The 2017 foliage season is definitely winding down. The weather is more appropriate to the season with a little frost overnight in some areas. The clear, cool fall weather is perfect for a walk along country roads or a stop for a cup of hot cider. Although the trees may have lost their leaves, they are now lying under foot as a beautiful multi-colored carpet. Vermont still has much to offer the visitor in this season before the snow flies. Take a bike ride, pick some apples or pumpkins, maybe get the family together for a hay ride, and so much more.
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!
The view from our Adirondack chairs is still shifting away from the greens of summer as we cling to the 70° weather. A few trees are blazing through orange phases while others have already succumbed to the deep reds and browns of fall. You can still enjoy the rainbow of color driving through Vermont on a clear day, with blue skies and green grass playing up the yellows of harvested fields and variations of russet along the roads.
We are having BEAUTIFUL weather, and the leaves have risen to the challenge! The shops in Grafton are happy for the visitors, and we at the Inn are enjoying wonderful evenings in the Pub and Formal Dining room. Take it all in everyone!!
Although there is still some color to be viewed from "the Hill," it has gone past peak in the last week. Still, the weather is beautiful and it's perfect for a walk outdoors.
-- Sarah Warner, Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
Here at southern Vermont's tallest peak, the brilliant fall foliage is certainly a sight to see if you have not already. We're not sure how long it will take for the leaves to all fall off, so we'd recommend a trip here for a nice hike to witness the beautiful colors before they go away. We won't be too bummed when that happens though, because that means it won't be long until we start seeing snowflakes fall from the sky!
Up on top of the mountain, we are definitely past peak. However, as we drive down the mountain toward Bennington, we notice there are still plenty of colors on view at lower elevations. A trip to Brattleboro over the weekend showed foliage still not past peak in some parts of southeastern Vermont also.
-- Linda Warner, Vermont.com
The color has peaked in southern Vermont and the scenery is brilliant! Cozy up with a good book and glass of wine by your in-room fireplaces at the Manchester View. Now that the evenings are getting colder, we're starting to get reservations for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, but we still have availability throughout the rest of the month of October and beginning of November. And don't miss the local Pumpkin Patch at the Equinox Nursery; it's still full of pumpkins for Halloween decorating and pie making!
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 arts and crafts (Essex Fall Craft and Fine Art Show - 10/27-29) to Halloween fun for the whole family (A Family Halloween at Billings Farm - 10/29). 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