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I LOVE NY: Finger Lakes in Peak Leaf-Peeping Season


This is the seventh 2023 I LOVE NY Fall Foliage Report for New York State. Reports are obtained from volunteer field observers and reflect expected color conditions for the coming weekend.

As October draws to a close, New York State’s brilliant parade of fall colors is exiting the northern regions and heading south, with beautiful peak and near-peak foliage expected this weekend throughout most of the Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley, plus in significant portions of the Capital-Saratoga, Greater Niagara and Central New York regions. This is according to the field reports from volunteer spotters for the Empire State Development Division of Tourism’s I LOVE NY program.

In the Finger Lakes, Cayuga County reports from Auburn expect peak foliage with 95% change and muted shades of yellow and brown, along with some red leaves. In Chemung County, spotters in Elmira are predicting peak foliage with 85% color change and plenty of gold, orange, rust and yellow leaves.

In Monroe County, spotters in Rochester anticipate peak foliage with up to 95% color change and a full spectrum of fall colors, including some beautiful shades of yellow, red and orange. Reports from the Brighton area of the city predict peak leaves with at least 70% color change and average to bright shades of yellow, gold, orange, red and dark red. The spotters note that this is the week and weekend travelers will want to devote to foliage viewing in the area, with plenty of yellow leaves blending into glowing gold. Many of the orange leaves are outstanding and, grouped with red-leafed trees, make for an outstanding fall foliage experience.

Visitors can expect a wide range of conditions in Ontario County this weekend. Spotters in Bristol predict peak leaves with about 90% change and yellow, red and green leaves, while reports from Marcus Whitman Middle School in Rushville expect near-peak foliage with 50% change and very brilliant yellow, orange and green leaves. Volunteers in Honeoye, Canandaigua and Victor anticipate that foliage will be past-peak. In Tompkins County, spotters in Trumansburg and Ithaca predict peak and just-past-peak foliage with nearly complete leaf change and brilliant golden yellow, burnt orange and dark red leaves.

In Wayne County, spotters in Lyons anticipate peak foliage with 75% change and yellow, orange and some deep red leaves. Yates County spotters in Penn Yan predict peak foliage with 70% transition and average shades of yellow and orange. Schuyler County spotters checking in from Watkins Glen predict peak foliage with 75% progression and average seasonal shades.

In Onondaga County, Syracuse spotters at Upper Onondaga Park note dramatic changes over the past week and expect near-peak to peak foliage with 70% change this weekend with muted to average shades of mustard-yellow and orange, along with pops of dark red and bright red. Look for near-peak foliage in Livingston County, where volunteers in Geneseo predict 65% change and orange, yellow and green leaves. Steuben County spotters in Corning, Hammondsport, Hornell and Bath expect near-peak conditions with 75% change and bright mostly orange leaves, along with some yellow and red shades and hints of green. Cortland County observers at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland predict past-peak foliage with 75% color change and very brilliant red, orange and yellow leaves.

Photo: I Love NY (provided)
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