less than 10 percent toward peak, along with very low leaf drop. Just recently, overnight temperatures in far northern Maine began dropping to the low 40s and high 30s. Those cool nights and sunny days will spark the gradual change in leaf color from north to south.
Maine’s fall foliage conditions will be updated on this site each Wednesday through October 15. Be sure to sign up to receive the weekly reports by email.
“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors who enjoy viewing our wonderful foliage by our scenic byways, on mountain and coastal trails, or from the seat of a canoe or kayak,” said Pat Eltman, director of the Maine Office of Tourism.”
Fun fall events happening this weekend include the 11th Annual MDI Garlic Festival in Southwest Harbor, the Lubec Fall Festival on the Downeast coast, and the Celebrate Bowdoinham Festival on Merrymeeting
To provide the most accurate foliage information, DOC rangers will report conditions statewide every Wednesday through Oct. 15. Updated reports and information can also be obtained by calling the Maine
Foliage Hotline at 1-888-MAINE-45. Learn more about Maine’s fall touring routes and outdoor activities at www.visitmaine.com.
Press contact: Kevin Gove, Nancy Marshall Communications, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (207) 623-4177.
Visit www.MaineFoliage.com for more information about Maine foliage including photos, trip planning tips, kids’ pages, and more