ALBANY -- Fall foliage season has begun in New York, and the state is keeping track of the progress.
Each week the I LOVE NY fall foliage report will be updated, charting the color conditions of leaves found around the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Friday.
To view the weekly foliage report, color progress map and suggested events and places, visit the I Love New York website www.iloveny.com/foliage.
Reports are can also be found by dialing 800/CALL-NYS (800/225-5697).
Along with the changing leaves, fall foliage season is expected to bring more business to New York.
From September through November of last year, more than $26.5 billion was brought in throughout the state through fall tourism, according to Cuomo’s office.
“New York is home to some of the most spectacular foliage and natural beauty in the country, making it one of the nation’s top destinations to visit in autumn,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Visitors can participate in the state's Foliage Photo of the Week campaign by sharing their photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #NYLovesFall.
Each week, one post with the hashtag and the location geotag will be selected and shared among all of the I Love New York social media pages.
The campaign will run until early November, when the foliage season ends.
Volunteers are also being sought to serve as "Leaf Peepers" to track the foliage in their area.
To volunteer, email name, address and phone number to email@example.com.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is also encouraging hikers to take in the foliage, but to do so at often-overlooked trails in the Adirondacks -- and to properly prepare.
“Autumn is a great time to enjoy the Adirondacks,” DEC commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.
“As more people continue to enjoy the incredible outdoor excursions offered throughout the Adirondack Park, we encourage visitors to explore the hundreds of lesser known trails that offer the same high quality natural experiences as the more popular trails, and to be prepared to safely enjoy the park’s changing conditions.”
The DEC said trails in the eastern High Peaks to the Dix Mountains and to Giant Mountain can get crowded this time of year.
They offered a dozen alternative trails for those "who want to have a hiking experience similar to a High Peaks hike, including great scenic views, with much fewer people."
To find the list of alternative sites, visit:http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9163.html
And for hiking safety tips, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28708.html.