State begins weekly fall foliage reports

Published Sep 19, 2018 at 4:00pm

Just like the flaming orange and red leaves themselves, the state’s weekly fall foliage reports are a sure sign of autumn’s
arrival.

While there have only been a few scattered leaves that have turned from green to gold in central New York, the leaves are turning to our north and the state is starting to let people know about it.

Empire State Development officials today in Albany announced the start of New York State’s 2018 fall foliage season, which includes the I LOVE NY weekly fall foliage reports.

Additionally, the #NYLovesFall social media campaign returns this year to further promote and encourage visitation to New York’s picturesque autumn locations and attractions.

The website will be updated each Wednesday, offering leaf peepers from across the state — and the world — to learn up-to-date conditions on the state’s internationally recognized
vistas.

Big colors, big business

“New York State’s fall foliage season is both colorful and crucial to our state’s tourism industry, drawing visitors from around the world to our communities and supporting our regional economies and local businesses,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky.  

New York State has one of the longest and most colorful foliage seasons in the nation, thanks in part to its size and location, Zemsky added.

On any given weekend, from late September through mid-November, somewhere in the state is experiencing peak foliage, he added.

Fall is also one of the state’s most popular travel times of the year, drawing visitors from around the world who support local businesses and attractions.

Last autumn, New York State welcomed more than 63 million visitors between September and November, generating an estimated $28.26 billion in economic impact across the state, officials added.

Many ways to view colors

“New York State offers countless ways to experience our world-class foliage. Whether traveling along a scenic byway, riding up a mountain gondola or down a thrilling zipline, floating in a hot air balloon, cycling along a bike trail, paddling down a tranquil river or hiking a High Peaks trail, you can find what you love surrounded by the autumnal splendor of New York State,” said Ross D. Levi, state executive director of tourism.

The I LOVE NY weekly foliage report – a detailed map charting fall color progress, vantage points for viewing spectacular foliage, suggested autumn getaways and weekly event listings – is available on the I LOVE NY website. Reports are also available toll-free at 800-CALL-NYS (800-225-5697) from anywhere in the U.S., its territories and Canada. The report uses information gathered by more than 75 volunteer leaf peepers, located throughout the state’s 11 vacation regions, who track the weekly foliage changes. For more information on how to volunteer, please contact foliage@esd.ny.gov.

To promote the state’s spectacular autumn sights and scenery, I LOVE NY will again host a social media campaign featuring photos taken by Twitter and Instagram users. Each week one outstanding New York State fall foliage photo posted using the #NYLovesFall hashtag will be selected and shared on the I LOVE NY FacebookInstagram and Twitter pages on “Foliage Fridays.” Users must tag photos with the name of the location of where the image was taken to qualify.