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Fall Foliage: Best Leaf Peeping Spots Over Columbus Day Weekend

By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) — This has been the most significant week yet with regards to the changing colors in New England.  Columbus Day weekend is typically the peak for leaf peeping and this year will not disappoint!  Big changes are happening from the mountaintops of the Green’s and White’s to the seashores of Maine and New Hampshire.



Despite being in the worst drought in recent memory, if you know where to look, you can find some vibrant reds and oranges this year.



So, where to go this weekend…

Best bet:  White Mountains.  If you want a no brainer this weekend, you need elevation.  Peak colors are being reported throughout the higher peaks of the White’s in New Hampshire.  Heading up Rt 93 or Rt 16 you will notice splashes of moderate and peak color, but the most widespread, vibrant colors will certainly come with elevation north of Plymouth and Conway.



Also Peaking:  Northern Maine, Parts of the Green Mountains in VT…If Maine is your preference, you will need to head northwest of I95.  Routes 2 and 201 through Farmington and Skowhegan will be beautiful rides.



Higher elevations in the Green Mountains of Vermont will also be at peak.  The drive up Rt 7 through Rutland and Middlebury will be stunning.  As will Rt 91 from St Johnsbury to Newport.



Pockets of Peak Color:  You can see sporadic pockets of peak color all over Central and Southern New England.  All you have to do is drive northwest from Boston up route 2 through Lexington, Carlisle and farther out towards Orange.  Again, this area isn’t entirely peaking yet, but if you would prefer a shorter drive, you will find lots of hidden gems and pops of terrific color.  Taking route 3 north from Boston through Tyngsboro and Nashua will also present some very nice, near peak colors.  Again, it will be a bit more sporadic due to the severity of the drought in this region.

Still waiting:  Right along the immediate coastline of Massachusetts, including the City of Boston and most of the Cape Cod and South Coastal areas are not quite there yet.  While you may see some pops of red here and there in low lying areas, these regions need another week or two before reaching peak.  And unfortunately, the peak colors here will likely be brief and spotty due to excessive drought conditions.  Many leaves may go right from green to yellow/brown here as well.

We would love to hear your foliage reports and see your pictures as you venture out and about over the next few weeks!  Send them in to weather@wbztv.com.

Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ


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