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FALL FOLIAGE HOTLINES

Foliage season begins in early September for northern climes and sweeps steadily south through October. Factors such as exposure to sun, soil conditions, elevation and especially the weather determine when trees will reach their peak autumnal colors - usually around mid-October in New England, a week or two later in Virginia.

Already in service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Fall Color Hotline provides updates and viewing routes all over the country: (800) 354-4595. For tips on vantage points in other areas and peak viewing days:Connecticut: (203) 566-5348

Delaware: (800) 441-8846

Maine: (800) 533-9595

Maryland: (800) 532-8371 (Sept. 15)

Massachusetts: (800) 632-8038 (Sept. 18)

New Hampshire: (800) 258-3608

New York: (800) 225-5697

Rhode Island: (800) 556-2484

Vermont: (802) 828-3239

Virginia: (804) 786-4484

Virginia Shenandoah: (703) 999-2266 (Oct. 1.)