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NH Fall Foliage Update – September 2012


Valley Color in Pinkham Notch, NH

Being that we are a White Mountain hotel , we love fall in the New Hampshire White Mountains! Peak foliage is just around the corner, so here is your fall foliage update!

Summary: A new hue each day

The weather is playing out exactly as long range forecasts predicted. Cold nights, warm days, and a moderate amount of moisture are beginning to leave their colorful impression on the landscape. Along with that, anthracnose isn’t making a significant impact. Anthracnose is an invasive tree fungus, and its prevalence fluctuates from year to year; this year is looking like a low-impact year. All of these conditions look to be making for a fine year of foliage.

NH Valley Color

We are also not seeing any major rain or wind events in the near forecast, which can cause early leaf drop. All in all, the symphony is really beginning to come together and everyone is anticipating one incredible crescendo, if you will!

Color Watch: Pictures from the Valleys

Driving north along any major north-south route, visitors are beginning to notice an evident progression of colors, particularly in the Notches and north of Ossipee. For the past several weeks, the swamp maples and trees in areas of low soil nutrient have been turning colors, and some trees showed early signs of stress from lack of water throughout the summer. More recently, however, a greater collection of trees have begun to turn color and a full spectrum of colors is beginning to emerge.

We are still a little less than a week from peak foliage in the most northern areas, and peak foliage in general is most certainly going to be about a week earlier than its normal Columbus Day arrival.

NH King Ravine

Alpine Watch: Pictures from the Peaks

Autumn takes on a completely different look and feel from above the “treeline”, or in the Alpine Zone. Those who are equipped and experienced will often take to the trails during this time of year to seek out color along the trail, and the best balcony-seat views of the valleys as full color emerges. In addition to a great view of what lies below, autumn enthusiasts who time their journey correctly can be treated to an elaborate show of color that combines the changing angle of the fall sunlight with the color of minuscule flora found growing no more than a few inches high along the ridge lines.

Right now, since peak foliage in the valleys is still a few days out, the views from the top are not exactly draped in a full blanket of epic color; not just yet anyway. However, the view is still spectacular from peaks in and around the Presidential Range. Birches are easily spotted as their yellow leaves are really beginning to stand out, and pockets of red are becoming visible from up high as well. The show is progressing below, there is no doubt about it. Currently, the vegetation along the upper reaches of the mountains has turned to hues of deep red and vibrant merlot. The sedge has yellowed, and most greens are fading quickly. Mount Washington even got its first measurable “winter precipitation”, picking up 4/10 inch of snow on 9/14 and 9/15.

Cold Brook and Sanders Bridge

We expect that by next week, a full array of brilliant fall color will be evoking lots of ‘oooh’s’ and ‘ahhhh’s'; Soon enough, we’ll all have the holidays and the ski season on our minds. For now,, however, it’s time to start planning your fall foliage trips. Drop us a line and see about staying a night here at the Stonehurst, where we can help color your fall vacation with splendid memories!

To check lodging availability … Call 1-800-525-9100

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