Leaves begin to change

By Katie Landeck

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Maria Uminski/Collegian

The University of Massachusetts campus is starting to look like a New England postcard with all the leave-color changes.

Ranked 14th out of 25, Amherst is on Yankee Magazine’s list for top foliage towns in New England. The 2010 article listed the town common, the Amherst College campus and the Norwottuck Rail Trail as must-see spots during peak season of foliage.

It’s not peak season, though.

Columbus Day weekend is usually peak foliage season in the Northeast, meaning that the long weekend is when the forests display their brightest, crispest hues.

But this year, the holiday fell a week earlier than usual, so the leaves in the southern part of New England are not quite at their season-best.

Massachusetts is currently ranked moderate for its foliage, according to Yankee’s foliage tracker.

Northern halves of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are in their peak season, with hickories and birches showing vibrant displays of yellow, according to the tracker.

Yankee predicts peak viewing will begin next weekend in western Massachusetts.

UMass senior Joey Costello said he appreciates the foliage just driving around the Pioneer Valley.

“I live in Orchard hill and like waking up and looking out my window over the mountain at all the colorful leaves,” he said.

Senior Guillaume Pagnier said he plans to get up early and go for a hike at sunrise next weekend.

While sophomore Julian Poplawski is not traveling to see better foliage this year, a few years ago he drove up to New Hampshire to see the leaves and attended a pumpkin festival.

Maria Uminski/Collegian

He believes that the season is important for small towns.

“It brings in money for tourism,” Poplawski said. “It’s a lot of business for small towns.”

Having grown up in the Springfield area, junior Colin O’Neil said he takes the foliage season for granted. He also said foliage is important to the New England tourism industry.

“I have friends in Colorado that talk about coming out here just to see the leaves change,” he said.

Katie Landeck can be reached at [email protected]. Steffi Porter can be reached at [email protected].