Vermont Fall Foliage Reports
2014 Foliage Season is Slowly Coming to an End
October 22, 2014
"With warm, sunny days and brilliant color, we’ve had a spectacular season. At this point, much of the state is considered past peak, but there are still a few pockets of color to discover in the southern reaches of the Connecticut River Valley. Look for the last reds and golds on Route 9 near Brattleboro, and Route 5 near Guilford.
Beyond leaf peeping, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Vermont’s mountains, meadows and villages. Late October sees the emergence of pumpkin people on street corners, porches, and country lanes. Upcoming events include a murder mystery weekend in Montgomery October 24 through 26, and several spooky celebrations October 30 and 31."
Check below for first-hand reports from our Leaf Squad, reporting current foliage conditions throughout Vermont. If you'd like to report the foliage conditions in your area, please contact us!
Looking for fun things to do in Vermont? Check the Vermont.com Calendar of Events to find fun activities throughout the state. Don't see your event? Feel free to suggest an event so we can add it to our Calendar.
If you can't make it to Vermont this year, you can find some gorgeous Fall scenery in our Autumn Photo Gallery, thanks to local photographers and visitors to Vermont. But truly, you've got to be here to fully enjoy the leaves. And remember, it's never too late to plan a fall vacation in Vermont!
Color changes generally spread from the higher, cooler areas of the Green Mountains down into the Lake Champlain Valley and Connecticut River Valley (moving from north to south across Vermont). The map to the right is not to scale for foliage color, but provides an approximate view of the current foliage color in Vermont.
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REPORTS FROM AROUND THE STATE:
October 21, 2014
"There's ample color left in Shelburne. At Route 7 and Bostwick Road, turn toward Lake Champlain. Down Bostwick about a mile, turn left onto Wake Robin Drive. Follow it to the end, and on the return drive turn down into Colman Drive (Community Center). On Wake Robin Drive are many maples with multiple colorations. The Shelburne community decorates yards with costumed scarecrows, a fun view for Halloween. Wind and rain will down some of our maple leaves but there should be wonderful color through the upcoming weekend, maybe until month's end.
On Colman Drive are numerous oaks, mostly brown. Beech and birch are providing vibrant yellows."
-- Michael Dabney, Shelburne, VT
October 15, 2014
"The Stowe area has entered the late-fall season with warm temperatures and an abundance of lingering color. This has been the longest fall season in recent memory! The hills and mountains are still holding onto their leaves, providing beautiful fall vistas everywhere you look. If you've thought about visiting Stowe this season but were afraid the trees were bare, we can assure you that there is still lots of beautiful foliage to be seen.
October 19-25 is Restaurant Week in Stowe! Find out why Stowe was voted #1 by Fodor's Travel as the "Best Ski Town for Foodies" [on our website]."
-- Thomas Thamm, Stowe Area Association, Stowe, VT
October 14, 2014
"In Vermont's Northeast Kingdom you will find some color still on the trees, and also some on the ground. This is a great time for a walk in the woods or a hike in the mountains. The crunch of the leaves underfoot is calming, and the colors of the leaves paint, not only the trees, but also the forest floor. The picture offered here was taken on October 14th during one of my walks in the woods.
Please know that there are many events still to come in the week and weekend ahead. We invite you to visit the regional tourism website to learn more. While you are here, be sure to keep your eyes open for the beautiful tamarack trees which are also turning a brilliant yellow this time of year!"
-- Gloria Bruce, Northeast Kingdom Travel & Tourism Assoc., East Burke, VT
October 14, 2014
"Still bountiful and beautiful at Basin Harbor!"
-- Sadie Stone, Basin Harbor Club, Vergennes, VT
October 10, 2014
""Stick Season" is not upon us yet! Still can catch glimpses of color in Northern Vermont. Columbus Day Weekend has brought many visitors for a beautiful Vermont weekend."
-- Jessica, Sterling Ridge Resort, Jeffersonville, VT
September 16, 2014
"While initial projections suggested an earlier than normal peak color season, the cooler temperatures and rains from earlier in the week seemed to have slowed the color change at the top of Vermont.
There are the occasional outliers, and about 5% of the tree cover is showing browns, reds and oranges, but it appears that the traditional last 10 days of September and first 10 days of October will be the peak color window for the area around Jay Peak and Montgomery.
A quick hike Tuesday on the Long Trail south of Hazens Notch to Devils Gulch showed that trees are still holding onto their greens this week. The temperatures make outdoor activities during the day ideal, and hiking and biking is in full force in the area.
Montgomery Center hosts its Arts for the Parks charity auction on Saturday, Sept. 20, and St. Albans will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's northernmost action, the St. Albans Raid of 1864 all weekend.
Photos from the Long Trail near Devil's Gulch, an excellent 5 mile hike for visitors."
-- Darren Drevik, Owner, Phineas Swann Bed & Breakfast Inn, Montgomery Center, VT
September 1, 2014
"These two young maples have decided to get things rolling for the season.
We are feeling chilly temperatures off and on up on our mountain and have had to hold back on making a fire on some nights. Autumn is certainly here. I see this years hay sculptures are being constructed around Killington and Mendon. This years sculptures are sure to please the leaf peeping masses. My favorite so far is the porcupine at the Sherburne Pass."
-- Amanda Young, Killington, VT
October 25, 2014
"There isn't much color left in Southern Vermont, but there are some trees that have held onto their leaves. So with all adieu to fall 2014 we can be prepared for Winter, there are still activities you can be a part of if you can find them. If you want to see more colors head down into North Adams, Mass or Greenfield, Mass they have entered their peek. Upon exit please stop by the Readsboro Inn for dinner, or a beer, and live music entertainment. Stay at the Readsboro Inn a night and head on over for breakfast at Always Emma's.
This year was a good year for color in Southern Vermont, upon fall exit comes stick season and then for all those who enjoy winter lets hope for a good year for our ski resorts."
-- Justin Gamache, Readsboro, VT
October 21, 2014
"I was really impressed with the amount of color remaining on the hilltops in Southern Vermont over the weekend. I took a drive from Manchester to Rutland on Route 7 Saturday, and the hills were shining with golden leaves. In contrast, driving along Route 11/30 between Londonderry and Manchester, going past Bromley Mountain, has very little color remaining.
We're very near the end of the foliage season and starting to head into stick season. It's a great time to take a hike to see all the colorful leaves on the ground, or drive thru the mountains and stop at a scenic overlook to view the the last color in the valleys."
-- Renee-Marie Smith, Vermont.com, Manchester, 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
"Top 25 Foliage Towns in New England," - Yankee Magazine (2010) :
#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.
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