October 6, 2012

Local foliage at peak for holiday weekend


---- — ALBANY — Columbus Day weekend is known for foliage excursions, and this year’s holiday will offer some of the best viewing in years, according to observers for Empire State Development’s I Love New York program.

Peak colors are spreading from the Adirondacks to the Catskills, the Chautauqua-Allegheny and Central New York regions, with near-peak and midpoint color in many other areas.

In the High Peaks region around Lake Placid, Keene and Keene Valley, foliage will be peak this weekend “with some of the most magnificent fall colors in recent memory,” the state report says. “Look for amazing shades of red, along with additional hues of gold, burgundy and yellow.”

In the area surrounding Whiteface Mountain, color spotters expect 75 percent color transition and peak foliage by the weekend, with reds, oranges, burgundies and all shades in between dotting the hillsides.

The Schroon Lake area is near peak. Leaf droppage is minimal, and the color has gone from muted to bright. Look for shades of red and orange.

The Bloomingdale area reports reds, golds, ambers and purples among their peak shades, all contrasting with the evergreens.

Foliage spotters in Franklin County reporting from Saranac Lake expect 90 to nearly 100 percent color transition by the weekend. “Magnificent,” “startling” and “incredible” are just some of the ways area spotters are describing the leaves this week.

The Lake Clear and Paul Smiths areas are sporting every color in the spectrum, but particularly noteworthy are the oranges and yellows of the sugar maples and the bright reds of the red maples and high bush cranberries.

Kiwassa Lake spotters note leaves of pink, gold, red, dark red, maroon, orange and yellow. Look for 95 percent color change and a brilliant display of yellow, copper, pumpkin, burgundy and shades of adobe red in the Mt. Arab/Tupper Lake area.

In the Lake Champlain area of the Adirondacks, the color transition is still in the early stages and will be between 20 and 30 percent by the weekend. Look for great shades of apple-red and pumpkin-orange.

The weekly foliage report, a map charting fall color progress, vantage points for viewing, suggested autumn getaways and weekly event listings are available by visiting the website