This post was originally published on the Tourism New Brunswick website.
Each September New Brunswick’s landscape goes into fall party mode. A riot of color celebrates the changing seasons and it’s pretty spectacular. If you’ve never seen it, imagine Mother Nature taking all the brightest yellows, oranges, and reds from a crayon box and going wild on the treetops, the sand dunes, the farmers’ fields... but leaving just enough evergreen to really make things pop.
If you’re planning to visit us this fall for a leaf-peeping trip, remember one thing: it’s all about timing.
Late September and early October tend to showcase the best colors, but the timing will vary by region. There’s a north/south variation, with the northern areas (Appalachian Mountains, upper Saint John River Valley, Miramichi region) producing color one to two weeks before the south (Bay of Fundy, lower Saint John River Valley, parts of the Acadian coast).
The color is also affected by variations in topography, and where specific trees grow along the landscape. For most of the year these differences are subtle, not even noticeable to most, but come fall it makes for a veritable ice cream sundae of color.
To see some serious fall foliage, follow these five scenic drives:
Appalachian Mountain Region
Colors will start to form in the mountainous Appalachian region earliest, around the second week of September. Colors also peak here first — usually around the last week of September. (Where to go)
Saint John River Valley
The brightest colors will emerge on the upper portion of the Saint John River valley not long after the Appalachian region. Peak colors typically occur around the first weekend of October. The southern river valley — closer to the Bay of Fundy — peaks a bit later. (Where to go)
Miramichi River Region
Similar to the upper Saint John River valley, colors begin to emerge in mid-September, with the brightest colors typically hitting early October. Note that the closer you get to the coast, the later the colors will peak. (Where to go)
This region offers a unique fall color experience due to the blanket of peat bogs on Miscou Island. Their scarlet color emerges early to mid-October and lasts through the month. The seagrasses and coastal flora on the rest of the drive will begin to turn golden in late September, getting continually darker into the fall. (Where to go)
Bay of Fundy
Pulling up the rear on fall color is the Bay of Fundy region. It shows color latest — peaking around Thanksgiving weekend — but it makes up for the late arrival with a gorgeous rainbow of color along the coast. (Where to go)
Make sure to check the Leaf-Peeping Map before your trip. Beginning in September, weekly updates will point you to where you can find the best fall colors around the province.