According to New York state, Hudson Valley foliage will be at the midpoint of change around Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County, with 50% transition and yellow, orange, and red leaves of average brilliance. Orange County reports from Goshen expect 50% color change with widespread shades of gold and orange with touches of red, rust, and coral beautifully contrasting with the remaining green. Parts of Rockland and Westchester Counties are around 30% color change.
The farther north you travel, the more likely you are to find spectacular foliage. Observers in the Adirondacks are reporting near-peak and peak conditions.
In Connecticut, areas north of New Haven are observing near peak and peak conditions as well.
In New Jersey, observers have reported more drastic color change over the past week. As the cool fall weather continues to persist throughout the state, peak foliage conditions throughout the northern part of the state should occur in the next week or two.
New Jersey State Parks, Forests and Historic Sites recommends hikes on the Burnt Meadow Trail in Long Pond Ironworks State Park. The trail has spectacular views of Monksville Reservoir and the surrounding hills, which are beginning to see a significant color change.
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The gorgeous colors of the fall are the result of a natural chemical process taking place inside the trees.
Leaves serve as factories, creating the food that a tree needs to grow. The vivid hue of green that we see all summer is through the constant creation of Chlorophyll - a key component in turning sunlight into glucose.
As days grow shorter and temperatures become cooler, the production of Chlorophyll slows, the green fades away and yellow/orange carotenoids in the leaves spring forward. Other chemical changes give rise to more pigments and those spectacular changes that we see each autumn come to life.
Smokymountains.com has created a terrific tool to help you see where peak color is occurring across the country.
While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.