Foliage Report

Current Foliage Report

Oct. 19, 2016

Lake Placid/High Peaks Region:

Foliage in Lake Placid is past peak. Mostly vivid orange and golds. The colors are still vivid in spots but the wind may likely take a lot of the leaves. It's all weather dependent at this point. By the weekend the color will likely be unpredictable. The lower elevations in Keene and into the Lake Champlain Region are still filled with pretty good color.

Past Reports:

Oct. 13, 2016

Lake Placid/High Peaks Region:

Lake Placid will be past peak this weekend, but a few trees are still in the process of changing and there is still some very good color. Spotters are remarking that this has been the best year for color anyone can remember. Oranges, yellows, bronze, reds, deep purple and still some greens are dominating the hillsides. The red maples and oranges of the sugar maples are incredibly vibrant this year.

Oct. 4, 2016

Lake Placid/High Peaks Region:

Lake Placid area leaves are currently at peak and we expect excellent color to remain through the weekend and beyond.  Reds and yellows predominate, with the brilliant orange of the sugar maples beginning to emerge.  The hillsides are ablaze with various shades of brilliant golds, corals, bright reds, glowing yellows and light wheats. Many pockets of trees still possess their dark green leaves as they begin to change alongside their already peaked neighbors. The brilliance is high among the 85 - 90% of trees that have changed.  Color will continue well past the weekend, depending on the weather and any wind events.


Sept. 28, 2016

Lake Placid/High Peaks Region:

Foliage will reach near peak in some areas by this weekend. It is very area dependent. Some hillsides have vast amounts of relatively brilliant color with oranges, yellows and crimsons predominating. Other hillsides have very little color change as of yet leading us to believe the late foliage changing will continue at the current pace, allowing the season to stretch out a little more than normal. There are lots of opportunities for spectacular foliage photos, which will continue into the next couple of weeks at least, barring any heavy wind storms.  

Sept. 22, 2016

Lake Placid/High Peaks Region:

Color is still very spotty. Muted mustards and some yellows are visible, along with isolated scarlets on the few red maples  beginning to change. Sugar maples have yet to show their normal bright oranges in any numbers. Brilliance is low at this point overall, but spots of brilliance exist in isolated spots. Estimate is for approximately 25% or slightly more change for the weekend.

​ ​

Autumn Comes Early in the Adirondacks

The fall foliage season in the Adirondacks is fast approaching. We're experiencing warm autumn days with cool nights (dipping to the mid-30s to low 40s) that start the vibrant color change we look for in deciduous trees and shrubs. In the High Peaks Region around Lake Placid, peak foliage viewing typically occurs during the last two weeks of September while the autumn colors bloom later in the lower elevations along Lake Champlain and parts of Hamilton County.

Changing Colors

So, you’ve probably asked yourself the age-old question, “Why do the leaves change color and what is the timing?”  Every autumn we’re asked this question numerous times in our Visitor Center. 

Green leaves are green because of the pigment called chlorophyll. It is produced by capturing solar rays and using that energy to make the plant’s food, which is basically simple sugars. They are the only source of carbohydrates, which are the basis of a plant’s growth and development. Since there is so much chlorophyll in the leaves during the growing season, the predominant color of the leaf is green, although the other colors are really there, just not visible as the green is so dominant.

Late in the summer season, the hours of daylight shorten and air temperatures become cooler. The veins in the leaves slowly close off at the base, reducing the fluid intake to the leaf. During this period, chlorophyll levels gradually decrease, and the leaf slowly loses the green pigment, allowing the other colors to become visible.  Voila! Spectacular fall foliage. Some years the color is more brilliant than others with differing dominant colors from year to year.  Lots of factors influence this, including average rainfall, which seems like a major factor. The beauty of this variance is that it’s always a surprise and we never know what it will truly look like from year to year. So come, enjoy the surprise!