Fall foliage 2019

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Nov 10th, 2018, 03:57 AM
  #1
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Fall foliage 2019

At the completion of a cruise at the end of September 2019 in Montreal I intend to meander down, by road, to New York over a couple of weeks. I have not visited the area before and would welcome any suggestions regarding the best route to take to maximise my opportunity of seeing fall foliage. A visit to Niagara Falls would be a ‘must’. Thanks in anticipation.
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Nov 10th, 2018, 06:08 AM
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Since you want to see the Falls, at the completion of cruise in Montreal, fly to Toronto,
Are you flying home from Montreal?
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Nov 10th, 2018, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cdnyul View Post
Since you want to see the Falls, at the completion of cruise in Montreal, fly to Toronto,
It's hard to see the fall colors if you're flying over them....

Montreal to Toronto is a 5.5 hour drive, that's easy enough. You will need to research taking a rental car from Canada to the U.S. and verify what that entails.

I would suggest posting your question on the Canada forum as well as some local experts might miss it on this forum. They would know the best scenic drives on the Canadian side.
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Nov 11th, 2018, 02:58 AM
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We plan to fly out of New York to California at the end of our east coast adventure. We’re open to other suggestions though.
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Nov 11th, 2018, 03:06 AM
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Thanks for that.
Just thnking..... do the colours begin in the south? if they do it may be better to fly to New York and travel north to the Canadian border. That would solve the car hire issue I guess.
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Nov 11th, 2018, 06:49 AM
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Arriving in Montreal late September with several weeks to meander is perfect timing for fall foliage. Colors begin further north and progress south - I'd expect Montreal area to be 1-2 weeks ahead of NY City. I live in upstate NY, in Saratoga Springs and this year the best colors were from about Oct 4 to Oct 14. Some years it's a little earlier, and rarely does it last past then.
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Nov 11th, 2018, 06:59 AM
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You could rent a car for the drive from Montreal to Toronto (beautiful country), take the bus to Buffalo for another car pickup (to avoid country border issues; but a Montreal to Buffalo rental might be doable, much less problematic than a Montreal-NYC). After viewing the falls, go through the Finger Lakes (stunning) on your way to NYC (for example along L. Ontario to Rochester, then south and east).
A lot of history, beautiful little towns, scenery galore!
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Nov 11th, 2018, 07:33 AM
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Another option, along the same line of thought as sylvia, is to return your car in Niagara Falls, ON after viewing the Canadian falls , then cross the border and rent another car on the U.S. side and return that one in NYC. You would need to inquire about one-way drop fees, which are sometimes waived for international visitors.

And as J62 said, fall colors start in the north and work their way south. The colors also tend to be delayed a week or so along the coastline of large lakes, so there may be little color along Lake Ontario while there's some 15 miles or so inland.
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Nov 13th, 2018, 03:57 AM
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Thank you all. I’m enjoying tossing around all the information received.
I have had another thought..... I belong to Homelink, a house swapping website. What would be an ideal location that we could take day trips from? Having little knowledge of the area I’m not sure where to start.
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Nov 13th, 2018, 07:40 AM
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Take the Amtrak train from Montreal to Albany-Rensaleer and then rent a car. Go east through Vermont and New Hampshire and maybe Maine to see the leaves. It is hard to predict how early the first frost in an area may be which triggers the leaves to change color.
Return the car in Albany and take either the Amtrak Maple Leaf to Niagara Falls Ontario or one of the Empire Service trains to Buffalo (Depew). I see no need to rent a car in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area.
I'm guessing that the colors in New York State will be before peak in late September but northern VT and NH may be at peak by then.
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Nov 14th, 2018, 01:25 AM
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Thanks Tomfuller for those suggestions. It’s helping me ‘get a good picture’.
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Nov 14th, 2018, 08:39 AM
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Frost is the enemy of early color, not the trigger... it is the combination of reduced daylight and cooler temps of fall that cause the green pigmented chlorophyll to break down.
An early frost can prevent the bright colors (esp the reds of the Sugar Maples). A hard frost, at temps in the 20's can cause more leaves to suddenly drop - even green ones, as will a strong wind/rain storm. This can (and does) wipe out foliage literally overnight but that's rare.

Taking the train (or bus) from Montreal to Albany, on either Trailways or Greyhound is not a bad option to avoid cross border car rental. Or you could take the bus from Montreal to Burlington VT or maybe Plattsburg NY and accomplish the same thing & have time to meander through the northern parts of the area. I'd expect Burlington, VT would have more care rental options but can't be sure without digging. see https://webstore.trailways.com/
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Nov 14th, 2018, 09:02 AM
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I just want to reiterate - the Finger Lakes region of New York State is gorgeous anytime, but in fall it is spectacular. I went to college "up there" and to this day can picture the drive out to a rural area where I worked at a school -- and what a memory it is!! I can't comment on the logistics of getting across the border, but I do highly recommend driving Montreal-Toronto-Niagara (Canadian side)-Buffalo-Finger Lakes-New York as a route to take.
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Nov 14th, 2018, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Aussiefolk View Post
We plan to fly out of New York to California at the end of our east coast adventure. We’re open to other suggestions though.
If you end your east coast adventure at Niagara Falls, you could take the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited overnight from Buffalo to Chicago and fly to California from there.
Taking a train across the border avoids the cross border rental car issue.
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Nov 15th, 2018, 12:31 AM
  #15
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Wow!! Thanks for all the brilliant input. I’m gradually creating a picture of possibilities. I need to discuss all the ideas with my travel companion. She’s going to Scotland after our US leg.
Thanks again.
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