September 21, 2017 Foliage Report, click here.
September 14, 2017
Even if the calendar insists that Fall is still over a week away, in Vermont, it is certainly Fall. It's amazing how the leaves on the trees change from day to day. Whereas last week we saw only hints of color - perhaps a branch here or there - the change now seems to almost be taking place in front of our eyes. The cool fall days are the perfect time to take a hike through the woods, ride a bike along country roads, or take a scenic drive in your car. And while you are enjoying the magnificent color, take in everything else Vermont has to offer - quaint country inns, farm-to-table dining, country fairs and festivals, and down-home hospitality.
If you can't wait to see nature's magnificent display, head to our Autumn Photo Gallery for a glimpse into years past. And, remember – it’s never too early to plan a fall vacation. Fall is also Festival season in Vermont so there's lots to do while soaking in the beauty around you.
The "Current Conditions" map provides an approximate view of the current foliage color in Vermont, based on the reports we receive.
Foliage color generally starts to change in the higher, cooler areas of the Green Mountains, spreading down into the Lake Champlain Valley and Connecticut River Valley, and moving from north to south across the state. The exact timing of the color change varies from year to year, based on the weather.
The "Foliage Forecaster" map shows where and when the colors typically change in Vermont during a normal foliage season. Please note that this is only an approximation based on typical foliage color progression.
provided by Foliage-Vermont
The Vermont.com Foliage Reports are provided thanks to the Vermont Department of Tourism, and by volunteer members of our Leaf Squad from around the state. You can send us YOUR report with a photo of the location you are reporting from, and the date of when the photo was taken.
For more info on current conditions, call Vermont's Seasonal Hotline at (802)828-3239 ... and tell them Vermont.com sent you!
September 14, 2017
It's looking a lot like Fall on the UVM campus!
-- Emet Koffman, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Last week's cold snap accelerated the color changes at the Top of Vermont.
The Montgomery/Jay Peak area is an excellent region for viewing colors, since it boasts elevations ranging from 600 to 4,000 feet above sea level. As of Thursday, Sept. 14 colors are shifting rapidly at the highest elevation with the oranges and yellows most predominant, and random red maples adding splashes of red here and there. Currently the outlook is for colors to continue to improve at high elevations for the next week, with the lower elevations starting to catch up late next week.
Montgomery has been cited in the past week by both Yankee Magazine and Boston Globe as one of the best places in the country to view fall colors. This has led to increased leaf season bookings at lodgings such as the Phineas Swann Bed & Breakfast and other inns in the area, so those wishing to reserve a room to be their base of operations should do so quickly.
Area events coinciding with fall foliage in the next weeks including the Vermont Dog Festival in Berkshire Saturday, Sept. 16.
The summer sun is still blazing down in the afternoons, but the trees around the harbor have started to turn. Muted yellows and oranges are tinging the edges of the trees and a few are already shedding leaves to decorate the pathways throughout the property. The apple trees in the orchard are heavy with fruit, and as they shift from light green to bright red they'll add bursts of color against the evergreen backgrounds. Whether you're walking a wooded trail or taking in the view of the Adirondacks from a chair on the lawn, you'll see hints of Autumn wherever you look.
Across the mountains, there's a reddish hue that tells us things are changing. In town, hardwoods here and there bring pops of orange and red to street level. It's time to get excited! Before you come, explore our website for fun fall activities, upcoming events, and general foliage info. Hope to see you in Manchester!
A hint of the color to come on the Marlboro College campus.
-- Sarah Warner, Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
Every day we see a little more color as the end of summer nears and the beginning of fall approaches. Stratton Mountain will soon be a sea of vibrant colors. You won't want to miss Columbus Day Weekend at Stratton with scenic gondola rides, chili cook-off, brewfest, and free family fun including music by the Stratton Mountain Boys.
This is the view looking across "Woodford Lake." The reds are really beginning to show up among the green leaves. It won't be long before the yellows and oranges join in. This week's warm afternoons make it perfect for enjoying the outdoors while taking in the fall foliage.
-- Linda Warner, Vermont.com
While you're enjoying the fall foliage, plan to take in one of Vermont's many Fall Festivals. You'll find events that celebrate everything from the the Chester Fall Craft Festival (9/16-17) to the Colors of the Kingdom in St. Johnsbury (9/16) to the Peru Fair (9/23). For comprehensive listing, refer to our Fall Festivals page.
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
"Top 25 Foliage Towns in New England" - Yankee Magazine (2010):
Find more info about Fall Foliage in New England,
from photographer Jeff "Foliage" Folger.
from the Vermont Department of Tourism