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Fall foliage returns to Merrimack Valley

Trees in the Merrimack Valley area will experience  peak conditions for fall foliage from Oct. 18-23 and possibly later into the month as autumn unfolds in New Hampshire.

Observations taken from www.visitnh.gov’s Foliage Tracker on Oct. 18 projected peaks in fall foliage are on their way, with a 70% to 80% change in foliage in Merrimack Valley.

According to an New Hampshire Public Radio interview, “Ask Sam,” published earlier this summer, on June 13, the best foliage will be produced from “healthy trees, with sufficient water and nutrients combined with good weather but cold nights.” 

“Ask Sam” author Sam Evans Brown said “A good frost can help break down chlorophyll,” chlorophyll being “the pigment that makes leaves green.” Breakdown causes leaves to change to yellow, for example, and then on to brown in early winter.

Gary Winthorpe said his family had made plans to go outside to experience the change in seasons. “Yes, not me personally, but my parents just went last weekend. Leaf peeping, they called it.”

He added, “I’m not a big picture taker but my mom’s camera is filled with great photos.”

This year’s foliage “just looks beautiful,” said CHS sophomore Christopher Thornton, who said he probably would make plans to go see it.

“Fall makes you feel cozy inside, nice and warm; inside your house at least,” Winthorpe added.

Areas to visit to enjoy and experience fall in Merrimack Valley, according to the visitnh.gov Foliage Tracker, include Route 103, Route 101 Auburn, Bedford and Milford, and Route 114 from Bedford through and into Weare, according to the Foliage Tracker. Mine Falls Park in Nashua is also recommended as a “fantastic place to go explore.”

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