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Leaf peeping this weekend? Stay close to home

Leaf peeping this weekend? Stay close to home

It's been kind of an average autumn season

Autumn colors are fading in the Adirondacks.

The sixth fall foliage report issued Wednesday by Empire State Development says reds, yellows and oranges in the higher mountain elevations have passed their peak.

That means people might want to leave Whiteface Mountain, Tupper Lake, Inlet, Speculator and Old Forge off their leaf lists this weekend.

Peepers may want to consider trips closer to the Capital Region. Rensselaer County will be near peak in the eastern and northern parts of the county with yellow and brown the current color leaders. Glenville's oranges and reds will be around 40 percent, enough for the peak call.

Scenery at Thacher State Park in Albany County is expected to be around 80 percent color change this weekend. The report said yellows, reds and browns should be of average brilliance.

It's been kind of an average autumn season.

Horticulture and forestry experts have said weather conditions have muted colors in maples and other trees. A dry, warm September — and the absence of cold nights during late summer and early fall — helped turn down the color palette.

"This year, we've been calling peak at lower levels of color transition because if we waited until larger amounts of leaf changes, others would be on the ground," Eric Scheffel of Empire State Development said. "It's been kind of tricky this season."


Nina Bassuk, a horticulture professor at Cornell University, has said people might not see much color this year.

"Everything is kind of pushed back," she said in a recent interview. "It's either going to be kind of an olive green-yellow color, or we may get some later colors."

For people who decide to drive, Scheffel said Crown Point and Ticonderoga will offer colorful scenery.

Some other places to consider:

  • Northville — Spotters at Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center say colors — muted yellow and brown leaves — are at 95 percent and past peak conditions.
  • Hudson — Near peak and peak foliage will arrive in Columbia County this weekend, with 65 to 75 percent color change expected.
  • Kingston — Near peak with 65 percent color change.
  • Poughkeepsie — Spotters say color change has been sluggish, with 35 percent change and subtle shades of yellow and orange.
  • Cooperstown — Color change of 70 percent is expected, with average shades of yellow, orange and green.
  • Ithaca — A trip to the Finger Lakes will give people a 95 percent color show. Purple, red, yellow, orange and brown are in display.
  • Corning — Spotters project near peak foliage for Steuben County.
  • Alexandria Bay — In the Thousand Islands-Seaway region, spotters in Jefferson County expect peak to past peak conditions. Recent wind and heavy rains have brought down many leaves.
  • Watkins Glen — Spotters say the region is at the 50 percent mark, with yellow and orange of average brilliance.
  • Syracuse — Just 30 percent of color change reported.

All colors will enter a recession as autumn progresses. Scheffel reminds people another season is coming.

"The predominant color will be white pretty soon," he said.

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124, wilkin@dailygazette.com or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter.

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