Forest rangers to lead foliage tours, hikes

Posted Sept. 24, 2013, at 11:20 a.m.

AUGUSTA — In anticipation of one of the brightest seasons yet for Fall Foliage, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Division of Parks and Public Lands, announced that it will offer free guided fall foliage tours at several state parks and public reserved lands beginning Friday, Sept. 28.

The first tours of the season will take place at Mount Blue State Park in Weld, Little Moose Public Reserved Lands near Greenville and Aroostook State Park in Presque Isle. These areas are reporting moderate color changes of 30 to 50 percent with low leaf drop of at least 10 percent. For information and skill levels for the tours and hikes go to parksandlands.com.

Other parts of the Maine are experiencing subtle color changes of between 10 and 30 percent with low leaf drop at less than 10 percent.

“Throughout the tours, foresters will be on hand to answer questions such as why do leaves change colors or what triggers leaf drop, just to name a few,” said Gale Ross, foliage spokesperson for the department.

The drop in temperature into the low 40s and waning daylight created optimal conditions for gradual leaf color from north to south with peak conditions culminating in late October.

“Given our moderate summer weather, and allowing for this trend into fall, I expect an outstanding vibrant show, overall,” said Bill Ostrofsky, forest pathologist for the Maine Forest Service.

For continuous weekly updates every Wednesday through October 16, visit the state’s official foliage website at MaineFoliage.com. Visitors can receive weekly reports by email and share the photos of the color throughout  the state as the leaves slowly change.  Additionally, the foliage website will list the fall foliage ranger-led hikes in the state parks.

Go to visitmaine.com or call the Maine Office of Tourism at 888-624-6345 for information about fall activities and events in Maine.

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