AUGUSTA — A stretch of hot and dry weather in July and the recent tropical storm won’t have a noticeable impact on foliage viewing in Maine, according to the first 2011 fall foliage report from the Maine Department of Conservation (MDOC).
“Overall, the foliage looks to be in better than average condition,” said Bill Ostrofsky, a forest pathologist at the Maine Forest Service. “I fully expect the Maine fall foliage season will be delivered right on time as another bright and beautiful show.”
Currently, Maine Forest Service rangers in each of the state’s seven tracking zones are observing very low leaf color, or less than 10 percent toward peak, along with very low leaf drop. Minimal leaf loss and leaf damage from tropical storm Irene is not expected to be noticeable to leaf peepers according to Ostrofsky.
Overnight temperatures in the low 40s and the continued decrease in daylight will spark the gradual change in leaf color from north to south through late October according to MDOC officials.
“Each year, we look forward to the foliage season and partnering with the Maine Department of Conservation to give our visitors and residents updated foliage reports and provide helpful information on events, tours and activities that make fall in Maine so special,” said Maine Office of Tourism Director, Carolann Ouellette. “It’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy all our state has to offer.”
Maine’s fall foliage conditions will be updated each Wednesday through at least Oct. 19 at www.mainefoliage.com. The website has a new design that will enable faster, easier access on mobile devices. Visitors can now take foliage photos with their phone and instantly submit them to the website, and can sign up to receive the weekly reports by email. Maine foliage fans can also share photos and favorite viewing spots at the Maine Fall Foliage page on Facebook, or follow foliage news on Twitter using the “mainefoliage” hashtag.
The MDOC also announced that ranger-led weekend foliage hikes will be offered at state parks and public lands in October. The first hike takes place on Oct. 1 at Peaks-Kenny State Park in Dover-Foxcroft. Visit www.parksandlands.com for information about each hike.
Go to www.visitmaine.com or call the Maine Office of Tourism at 1-888-624-6345 for more information about fall activities and events in Maine.