First signs of colorful fall foliage reported across upstate New York regions


New York State’s 2023 fall foliage season is underway, with the first signs of the spectacular seasonal colors to come appearing in several regions, including the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands-Seaway, Catskills, and Chautauqua-Allegheny. This is according to the field reports from volunteer observers for the Empire State Development Division of Tourism’s I LOVE NY program.

In the Adirondacks, Franklin County spotters in Saranac Lake are predicting up to 20% leaf change by the weekend, with a muted mix of green and yellow, and some isolated pops of red. Areas along water will have changed slightly more than others. Spotters in Tupper Lake and Mt. Arab predict up to 20% transition as the cool, crisp evenings, unseasonably warm days, and an abundance of summer rain act as the catalyst for spectacular fall brilliance. Ample summer rains have fueled good tree health, leaf retention and vivid color production. The bright summer greens are quickly fading to Army green, and emerging colors include burgundy, claret, rhubarb, maize, copper, and bronze with a rosy glow. In the northern portion of the county, spotters in the Malone area predict a little less than 10% change, with a few muted red and orange leaves appearing over the mostly green landscape.
In Herkimer County, look for up to 20% change in Old Forge. Shades of golden yellow are the most dominant of the emerging colors, with burgundy and some shades of green and dark red. In Hamilton County, spotters in Lake Pleasant expect up to 15% leaf change with some oranges and reds popping through. In Lewis County, spotters in Lowville predict less than 10% foliage change, with emerging touches of yellow and orange.
In Essex County, foliage spotters in Lake Placid are anticipating 10% leaf color change, with a few reds and golden yellows. In Wilmington, reports from Whiteface Mountain Ski Area project up to 10% foliage change this weekend with bright, mostly green leaves dotted by some emerging red and yellow. Spotters reporting from the communities around Whiteface Mountain, including Wilmington, Jay, Upper Jay, and Au Sable Forks, also predict 10% change, with muted deep purples, plus shades of red and orange. In Newcomb, foliage spotters are predicting as much as 10% color change, with muted to average shades of red and orange beginning to peek through the green.
In the Thousand Islands-Seaway region, St. Lawrence County observers in Madrid expect up to 10% color change this weekend, with muted shades of yellow, orange, and red.
Fall colors are just beginning to appear in the Catskills, in Delaware County. Spotters in Delhi predict 5-15% color change this weekend, with some orange and yellow leaves or varying brilliance. Spotters in the communities of Bloomville and Hamden also predict up to 15% color change, with some yellow and orange leaves.
In the Chautauqua-Allegheny region, leaves are just beginning to change in Chautauqua County, and up to 10% color change is predicted for some areas by the weekend. At Chautauqua Institution, travelers will find slight color changes with some orange, red, and yellow leaves of average brilliance. Similar changes will also be found in Jamestown and in the northern portion of the county along Lake Erie, as well as in the Amish communities of Sherman and Findley Lake.