In September each year something starts in northern Maine and then sweeps south through the rest of New England. It is Maine’s northern location that ensures that it is first to have the vibrant fall foliage colours for which New England is famous. Why is the New England fall foliage so memorable? It all comes down to the mix of trees found there. Red maple, red oak, dogwood and sassafras turn bright crimson and scarlet, sumac turns maroon, mountain ash, hickory and mountain maple turn vibrant orange, while ginkgo, elm, polar and birch turn yellow and gold. This riot of colour contrasts with the constant dark green of conifers such as fir and spruce.
Fall foliage at Bethel
A favourite picture from our first trip to New England, way back in 1985. We made only a short trip into Maine across the border with New Hampshire in order see what it was like. What we found in and around Bethel convinced us that we had to go back to see more of Maine.
Fall foliage near Bingham
This picture from our 1998 trip was taken after the weather broke. Although the colours are not as vivid as they would be in bright sunlight, in these conditions the beauty of the foliage is more ethereal.
Rangeley Lakes from Rangeley Overlook
You can find fall foliage along the coast off Maine but if you want to see vast expanses of red, orange and yellow trees it is best to go inland. Leaf peeping trips can be disappointing because there is no fixed timetable for fall foliage and no guarantee of good weather. When we visited Maine in 1998 we had perfect weather as we drove up the coast, but as soon as we turned inland the weather broke. That was bad enough but it turned out that autumn was late that year and the fall foliage had yet to reach its peak. We returned to Maine in early October 2013 and this time the inland area around Rangeley was a riot of colour, as you can see in this picture.
Fall foliage, York Harbor
The coast is not the best place to see fall foliage but even so there are plenty of splashes of colour to be found, such as here by the sea at York Harbor.
Fall foliage by Camden Congregational Church
Probably the classic New England shot is of a bright red tree next to the tall white spire of a church. We have several such pictures, so we chose one taken in the coastal town of Camden to represent them all. We have to own up to modifying this picture to remove the scourge of pretty New England towns, overhead electric wires.
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Fall Foliage by Hayley Pond, Rangeley
What a difference some bright sunshine makes. Rangeley and the surrounding area is one of the best places to see fall foliage and if the sun comes out the tree colours can be dazzling.Click tab 2 to see some more Rangeley fall foliage, this time in thea aptly named Pleasant Street.