October 18, 2018


A Drone's-Eye View of a $3 Billion Fall Foliage Heaven: There's a lot of green in those red, yellow and orange leaves. (Sally Sorte, 10/18/18, Real Clear Life)
Money really does grow on trees.

Camera-toting tourists have been descending upon New England in droves for its iconic display of fall colors, even since the autumnal equinox in the Northeast. It's a rite of autumn.

While summer is still the frontrunner, Technicolor foliage fireworks in fall account for the second most important season for tourism in this part of the U.S. Leaf-peeping has been estimated to be a $3-plus billion industry for the six states of New England, with earnings growing each year. There's a lot of green in those red, yellow and orange leaves.

The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development projects 3 million out-of-state visitors this fall. The hotel and restaurant industry expects these visitors to translate into $1.4 billion in sales, or a 5 percent increase in spending year over year.

While many areas of the U.S. get their own version of leaf season - swaths of golden aspens in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and vibrant trails in Tennessee's Smokey Mountains - there is something quintessential about New England fall. Maple, oak, elm, pine, ash, beech, and birch trees marble that particular landscape to the delight of locals and visitors alike.

In addition to its forests' chromatic variety, New England offers an array of classic fall activities.  You can go apple picking, take a hayride, navigate a corn maze, enjoy a cider donut, frolic in a rainbow of crunchy leaves, and rev up for Halloween.

The delicious irony is that our foliage is so uniquely spectacular in no small part because we clear cut our forests when we settled here.

Posted by at October 18, 2018 3:54 PM