Vermont Fall Foliage Reports
2012 Foliage Season: Remaining Pockets of Color are in the South
October 23, 2012
"This is the final report of the 2012 Foliage Season, 10/23/12. We sincerely hope you enjoyed this gorgeous time of year in Vermont. For best regions to view the remaining glow of foliage, please revew the notes from our dutiful late-season Foliage Reporters from southern Addison, Windsor and Rutland Counties"
If you didn't make it to Vermont this foliage season, you can still find some gorgeous Fall scenery in Vermont.com's Autumn Photo Gallery, thanks to local photographers and visitors to Vermont... But truly, you've got to be here to fully enjoy the leaves.
Checkout the Vermont.com Calendar of Events to find great events of all types throughout the state. Don't see the event you're looking for? Feel free to suggest an event so we can add it to our Calendar.
Parts of our updates have been thanks to the the Vermont Department of Tourism, Vermont State Foresters, and various "Leaf Peepers" around the state. You can find additional details by calling Vermont's Seasonal Hotline at (802)828-3239 ... and tell them Vermont.com sent you!
SPONSORED BY ...
REPORTS FROM AROUND THE STATE:
October 24, 2012
"Color is still very much in Shelburne, few huge red maples but lots of gold, chestnut, yellow, browns, and some deciduous trees still green. Wind and rain will take off many leaves, but this weekend (October 24-25-26) should still be excellent if you poke around back roads."
"There is very rich color on the campus of Wake Robin Continuing Care Community, just off Bostwick Rd in Shelburne ... try taking Wake Robin Drive to the end, and visiting the beautifully-landscaped Community Center on Colman Drive. The campus is marked 'private' but visitors are welcomed.
A mile closer to Lake Champlain from Wake Robin is Shelburne Orchards. Pick your own apples, many varieties."
-- Michael Dabney, Shelburne, VT
October 17, 2012
"The fall colors around Stowe are changing from bright oranges and reds to more mature, but still colorful umbers, purples and dark oranges. Though 'stick season' is fast approaching, many trees are still stubbornly holding onto their leaves, creating an especially beautiful late fall color show."
-- Thomas Thamm, Stowe Area Association, Stowe, VT
October 23, 2012
Tom Olson, New England Maple Museum (a 30 mile radius from Rutland):
"On this date in past years, we have pretty much bid farewell to the leaf peaking season, even in our neck of the woods. Except for scattered areas of late color, Halloween was the last vestige of autumn. This year is the exception. Still surprisingly, bright with great contrast and color variation, not at all washed out and dull as one would expect. As I drove through our region Saturday, I was happy to see plenty of color. Despite a light frost along with the wind and rain, leave drop was minimal as they still seem to be anchored well to their branches.
The best display of remaining colors are found in the rolling hills and hollows of the Taconic Mountains (the mountain range west of Route 7 and east of the New York border/Lake Champlain). From Rupert and Dorset in the south to Bridport and Middlebury in the north, all east/west roads connecting Rt 7 and 22A are winners as the bright yellows of the late changing Sugar Maples are putting on quite a display beside the dark green meadows, golden corn fields and multicolored field and marsh grasses.
Olson’s Best bets are:
October 25, 2012
"We still have foliage here in Grafton! While many of the trees are in winter slumber, some are hanging on in fall splendor."
-- Melissa Gullotti, Director of Communications, Windham Foundation, The Grafton Inn, Grafton, VT
October 23, 2012
"I was plesantly surprised by all the color I saw along Route 7 over the weekend. Friday afternoon I drove north from Manchester to Rutland and there were some gorgeous views round the East Dorset and Danby areas. Sunday, I traveled south from Manchester to Bennington and there were many great views along the way. So, there are a few pockets of color hanging in there, but it won't be around for very long. Last year we had snow on the ground in Manchester about the last weekend of October!"
-- Renee-Marie Smith, Admin Asst & Graphic Design, Vermont.com Calendar of Events, Manchester Center, VT
October 23, 2012
Southern Vermont, Windsor County Forester: Jon Bouton:
"It looks like fall color is going to be strung out this year. Many of the colorful species that cover the foothills and Green Mountains have shed their leaves, covering the ground. Along the warmer Connecticut River Valley, however, the red oaks are still on the red side of green. They will be colorful for the next couple weeks as the green chlorophyl fades and the reds that have been masked all summer are exposed. Our American beech have yellow outer leaves, while the inner, less exposed leaves are still deep green. Nice time of year!"
-- Vermont Department of Tourism
October 16, 2012
"Yesterday afternoon, I was driving south on Route 7 from Manchester to Bennington in a light rain. I make this drive about once a week. The foliage was the best I've seen all season. All the tree were still covered with leaves and the rain made the colors really stand out. So, yes, there are still some colors to be seen ... but not for long."
-- Sandra Marsh-Koffman, Account Manager, Vermont.com, Manchester Center, VT
A great place to stop while you're Leaf Peeping in Southern Vermont, is the Dutton Berry Farm Stands. Well known for their Vermont grown produce including farmer-grown fruits and vegetables, cider, maple syrup, plants, and other unique local products, the Dutton Berry Farmstands offer a cornucopia of great-tasting Vermont produce and products. Located on Route 11/30 in Manchester, Route 30 in Newfane, and Route 9 in West Brattleboro.
Best Bets: During the earliest part of foliage season, viewing is more about elevation than location. Your best chances for spotting color are to 'get high' or 'get low.' Higher elevations with panoramic views will allow you to spot smatterings of color in the valleys below. Alternatively, you can 'get low' - marshy areas near bodies of water typically offer the first areas of foliage change and also offer a wide variety of tree species which enlarges the palette of early season colors.
Helpful Tip: Plan Ahead!
Foliage season is a very popular time to visit Vermont, so if you want to stay in a particular place on a particular weekend, call in advance to make sure rooms are available. Having your lodging plans made in advance will avoid unnecessary stress and allow you to enjoy your foliage season odyssey. Also too, it is a good idea to make dining reservations as early as possible in the day or even the night before.
When To Come For 'Peak' Foliage:
There is no one 'perfect' time to visit Vermont to see peak foliage. Color change begins in mid-September and runs through the first two to three weeks in October and varies by elevation, progressing from north to south and higher to lower elevations during the course of the season. As such, there are many 'peaks' so that you can make your plans based on the timing and location that works for you.
Science Behind the Leaves Changing Colors:
During the short summer months, broad-leafed trees such as maples, oaks and birches produce food to nourish themselves for growth. They do this through a process known as photosynthesis, using the energy of the sun to produce food. As the days grow shorter in early fall, the increasing periods of darkness trigger leafy plants to slow down photosynthesis and stop growing. A pigment in the leaves called chlorophyll (which gives leaves their green color) is used in photosynthesis, so the slowing of this process means there is less green pigment. But leaves contain pigments other than green, called carotenoids and anthocyanins. Once the greens fade, carotenoids are revealed (yellow, orange, and brown colors), anthocyanins and are produced (red and purple colors).
Certain colors are characteristic of particular plant species. Red maples live up to their name by turning scarlet, while most sugar maples glow a warm orange. Aspen and birches display sunny yellows, while oak and beech leaves turn bronze and gold. Most of Vermont's fall foliage color is provided by red and sugar maples, two resilient tree species that constitute more than 50 percent of our forest's trees. You can find even more details on leaves and their changing colors, courtesy of the US Forest Service: Why Leaves Change Colors
In 2010, Yankee Magazine, listed several Vermont towns in their slideshow of " Top 25 Foliage Towns in New England," including:
#3: Manchester, VT
#5: Middlebury, VT
#6: Waitsfield, VT (tied w/ 1 other town)
#10: Woodstock, VT (tied w/ 3 other towns)
#11: Grafton, VT (tied w/ 2 other towns)
#13: Jeffersonville, Montgomery, & Stowe, VT (tied w/ 2 other towns).
Find more info about Fall Foliage in New England, from photographer Jeff "Foliage" Folger.
from the Vermont Department of Tourism
Southern VT Sampler Tour
Experience Manchester & the Mountains this summer!
Backroad Discovery Tours
Stay & Play Golf Packages
Fantastic savings on Golf, lodging & our finest restaurants!
Okemo Mountain Resort
* Golf Guide
* Vermont Weather
* Cities, Towns & Regions
* Calendar of Events
* Vermont Photo Gallery
* Vermont Webcam Gallery
* eDeals Signup