Let's talk leaves

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As in foliage. According to the folks who study this stuff, thanks to our wet summer, Maine is expecting a grand foliage season, with vibrant color.

Early foliage, Grand Lake Stream, 2007
Early foliage, Grand Lake Stream, 2007

“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, I expect leaf coloration to be magnificent once again for this season.”

Best way to track that color is here. Now conventional wisdom says foliage usually peaks around Columbus Day, but that’s very early this year.I’m guessing the traditional foliage destinations—Rangely, Bethel, Greenville, and along the coast—will peak at least a week or two after that. Which means you may be able to snag a room at a decent rate.

A few more hints re foliage-related travel:

First, it’s still peak season in many places, which means peak rates. You’ll find less-pricey possibilities in the fringe towns and at the smaller properties without the marketing budgets or fancy web sites.

Second, because it’s peak season (at least through Columbus Day Weekend, and likely on weekends after that), make advance reservations for lodging and, if dining out is important to you, at restaurants, too.