Foliage Forecast: When & Where To Find Prime Leaf Peeping

GARDINER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Fall fun seems to be in full swing, with apple picking well underway and pumpkins popping up everywhere.

From green to glowing red, leaves are starting to show their colors across the Tri-State area, too.

Evidence of the beloved annual transformation can be found atop Gore Mountain, along the popular Pocono Peaks and at Mohonk Preserve, where CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock asked Citizen Science Coordinator Natalie Feldsine just how good the leaf peeping will be this season.

“We’re in much better shape than last year. So I think overall it’s going to be a really nice fall,” she said.

Feldsine was referring to last year’s drought, which is no longer a concern. However, it has been a bit dry here, so a little more rain would be a good thing.

“A little more rain might boost the vibrancy a bit,” she said.

Leaves started changing color over Labor Day weekend.

“We had some cool nights and cool days, and that’s when the fall color really started to pop,” Feldsine said.

Warmer weather of late slowed progress a bit, but once warm days couple again with cool nights, the leaves will pick up right where they left off.

Changing into breathtaking shades of reds and fiery oranges, yellows and golds are expected to really shine this season — hopefully to the delight of the masses.

“We have over 200,000 visitors a year, but a quarter of them come to visit in September and October,” said Gretchen Reed, director of marketing and communications for Mohonk Preserve.

Across New York, leaf peeping pumps up the economy. Peak peeping is expected in the Catskills in early October and closer the city early November.

One final factor that could stand in the way of a perfect peeping season is a big wind event that swipes the leaves from the trees. Nothing like that is forecast in the near future, Murdock reported.

For an early glimpse of color, head to Wetlands. Red Maples will really pop there and are typically the first to change color.

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