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Which direction for foliage

Fort Worth, Texas
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Which direction for foliage

We are flying into MHT on Oct 1. We will fly home on Oct 11. We want to see the coast from Portsmouth to Portland but mainly want to go up north into VT and NH for the foliage. With this timing should we go to the coastline first and then into NH and VT or should we head straight up North first and come back down the coast? I figure we will miss the foliage on the coast anyway so want to maximize foliage the rest of the time. Any opinions?

Thanks

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Portsmouth
Portsmouth
New Hampshire
Winchester...
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1. Re: Which direction for foliage

It's impossible to say for sure, but you're probably safe planning to visit the coast first and then head for the hills.

You can study historical foliage maps since 1999 on this site:

www.foliagenetwork.com/reports/northeast_us/

It's possible, but unlikely, that colors will be peaking early or exceptionally late in which case you might have to drive north first or drive further north later (if the peak is late) in order to see peak foliage.

By the way, you aren't seeing much of Maine if you're only driving as far north as Portland - I would recommend driving up to Bar Harbor and then heading west from there.

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Maine
Maine
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Boston
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2. Re: Which direction for foliage

If it were me, I'd absolutely cruise toward Vermont through the state of New Hampshire first and then on the way back this way you need to cruise all through the White Mountains, here's a good tip for you that I know of and also keep checking back here, I'm sure there will be other recommendations for you as well, so keep checking here from time to time:

A scenic Foliage Drive that we really like is to go North on rte 135 from Littleton, NH to Bridge St., in Lancaster head to Rte 2 West - then 115A South to Rte 3 South to Franconia North to 93 South...

As you're winding down through the state of New Hampshire eventually, then gradually get yourself right along the coast of Maine (via Conway and right by the Fryburg Fairgrounds) & you'll be in New Hampshire that way. So definitely get your map out, you'r going to love this trip when you get going with it all.

It's also beautiful in through York & York Village, Kennebunkport, Wells & then head down to Portsmouth, NH and along the coast of New Hampshire

There's going to be beautiful foliage this year according to our maple tree out front I'll have you know! We have a beautifully big japanese maple tree that's been in our yard for well over 50 years. Bus loads of people quite often stop by at our corner and take pictures of it every single year, it never fails, especially during the leaf peeping season, we saw them one time in the Spring as well! By the looks of it this year, where it's almost August? It's going to be beautiful again in the next few months, we can tell by looking at it already! So get ready for quite a season. Hopefully we don't get rained out too too much with it again this year. We never know until it's upon us when it comes right down to it with autumn in New England.

Enjoy your visit. Here's more info for your trip north from www.GoNew EnglandAbout.com:

"The unpredictable factors that influence the rate at which leaves change colors are rain, the amount of sugar in the leaves, the number of daylight hours and temperatures."

Peak foliage in New England works its way down from the north. The further north you go, the earlier the peak. For Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, your best bet is anywhere from the last week of September through the first week or two of October.

The three-day weekend around the Columbus Day holiday is often associated with peak foliage in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island, but there are no guarantees. A violent storm can rip the leaves from the trees before they ever truly reach their peak.

Foliage updates are available online and by phone for the New England states and New York--calling ahead once the season is in progress is never a bad idea.

A recorded Fall Foliage Report will be available for September & October by calling 1 800 258-3608.

Living in New England is a sure way to catch leaves at their peak. While that might not be a viable option for you, in general, the longer you plan to stay in New England in the fall, the better your chances of seeing peak color. Be mobile. Driving to, or renting a car once you have arrived in New England can open up your opportunities for going to where the best leaves are. You will find differing conditions along major highways, near bodies of water and in the mountains--plan your itinerary to include varied terrain, (so YES LoveInEurope, it's a good idea to head toward the coast after your Vermont & northern New Hampshire jaunt!)

So after Vermont? Get back through New Hampshire wind your way through the White Mountains and Franconia area and eventually down through to the coast of Maine & New Hampshire since you're flying in to Manchester Airport any way. You just have to head back to Rte. 101 from the Seacoast area to get back over toward Manchester once you are done leaf peeping. It's only an hour away if that from the seacoast area.

Be flexible. If you’ve selected desired accommodations, make sure you ask the innkeeper or hotel desk clerk when "normal" peak times occur at that particular location.

Tips (this first one I really like myself!):

Make your trip about more than just leaves so that you won’t be disappointed. There’s more to autumn fun in New England than peak foliage. Sip hot cider, pick apples, take a hay ride, hike, bike or attend a festival or craft fair or go antiquing along the way. Keep in mind, too, that even a hint of color can be quite beautiful.

If you will need overnight accommodations, make reservations well in advance. Do NOT attempt to head for New England on the spur of the moment assuming you’ll be able to find a place to stay.

Don’t forget your camera so that you can relive your "peak moments" to share them with others (*like all of us at Trip Advisor that love to see every ones photo's!)

Have a wonderful time!

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Fort Worth, Texas
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3. Re: Which direction for foliage

Thank you very much for your comments and tips. We are really excited. We planned this trip last year but due to some family emergency we had to cancel. Coming from Texas I'm sure even the slightest color will outdo what we have here. Last year we had a small amount of color AFTER Thanksgiving.

Thanks again!

Antrim, New...
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4. Re: Which direction for foliage

I would agree that going north first would be your better bet. You will definitely see the colors there, probably at peak during the time you are there. By leaving the coast for last, and depending where on the coast you go, you may also get to enjoy the colors ont he coast, as well.

Colors in northern NH begin late Sept, as suggested, but I would suggest s different time frame. Columbus weekend is often a busy time in the Whote Mountains, and people are generally not disappointed. But by this time the colors are getting pretty intense in the central and southwestern parts of the state, as well as southern VT, western Mass., and over toward the coast of Maine, more central than southern. Consider that the color are a bit later at the coast than in the mountains, as you go north to south.

Anyway, the suggestion that included Littleton and Lancaster is a good one. Those are lovely towns just a bit north of the White Mountains. Similar latitude in VT would include St. Johnsbury, Stowe and Burlington, among others. If you are in those areas, you can follow the colors whether you need to adjust a bit north or south, though you should be right on early in your trip.

If you do decide to go all the way over to Burlington, and it is a wonderful city on the shore of Lake Champlain, you might find that driving back down into NH on Route I-89 will be quicker and, in many ways, easier. You can make it to Portsmouth in about 3 1/2 hours, and then decide if you want to stay in that area, head further north to Portland, or stay somewhere along the coast.

Driving back across northern NH will be beautiful, but it is all on winding 2 lane roads. If you do not go across to Burlington and Stowe, dropping back down to Portland will be an easier drive.

Bar Harbor is beautiful. But it is about a 5 - 6 hour drive on winding roads through some beautiful but sparsely populated areas. It is also another 5 hours back down to Portsmouth or MHT.

It is all up to you. I think that good traveling always balances time spent in the car against time spent at the places you want to be, and spending enough time at those places to relax, enjoy, discover and app[reciate them.

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Fort Worth, Texas
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5. Re: Which direction for foliage

My husband would really like to see Bar Harbor but I am afraid it will be stretching it a little too far. I think it deserves more time than we will have.

Thanks for your suggestions. I am still working on it.

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Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor
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Antrim, New...
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6. Re: Which direction for foliage

Bar Harbor is awesome. What you might consider doing is driving from MHT to directly along I-89 to Burlington, VT or Stowe, whichever interests you the most. This will take you 2 1/2 hours +/-, not too bad a drive after your plane ride. Spend a couple of nights, maybe a couple of nights at each. Then drive across VT to NH, spend 2 - 3 nights in the Whites - Littleton, Lancaster, Jackson or Woodstock. There is so much to see and do in a fairly compact area. That will also get you there ahead of Col. Day. Then, continue your drive to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Spend the remaining days there, or, if you have time, give yourselves a day along the southern ME coast, either in Portland as the city, or one of the towns along the coast from Brunswick, ME to Portsmouth, NH, to get a feel for a different part of the coast. In the end, you will be 5 hours from MHT from BH, or 2 - 3 hours form the southern coast.

Whatever you do, much as the spontaneity is nice, make reservations ahead. This is a very busy time of year.

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Winchester...
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7. Re: Which direction for foliage

I've only lived through 56 years in New England so far, and I have yet to learn reliably when and where "peak foliage" will be, but according to the website I referenced earlier in this thread, peak foliage is virtually always later in the month than you will be in New England in October, so like I said before, no one really knows but my advice is to see the Maine Coast first and then head towards New Hampshire and Vermont.

Please don't think that Bar Harbor is too far away. There are people who commute to Boston from Portland, Maine (admittedly they are mostly airline pilots and television personalities, but the point is, the distances in New England are not very great). Bar Harbor is about the same distance from Manchester as San Antonio is from Fort Worth. Although the roads are slower in New England, you can still get there in under 5 hours. That's not very far to drive in beautiful countryside, when you are on vacation, and interested in seeing the countryside.

And if you've never driven to San Antonio - what's wrong with you? :-)

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8. Re: Which direction for foliage

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