2023 fall foliage: When is the best time to find peak color in New England?

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BOSTON — It’s an age-old question always asked by New Englanders who have a passion for leaf peeping: When is the best time to find peak fall foliage color?

Factors like temperature and moisture make it difficult to predict precise peak times, but an interactive map created by NewEngland.com highlights the approximate peak dates for different parts of the region.

“If you miss peak color in one place, you can always look somewhere else later — at least until the end of October,” the website wrote.

Map users simply have to click on the “play” button and drag it left and right across the calendar timeline below. As the map changes, so will the calendar as it highlights the approximate peak dates in all of the New England states.

In August, Yankee Magazine’s Jim Salge published his much-anticipated fall foliage forecast for 2023, which offers predictions for New England. He’s calling for a beautiful season with long-lasting colors for the region.

“For New England, Salge expects beautiful pastel colors to develop early across the region in the red maple wetlands, with peak color likely arriving on time or slightly later than historical averages and lasting longer than usual,” the publication stated.

Salge’s forecast for New England, in summary: “Look for a patchwork of fall colors to develop early across the region, especially with the swamp maples. Peak color should arrive on time or late compared to historical averages, with leaves that are more pastel than flaming red, but no less beautiful. Color will be long-lasting, then fade and fall slowly.”

Salge noted that the best 2023 New England fall foliage areas are likely to be northern Maine, as well as Down East and toward Acadia, and southern New England could have a good year as well.

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