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Maine's fall foliage season off to a healthy start


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Maine's fall foliage season off to a healthy start

Maine's fall foliage season off to a healthy start

Maine's fall foliage season is shaping up to be a colorful one according to the nation's first foliage report released today by the state Department of Conservation.

"A perfect amount of summer rainfall has leaf bearing trees around the state in very good health, with full crowns and dark green foliage," said Department of Conservation Commissioner Patrick K. McGowan." Maine Forest Service rangers will track the changing leaf color for the next five weeks to help direct visitors to the best foliage spots in the state."

Currently, forest rangers are reporting very low leaf color, or less than 10 percent toward peak, in each of the state's seven foliage tracking zones. Leaf drop is also very low in all tracking zones. The northernmost towns of Aroostook County are showing the best early color along mountain tops and in valley watersheds.

Statewide foliage conditions will be updated every Wednesday through October 17, and posted on Maine's official fall foliage Web site. Starting September 13, visitors to the site will be able to chat live daily with a department of conservation official between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST. This year the site will also have video of foliage scenes from around the state.

The Maine Department of Transportation recently designated three new roads as scenic byways just in time for the fall touring season. They are:

* The Grindstone Scenic Byway on Routes 11 and 159 from Medway to the north gate of Baxter State Park in the northeast.

* The Seboomook Scenic Byway on Route 15 from Greenville to Jackman in the northwest.

* The Evans Notch Scenic Byway on Route 113 from Standish to Gilead in the western lakes and mountains region.

Maine has a total of 12 national and state-designated scenic roadways covering more than 500 miles along coastline, inland countryside, rivers and mountainous areas. With 17 million acres of forest, Maine has more land covered by trees than any state in the country. Fifty two native species of leaf bearing trees help display a fall color show that attracts visitors from around the world.

To provide the most accurate foliage information, DOC rangers will report conditions statewide every Wednesday through Oct. 19. Updated reports and information can also be obtained by calling the Maine foliage hotline at 1-888-MAINE-45. Learn more about Maine's fall touring routes and outdoor activities at www.visitmaine.com.



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Post Thu 13 Sep, 2007 8:08 am 
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