Leaf peeping time! – Tips for timing your trip to catch peak fall color

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”  – Albert Camus

So here we go again. Another season change and another great opportunity to get out and explore this beautiful planet we live on. There really is something quite magical about those couple of weeks when the bucket fills up and tips into a new season and of course, fall is one of the best. For photographers and wanderers like myself, its almost a calling.

As I mentioned before, last time I headed out to catch this colorful scene unfold, I missed it by a few days…..or weeks actually. Above is a little collage I put together from that trip. As you can see….just starting to change. Beautiful, but this year, I think we can do better!

With that in mind, I thought I would share a few tips on capturing a bit of that fall color…specifically the New England area of the US.

Get Excited!

If you are on the edge about heading out, get your creative juices flowing by visiting a few online galleries. Google images, flickr, and istock photo are 3 great sites to get a pretty good pool of inspiration that might be just what you need to kick start that planning process. Of course, this post is coming from a South Florida guy living in the tropics, so all you creatives living up North in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine are watching this unfold in front of your eyes right about now. I’ll see you soon btw!

Be Flexible!

This might be a hard one for those with tight inflexible schedules, but the peak season from what I have found so far is a tough one to pin point. In general, the best time for example in Vermont is sometime between the last week of September and the middle of October.  I waited till only a couple of days ago to book my flight for next week. This site here has a great log of previous years peak color times to get a general idea, but each year is unique. In addition, having an open mind after you land is also a good idea. Bad timing has placed you in a region of past peak color? No worries…head South a bit! From what I can tell, it kind of peels down from the North of Vermont, into Massachusetts, and then into Virginia and North Carolina. If your purpose and passion is catching the color, I would find lodging along the way. At least that’s my plan. Ill let you know in a later post how that goes 🙂

Use These Resources

Planning a trip like this should be fun! There are a million and one resources out there, but I thought I would share a few of my favorites!

Stuck on Earth – An amazing app for the iphone from an amazing photographer named Trey Ratcliff

Yankee Foliage – A great site to browse through. The link preceding has a great prediction of the illusive “Peak fall color”

Foliage Vermont – This site has a ton of information in it!

Colors of Fall – A guide to a few road trips in the area

Waterfalls of New England – A great guide to finding those waterfalls that make a great subject and add variety to your collection!

Covered bridges of New England – Again, its all about the subject!

Photographers guide to Vermont – Exactly…..just what we are looking for!


Remember, you can’t see it all, but you can at least make the best use of your time. Plan ahead, but leave a little wiggle room in there! Remember, its not always about the destination, its about the journey 🙂

I’ll see you on the trails!



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