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Falling for Foliage

Many places to view leaves this season

October 11, 2009
By RODNEY MINOR, The Leader-Herald

There is still time for leaf peepers to get an eyeful of the multi-colored foliage in the local area.

According to the foliage report on the state Web site,, part of the central Adirondacks is just past peak viewing conditions. Most of the local area is still at or near peak viewing conditions.

Visitors to the Adirondacks will find "plenty of stunning fall hues remaining," the Web site said.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

A view of fall folliage on a hillside overlooking the Great Sacandaga Lake as seen from the Inn at the Bridge in Northville on Tuesday.

However, knowing where to go to get the best views can be as important as when leaf peepers head out.

Terry Swierzowski, the Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry's vice president and director of tourism and communications, said there are some terrific spots in the county where people can get a great view of fall foliage.

"Anywhere on the Great Sacandaga Lake," she said Tuesday. Travelers can take Route 30 up to the lake, she said, and will find many locations where they can see both sides of the lake and foliage.

Swierzowski had some other suggested venues for leaf peeping, including:

Driving down County Highway 110, from Northampton into Broadalbin. The winding road provides a good look at the foliage, she said, not too mention the tree limbs that hang over the highway.

Leaf peepers can take Route 10 through the Canada Lake area.

"The reflection of the leaves in the water is very beautiful," Swierzowski said.

A trip to a golf course also offers a chance to get a look at the fall foliage. Hales Mills Country Club in Johnstown can offer a noteworthy view, she said.

Swierzowski said due to the weather, this season should offer particularly beautiful foliage.

"The colors here cannot be seen in many other places," she said.

The Northeast has a wide variety of broad-leaved trees, which provides for a more colorful display in the fall, the state Web site said. The state has almost as many acres of those trees as the rest of the Northeast combined.

According to the state Web site, foliage spotters in Speculator and Lake Pleasant expect "hushed tones of orange and reds covering the landscape."

In addition to any leaf peeping, there are a number of activities planned this weekend to go along with Columbus Day Monday, Lisa Turner said.

Turner, the director of the Adirondacks Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce, said it is normal for people to do more than just look at leaves when they visit. Hiking is a popular activity, she said, and many leaf peepers will stop and visit local shops in areas they pass through.

For people traveling to Hamilton County from the south, Turner said, Route 30 may be the best way to go to get a look at good foliage.

"There are lots of little shops they can stop in and visit along the way," she said.

Turner said while tourism goes down in the fall compared to the summer and winter, it is still important to the local economy.

"It's definitely important for the time of year," she said.

Swierzowski said businesses, particularly restaurants, do see an uptick in business from leaf peepers. Those customers tend to be older, and generally are not going to be staying overnight at a business.

Gina DaBiere-Gibbs said that leaf peepers heading up to the Adirondacks can start in Fonda, an end of the 188-mile Adirondack Trail Scenic Byway. Foliage fans can follow the byway up to Malone in Franklin County.

While Montgomery County may not have reached peak conditions for leaf peeping just yet, it is getting close.

DaBiere-Gibbs, the tourism director at the Montgomery?County?Chamber of Commerce, said there are a number of farms and orchards in the county that would allow for a great view of the colorful leaves. One specific location that makes for great leaf peeping is the Auriesville Shrine, she said.

"It allows for a great view of the valley," she said.

Pat Barrot, the site manager at Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction, said leaf peepers do stop by to enjoy the views at the location.

"We are right on the [Mohawk] River, so people can see the trees on both sides," she said.

People will be able to get good views Saturday when boat tours will be held at the site, as part of its involvement with Schenectady County's Farm & Foliage Day.

Barrot said in addition to scarecrow making, pumpkin painting and other activities, some people will definitely stop by to enjoy the view.

"It's really nice to be here at this time of year, with the leaves turning all sorts of colors," she said.



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