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Fall colors explode

You may be a long-time Nevada County resident or somebody visiting the area, but it’s the time of year when the scarlet reds, flaming ambers and chrome yellows in the foliage of trees could make you hold your breath in awe.

Some of the streets that are famous for fall colors in Nevada City include Nevada Street, South Pine Street, Zion Street and neighborhoods around North Pine Street and Main Street, said Cathy Whittlesey, executive manager of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.

In Grass Valley, Bennett Street, Neal Street, Brighton Street, Empire Street and the area around Memorial Park are renowned for fiery fall tinctures, Whittlesey said.



“The fall really brings the people out,” Whittlesey said. “I was here Saturday for five hours, and we had 72 people come in. The Saturday before, we had a similar number of visitors. I had people from Lodi, Sacramento, Davis and Vacaville.”

The influx of visitors brings business to local stores, restaurants and hotels, Whittlesey said.




Weekends are busy at the Northern Queen Inn in Nevada City, which has “brilliant oranges, yellows and reds” on its property, according to co-owner Robyn Adams.

“We have people come from the Sacramento area and down in the valley,” Adams said. “We also have people come from Reno and the high desert to see the colors.”

Most of the trees that burst with hues aren’t native to this area, Whittlesey said.

“When the 49ers came here from the east, they felt homesick for fall colors,” she said. “At that time, they shipped trees over here from the East Coast. That started the tradition of fall colors in our county.”

At the Northern Queen Inn, most of the regular and Japanese maples and white birches that change color were planted by the family that has owned the building since the mid-1970s, Adams said.

The fall colors are generating out-of-town media attention. The San Francisco Chronicle mentioned Nevada City in a story about fall colors in its Oct. 7 edition, and Sacramento-based television channel News10 also covered fall colors in Nevada County about the same time, Whittlesey said.

“We’ve been promoting fall colors for 20 years,” she said. “We get calls from people (from outside the county) all the time. They want to know the day when they want to come and see the colors. We usually recommend the last two weeks of October.”

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To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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