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Vermont Fall Foliage Reports


2014 Foliage Colors Start to Pop

September 16, 2014

The beautiful fall foliage colors that are so well known in Vermont are slowly starting to pop-up in pockets along the treetops throughout the state. Keep checking back here as we continue to gather information from our "Leaf Squad" to report foliage conditions throughout the state!

It's fair season too! Checkout the Vermont.com Calendar of Events to find craft fairs, agricultural fairs, food fairs, and local fairs of all types & sizes throughout the state. Don't see the fair you're looking for? Feel free to suggest an event so we can add it to our Calendar.

If you can't make it to Vermotn 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 early to plan a fall vacation in Vermont!

-- Vermont.com


Parts of our Vermont foliage reports are thanks to the US Forest Service, the Vermont Department of Tourism, and members of our Leaf Squad from around the state. If you'd like to help report the foliage conditions in your area, please contact us!

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.

For more info, call Vermont's Seasonal Hotline at (802)828-3239
...and tell them Vermont.com sent you!


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Foliage map on Vermont

For more info, call Vermont's Seasonal Hotline at (802)828-3239
...and tell them Vermont.com sent you!


REPORTS FROM AROUND THE STATE:

NORTHERN VERMONT:

September 19, 2014
Fall Foliage in the Shelburne Area "The earliest turning trees are ready for viewing, but the countryside mostly still is green and lush. The local recommendation: get off major highways, like Route 7, carry a map, and explore the backroads. Saturday mornings, find a wonderful market in Shelburne Green. Take Bostwick Road (half mile S of town down to Charlotte, past Shelburne Orchards. Stop in for cider donuts and cider, or apples. East of Route 7, Bostwick Roads becomes Marsett. Follow east to Thomas Road and Thomas south past the Vermont Zen Center. Stop in to see beautiful grounds just a mile south of Shelburne. The image is of our earliest-turning tree, off Bostwick Road on Shelburne Museum property near Route 7."

-- Michael Dabney, Shelburne, VT

September 17, 2014
Fall Foliage at Sterling Ridge Resort "The weather in the area has been fantastic. Loving the beautiful sunshine in the sfternoons. Colors are definitely starting to pop all around. Walking on the property's trail system or visiting Mt. Mansfield you can see the beauty of foliage. This upcoming weekend has plenty of fall activities: Boyden's Harvest Fest, Smuggs Fall Fest and Visions of Vermont exhibiting a new works showcase as well."

-- Jessica, Sterling Ridge Resort, Jeffersonville, VT

September 17, 2014
Fall Foliage in Stowe, Vermont "It's finally beginning to feel like fall in Stowe, Vermont! Lately the air has been nice and crisp in the mornings but gently warm up into the 60s during the day. The hills and mountains in the Stowe area are slowly starting to show come color. If viewed from afar, one can see hints of yellow and orange developing throughout; and while there are pops of oranges and reds here and there, the fall color show is still in its early stages.

In addition to autumn's beautiful color show, we have North America's largest British classic sports car and motorcycle event, The British Invasion (Sept 19-21), on Sept 28 there's The Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival and of course, the ever popular Stowe Oktoberfest (Oct 3-5)."

-- Thomas Thamm, Stowe Area Association, Stowe, VT

September 16, 2014
Fall in the Northeast Kingdom "The Northeast Kingdom is enjoying our first pops of color. Soon the region will be awash with shades of red, orange and yellow. In Vermont, the father north you go, the earlier you can enjoy the color. As such the Northeast Kingdom should be enjoying some significant color in the next couple of weeks. Whether you intend to visit for a week, a weekend or even just a day now is the time to start planning your foliage trip. Visit our website to explore a fantastic representation of lodging options, attractions, driving tours, cycling trips, regional events and more! Included in this report is a photo I took this week of the elk at pasture in Derby, Vermont. They are a 'not to be missed' attraction during your fall foliage tour in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom!"

-- Gloria Bruce, Northeast Kingdom Travel & Tourism Assoc., East Burke, VT

September 16, 2014
Fall Foliage in Montgomery, Vermont "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 9, 2014
Fall Foliage at Basin Harbor Club "The only colors we're seeing are our Adirondack chairs and giant chess pieces! Still enjoying leaves full of chlorophyll and green grass at Basin Harbor in Vergennes! We're still enjoying summer so come down for lunch or a night!"

-- Sadie Stone, Basin Harbor Club, Vergennes, VT

 

CENTRAL VERMONT:

September 1, 2014
Early Foliage in the Killington Area "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

 

SOUTHERN VERMONT:

September 16, 2014
Vermont Fall Foliage in Manchester, Vermont "We've had a lot of cool days lately in southern Vermont and the colors around the Manchester area have really started to pop. There are bright oranges and yellows all over town, but don't worry, there are still many places around southern Vermont where the leaves are mostly green with just a hint of fall color.

I still think the last week in September should be a great week for leaf peeping, but it will probably continue into the first or second week of October. Of course, it's always a good idea to contact your hotel or the local chamber of commerce to check on the local foliage conditions."

-- Renee-Marie Smith, Vermont.com, Manchester, VT

 


Dutton Berry Farm Stand in Manchester Vermont 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.

 


FOLIAGE TIPS:

Foliage in Vermont 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.
 


Vermont Fall Foliage Season
from the Vermont Department of Tourism








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