New England in Spring

Old May 22nd, 2002, 07:02 AM
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New England in Spring

We were thinking of flying into NYC in the fall, then driving up along the coast through Connecticut, RI, Boston, to Portland, Maine and flying back (to Atlanta) from there. I know how beautiful New England is in the fall and wanted to take my mother. But her first question was "will it be cold?" She's 72, and hates cold weather. Is it just as nice to travel New England in the spring? Are there alot of blooming plants, flowers and trees? What time of the spring is best when it won't be "too cold"? I thought maybe around April or May next year.

Old May 22nd, 2002, 07:08 AM
Paul Revere
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Spring is New England is an oxymoron. People say that it is the two weeks between ice-skating and swimming, but that's an exaggeration (it's more like a week). We don't have the flowering trees and shrubs that you have in Atlanta, we have black flies in May and June, and we had 2" of snow in southern New Hampshire last Saturday. That said, New Englanders do love and appreciate spring when it comes. I think your mom would be happier in the fall. It will be cool in the evenings and warm during the day (depending on when you come and where exactly you go), and the fall foliage truly is spectacular.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 07:13 AM
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I live in Boston.

Weather is tough to predict in April/May. This year in April & May we had 5 or 6 straight days in the high 70's and 80's, then a few days later hail & rain with temps in the 40's for several days.

A few years back, we had a blizzard on April 1 after several great spring days in March.

Although April/May are unpredictable it beats the humidity of July & August.

I guess the best advice is layers and maybe try later in May or June.

There are lots of flowers and trees blooming beginning mid to late April.

It is black fly/mud season in NH and Maine in April/May and the early part of June, but as long as you are not planning trips to the back woods you should be okay.

Old May 22nd, 2002, 07:23 AM
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Thanks for the quick responses. According to your posts, I think I'll stick to the fall, probably October!
Old May 22nd, 2002, 07:31 AM
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Driving is not necessarily a treat up here no matter spring or fall, summer is the worst. We can get around the tie-ups on I-95, but you may want to avoid that type of route. Consider flying into White Plains or Hartford. Once you get north of Boston, I-95 settles down. Smaller parkways are not as crowded in CT and NY (still crowded) and are worth the extra driving effort as they are scenic, but require good driving skills. As far as the weather is concerned, anything can happen. There is no better place to visit, spring or fall! You will miss the blooms, but June might be a better option. happy planning...
Old May 22nd, 2002, 08:27 AM
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I have a question about the black flies I hear about periodically on this board. I grew up in the Berkshires and I'm clueless as to what black flies are. Are they confined to certain locales at certain times, and if so where and when? What do they do that is so annoying, other than being a they bite?

By the way...I agree spring is too iffy, and fall far more predictable for sunny blue skies and decent temps. One of my friends did the Avon 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk from Fitchburg to Boston last weekend and it snowed on them Saturday! There were 1000 walkers treated at aid stations for hypothermia and about a 100 actually went to the hospital. My friend and two others from here in sunny broiling FL were fine, because they had expected the weather to be cool to them anyway, and had brought the clothes for it.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 08:44 AM
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Yes, black flies bite, yes they have a specific season, and yes they only appear in specific areas, mostly northern woodsy ones. Here's a map, updated weekly, that shows where they are in Maine.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 08:47 AM
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Olive: I grew up in and outside of Boston and never heard of black flies until I moved to NH in 1976. They now are on the north and south shores of Mass. and probably other locales as well. They seem to be moving south with every passing year.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 08:48 AM
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I would go Mid-late September instead of October because the farther north you go the quicker the foliage disappears. Would think you'd be better than and less chance of brisker weather.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 08:52 AM
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Yes, stick with the fall. And I'd further suggest that you start your trip during the last week in September, no later than October 2nd. That time is a tad early for foliage in southern part of New England (CT/RI/MA), but you will see the start of color when you head north thru New Hampshire & into Maine. That way you can be assured (well, NOTHING in NE is a definite on weather) -- MOST likely at that time, the weather will be pleasant and not too cold for your Mom.

Oh, and I went back to visit my Mom several years ago. I got STUCK there an extra day or two (?) during that Apr-1st blizzard. APRIL FOOL !!! A good reminder why I still don't live up there.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for the answer Audrey. So they are on the move like fire ants. That explains why I had never heard of them I guess.

One other note about fall weather--though more predictable than spring, it isn't foolproof either. I recall a trip back to the Berkshires to visit my parents in early October (I was always there by Oct 10, Dad's birthday, so it was no later than that) in 1987 and the day prior to my arrival, there had been a tremendous snowstorm. As the leaves were all still on the trees, the tree damage was horrendous--enitre old maples broken in half and so many tree limbs and trees downed that the city (Pittsfield) could not pick them overwhelmed their system. There were segments of town that looked as if they'd just seen a hurricane accompanied by snow, rather than rain.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 09:11 AM
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Not so sure about black flies' range increasing, as Audrey suspects. We had them quite severely in Acton (near Concord) in the early 70s. Here in Milton (immediately south of Boston) I've certainly never seen any.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 09:14 AM
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Spring is budding time in new england.The hardwood trees buds look like monet paintings.It is also neat to see the creep of spring as you head north.It should be lush in NY/CT in mid april and just a hint of spring in ME.Besides the roads won't be packed and you can have your pick of lodgings.
Old May 22nd, 2002, 09:16 AM
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Sorry, I should have added that this snow storm was a very unusual occurence for that time of year, even in the Berkshires, and even more of a rarity if you stick to the coastal route.

As an added thought, rule of thumb for peak color was *generally* Columbus Day Weekend for the Berkshires. Costal areas are behind that by quite a bit, and we've had a recent fall trip as far north as Boothbay Harbor and had the color beautiful there in late October. In short, the more coastal and southern the route, the later you should go. VT, NH turn earlier, with southern VT (the section I'm most familiar with), also reaching peak no later than the 2nd week in October on the norm.
Old May 23rd, 2002, 04:42 AM
Donna F
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Spring is my favorite time of the year but April is too early. Apple trees blossom around May 15 in the Concord NH area. Right now, as another poster said, the budding trees are like a Monet painting. It is very colorful but the colors are subdued. Mud season is in March so don't worry about that. The lilacs are beginning to bloom so I think mid-May would be a wonderful time to visit but temperature wise, June would be better. May can be in the 40s or the 80s. June gardens are at their best and you can get off season rates some places before July 1. If you really want to come in the Fall, I think October would be fine. Avoid the congested areas such a North Conway. If you don't have a good reason to fly into NYC, you might consider Providence or Manchester which have much smaller airports and less congestion/confusion.
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 06:33 AM
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