The first time I traveled to New England in the fall was 2012. We’d been wowed by colors and views and leaves for 24 hours when we arrived at a little visitor center to get more info on hikes. The woman behind the counter asked when we’d arrived and then said something like:
“Oh, you’ve just missed peak colors but you might find some good color still.”
When you don’t have annual experience with fall foliage like they get in the upper Midwest or New England, it can be hard to know both when to travel and what stage of the season you’re witnessing.
Should I come up this weekend? Next? Should we stick around a few days? Is it worth it?
Now, yes, you could get people to come any old time by saying that “the leaves are amazing right” and that’d be fine and good. But there are two things to consider within that approach.
First, you want to help people have the best experience possible. So it’s in your interest to get them to come when the leaves are at their peak.
Second, if they don’t come at peak, that’s not a bad thing. The bronze colors that follow peak leaf season in New England are still incredible and some resorts have embraced that. You’re not telling them it’s “the best”, but you are saying it’s still worth the trip.
To that end, Crystal Mountain uses a simple, transparent, but extremely effective “foliage meter” overlaid on current photographs of the mountain to accurately show both how the resort is looking today and where we are on this arc of fall color.
Fall Color Friday is here and so are the peak colors! Enjoy the season’s most brilliant hues and reserve your scenic chairlift ride in advance for the best views in Benzie County. #crystalmountainmi
— Crystal Mountain (@CrystalMountain) October 20, 2023
It’s a beautiful combination of the visuals that inspire folks to travel with a little bit of local-influenced transparency to help folks have an incredible time.
And it’s not the first year they’ve done this, though the meter has evolved a little.
A few trees have gotten the memo that fall is here, but many are still hanging onto their green hues. We imagine that will change in the next couple of weeks! #FallColorFriday #CrystalMountainMI pic.twitter.com/nKXedVGYTx
— Crystal Mountain (@CrystalMountain) September 24, 2021
Simple, effective, repeatable. Great combination, Crystal Mountain.
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