The 2016 Foliage Season has come to an end. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
The Vermont.com foliage reports are first-hand reports provided by various "Leaf Peepers" around the state. If you'd like to be on next year's Leaf Squad to help report the foliage conditions in your area of Vermont, please contact us.
If you couldn't make it to Vermont this fall, you can still find some gorgeous fall scenery in our Autumn Photo Gallery, thanks to local photographers and visitors to Vermont. But truly, you've got tocbe here to fully enjoy the leaves. And remember, it's never too early to plan your next fall vacation!
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.
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!
"It's about done up here. Leaves are falling and we had snow on Sunday!"
"We are just past peak this week, last week however we were at peak and it was stunning! Last week's weather was cool and felt more like fall. This week has started out rainy and warm, we are back to the 50's & 60's! The colors are still beautiful but leaves are starting to fall. I would say the colors will be here for another week or so.
Upcoming Events include: Harvest Festival in Waterford, Annual Vermont Vaudeville in Hardwick, and the Circumburke Challenge in Burke."
"In and around Killington, fall colors are on the wane. Late changing maples are just starting to turn red, but the forest canopy in the Killington basin area is dominated by the yellows and gold of birch and poplar trees. Oaks are also showing some rusty orange. While there are still splotches of green on some of the trees, many trees have started to drop their leaves. In the Killington Basin area, this weekend will probably be it before a good wind turns the area towards twig season.
In the Route 4 and Route 100 corridors around Killington, excellent color was still on display in the Sherburne Flats area. Color at lower elevations, below 2000 feet, probably will last into next week around Killington once you get off of the mountain proper.
Overall, the season has been dominated by good color. The season seems to be running 5 to 7 days later than usual. I will leave the cause of that to the experts. But it should give visitors to Central Vermont one more weekend of scenic views before snow season sets in."
"So ... Foliage is just winding down, but it is still so lovely here in Grafton. There are still golds and ambers hanging on, and the weather has been beautiful! We have Halloween coming, a 'disco Party' Oct.28th, Thanksgiving (still dinner reservations available!) and Holiday decorating. No rest for the weary! Check our web site for all of our snow activities ... they'll be here before you know it! See you in Grafton soon!"
"The last Hurrah for 2016 fall foliage has come and gone. After such a dry summer, I have to say that the foliage in southern Vermont was pretty spectacular and it was definitely one of the longest seasons I've ever experienced with color from the middle of September right through October 22nd! It's now officially "stick" season and there is nary a leaf on a tree. We've even see our first snowfall and Bromley and Stratton are still dusted with a coating of snow. We are looking forward to an old fashioned, snowy winter for 2016/2017!"
Yesterday, I took Route 11 from Londonderry to Springfield, and the colors were still absolutely gorgeous in many locations along the way. The area around the Connecticut River looks like it has hit it's peak and there are only a few bare trees. I think it's definitely still worth the trip if you're planning to visit Vermont to see the colors this weekend, but this may be the last weekend to see some great color."
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):
Find more info about Fall Foliage in New England,
from photographer Jeff "Foliage" Folger.
Vermont Department of Tourism