Tupper Lake, the Catskills and the Thousand Islands will be the autumn color leaders in New York state this weekend.
That's good news for people who have time on their hands. These people might also have hands on steering wheels -- driving around the state to peep leaves during the Columbus Day weekend.
Color changes are part of this week's fall foliage report, the fourth issued this season by Empire State Development, which administers the I Love New York tourism program.
The reports, issued on Wednesday afternoons throughout the season, enlist "spotters" around the state who observe color changes. These men and women in the field predict how leaves will look for the coming weekend.
"We're starting to see some peak color emerge in the Adirondacks, in Tupper Lake," said Eric Scheffel, a spokesman for Empire State Development. "And we're getting some near peak color in the Thousand Islands region. We're expecting 75 percent color change this weekend in Alexandria Bay."
Orange, copper, scarlet and burgundy leaves will be on display in the Adirondacks. Saranac Lake will also be worth a trip; red, orange and yellow leaves are showing, a 70 percent color change.
The red, orange and yellow triple play is also the attraction in Alexandria Bay, Jefferson County.
"In the Catskills region, spotters in Greene County reporting from above 2,000 feet expect 75 percent color change and mid-point to near peak conditions this weekend," the report reads. "Look for bright red, yellow and green leaves."
Leaves on red oak, black cherry, sugar maple and other trees in the Capital Region are still predominantly green. Changes are coming - Rotterdam will be about 40 percent change this weekend - but full, fall colors are at least another week away.
"We should be at mid-point by the next report," Scheffel said. "This weekend, we're not quite there yet."
While green is still the scheme in the Capital Region, people will not have to drive far to see autumn colors.
"Altamont is expecting colors at mid-point, with shades of gold and yellow," Scheffel said. "Rensselaer County is also approaching midpoint."
Some other color checks around upstate New York:
* Schoharie County is expected to reach 30 percent color change, with the emergence of brilliant red and orange.
* Cooperstown spotters expect 20 percent color change with orange and yellow leading the way.
* Saratoga Springs trees are showing reds, deep oranges and bright yellows, part of a 30 percent color change.
* Kingston foliage is at about 35 percent, with orange, yellow and red leaves visible.
* The Finger Lakes area is about 35 percent color change with a variety of bright colors.
* Hudson is still color-challenged, as spotters expect just a 15 percent change by weekend.
* Mohawk in Herkimer County will be at 50 percent change with red and golds teaming up.
Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected].