Connecticut Fall Foliage Report Last Updated: October 2020
Connecticut’s fall foliage season is always stunning! The State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) interactive fall foliage report map is now available. It forecasts the progression of color across our corner of New England. According to current estimates, peak foliage arrives in the northeast and northwest corners of the state around Columbus Day and extends to the lower Connecticut River Valley and shoreline through early November.
Magnificent foliage season predicted for Connecticut
State foresters say this year's Connecticut's foliage season is filled with vibrant colors. Better yet, Connecticut’s foliage season typically runs longer compared to northern New England states, offering travelers even more opportunities to see and experience the autumn beauty.
According to Christopher Martin, Director/State Forester, Division of Forestry, Bureau of Natural Resources, DEEP, “This Fall’s foliar display will likely be impacted by current drought conditions, but not necessarily for the bad. While some might conclude fall colors could be drab, previous observations during drought years prove otherwise. Earlier and longer lasting colors is what we can expect in 2020. Dry conditions will cause trees to start their annual fall/winter shut down during September and will be especially noticeable on thin soil ledgy areas. Also, the maples, birches, hickories, and yellow poplar will lead the color parade with oaks and beeches waiting later to October. In a normal or wetter year, the trees tend to change color together however this year with the stresses brought on by drought individual tree characteristics will be more prominent and longer lasting."
Peak foliage timeframes
The leaves will change in the northern parts of the state first, around Columbus Day, and then move down into the valleys and down toward the shore. Here are estimated peak foliage timeframes for each section:
- Connecticut Northwest/Northeast Corners: October 3 – 8
- Connecticut Eastern and Western Mid-State Counties: October 16 - 23
- Shoreline and lower Connecticut River Valley: October 24 - November 6
- Southwest Corner: November 7 - 14
A little known fact is that the Connecticut River, starting at the mouth of Long Island Sound (between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme) and going up toward East Haddam, will hold the foliage the longest – into the first week or so of November. If you're leaf peeping later in the season, the southern parts of the state such as Fairfield county are the place to look.
The diverse range of destinations and attractions across the state provide hundreds of interesting and unique vantages from which to view the gorgeous foliage. From Mystic Seaport Museum’s harbor to a farm in the quiet countryside, from the top of Gillette Castle to the middle of a classic Connecticut corn maze, fall in Connecticut is not to be missed.