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05-01-2016, 10:21 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Where would you go on east coast USA for fall colors ?

I need to pick your brains people.

Where on the East coast of the USA would you head to photograph the fall colors? Keep in mind we would driving, probably coming from Denver and would like to avoid big cities, seen one, seen 'em all.
I am imagine it would be North east...but have never been there and am open to suggestions.
Appreciate your thoughts.

05-01-2016, 10:31 PM   #2
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Assuming this will be in the actual North American Autumn -- the New England area (Northeast) is the king of fall foliage, yes.
05-01-2016, 10:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
I need to pick your brains people.

Where on the East coast of the USA would you head to photograph the fall colors? Keep in mind we would driving, probably coming from Denver and would like to avoid big cities, seen one, seen 'em all.
I am imagine it would be North east...but have never been there and am open to suggestions.
Appreciate your thoughts.
I live in the Northeast and have shot fall pictures in all the northeast states. The best color variation I have seen is in the Berkshires section of western Massachusetts. There were pinks, deep reds, purples, oranges and yellows. With that said, fall colors seem to vary depending on factors which I dont fully understand, but weather (moisture sunlight temperature) seems to impact fall colors. A great spot last year may not be the same the following year.


The attached image was shot in Hartford's Keney park in Fall 2015
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05-01-2016, 11:09 PM   #4
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I don't know how much time you'll have or what your mode of transportation will be but the highlights would be the Sugar Maple forests of Eastern Canada, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine along with the Pocono, Allegheny, Appalachian and Great Smoky Mountains of the mid-Atlantic and Mid-South regions. Peak colors will be earlier to the north and move south over several weeks as the season progresses. Good luck; I'm envious.

05-02-2016, 01:33 AM   #5
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The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia is lovely all year round, but particularly in the fall. You can't drive for 5 minutes without finding a photo op. If you're coming from Denver you'll probably be on Interstate Highway 64 (I-64 as we Yanks call it). I'd recommend picking up the Parkway in Buena Vista, a few miles off I-64, and taking it north. If you're up for a little hike, check out Crabtree Falls along the way, and don't miss the view from Humpback Rocks, it's... not too shabby. You'll eventually come to the north end of the Parkway on Afton Mountain. There you can pick up I-64 again, and go where ever you like, New England via I-81 maybe.
05-02-2016, 01:35 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
I need to pick your brains people.

Where on the East coast of the USA would you head to photograph the fall colors? Keep in mind we would driving, probably coming from Denver and would like to avoid big cities, seen one, seen 'em all.
I am imagine it would be North east...but have never been there and am open to suggestions.
Appreciate your thoughts.
Lots of places. How many days/weeks do you have?

In Massachusetts head to western Mass into the Berkshires
In New Hampshire start at Kangamangus Highway and work your way around
In Vermont, any backroad will do
In Maine you can get some nice coastal foliage anywhere around the coastal towns. For the most spectacular stuff head north to Acadia national park Cadillac Mountain is out of this world
There are endless possibilities in all the New England states including Connecticut, Rhode Island and the states I mentioned above.

Last year the season was late. Normally in late September northern New England is peaking. We went north to Acadia in the first week of October and 90% of the trees were still green! I was told that they had unusually late seasons for the past few years.

Check this link: New England Foliage Map - Yankee Foliage - Your Source for New England Fall Foliage

It is fairly accurate. It show foliage in New England and New York as it progresses.

Good luck. Bring extra batteries as the cold temps shorten battery life.
05-02-2016, 02:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
check out Crabtree Falls along the way, and don't miss the view from Humpback Rocks
15 miles from my home, I have to agree.

I also agree with all the New England recommendations, but if you are going to be in Masssachusetts, give yourself a day on Cape Cod, the lighting there in the autumn is incredible, and it has plenty of trees for fall color
05-02-2016, 03:56 AM   #8
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Blue ridge parkway is hard to beat

05-02-2016, 04:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia is lovely all year round, but particularly in the fall.
Agreed, yet if you go a bit further west of I-80/Blue Ridge Pkwy into western Virginia and eastern West Virginia you will find some of the most picturesque landscape in all of America -- and not a tourist to be seen (unlike up here in New England during "leaf peeper" season).

Michael
05-02-2016, 05:29 AM   #10
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Wow. Thanks folks, this is what makes this forum so great.
You have certainly given me a starting point. I note the reference to Eastern Canada as well.....that is not out of the question either. (Dave? Jimbo?.....perhaps?)
Please keep the great advice coming.
Thankyou.
05-02-2016, 10:04 AM   #11
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btnapa has provided an excellent list - I'd second everything he's mentioned. In addition to maps that show the typical progression of foliage color through time, keep checking local TV stations for weather reports that usually also have indications of where color has reached its peak (the 24 hour Boston news channel provides daily updates on Fall color). Keep in mind, at any one location if you change altitude by 400 feet the amount of color can change, and there may be a strong north slope effect = trees on north facing slopes, or the north side of a mountain (as we call them in the east) will be significantly more advanced than those on south facing slopes nearby. As noted above, peak color was a bit late Fall of 2015, but there was plenty of it at least in my immediate area.
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05-02-2016, 10:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
I need to pick your brains people.

Where on the East coast of the USA would you head to photograph the fall colors? Keep in mind we would driving, probably coming from Denver and would like to avoid big cities, seen one, seen 'em all.
I am imagine it would be North east...but have never been there and am open to suggestions.
Appreciate your thoughts.


So if you will be in Denver, the Rocky Mountains present many opportunities for autumn foliage photos. No need to drive 1,800 miles.


Just sayin'.
05-02-2016, 10:21 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
So if you will be in Denver, the Rocky Mountains present many opportunities for autumn foliage photos. No need to drive 1,800 miles.


Just sayin'.
That's true, but the timing is quite a bit different, the season is short, and the variety is limited (you can get great pictures of Aspens that have turned golden for about 2 weeks in certain spots, but not much else). And the good spots are swamped with photographers when it happens. Oh, also the beetles have killed so many trees in the last ten years that it is a bit depressing -- whole forests dead. So while there is definitely plenty to see in Colorado and thereabouts, for foliage you really can't beat the northeast...
05-02-2016, 12:29 PM - 1 Like   #14
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My wife and I did Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. I would think those are your best bets.

And while I know you are avoiding cities, it's hard to dismiss a city like Boston. Out of all the cities in this country I've been to, it's definitely one of the best. It had great fall colors, and the historical sites are really fantastic, especially among the color.
05-02-2016, 12:47 PM - 1 Like   #15
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BEWARE of driving in Boston. The streets were laid out by cows, extended by inmates of an asylum, with signage by sadists, and used by drivers who pay no attention to traffic control devices. Yellow lights mean hit the gas, red lights are advisory. They put the most important escape route down in a trench, so you may have to jump your car over the edge to get back to the country. Before taking your car into Boston, drink six cups of coffee and three martinis, you'll be more comfortable and fit right in. I've driven in Boston, so I know it cannot be done.

---------- Post added 05-02-16 at 03:55 PM ----------

Other piece of advice about Autumn leaves, which you probably already know. Backlighting commonly brings out the colors more vividly; individual leaves hand-held for close-ups are a good visual break from scenics or whole trees.

Last edited by WPRESTO; 05-02-2016 at 03:50 PM.
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