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2020 Foliage Season: Early Color Continues to Bloom

September 21, 2020

"The recent stretch of cooler weather has accelerated Vermont's foliage progression as the mountains and hillsides begin to turn red, yellow and orange. Thanks to chilly temperatures over the past few days, the display of bright color is spreading nicely in the higher elevations and in some of the valleys. Keep checking here as we gather information from our "Leaf Squad" to report foliage conditions throughout the state.

Reports are typically updated weekly, on THURSDAYS.

Between reports, you can find some gorgeous Vermont 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!"

-- Vermont.com


The "Current Conditions" map is approximate, based on the reports we receive.

Foliage color generally starts to change in the higher, cooler areas, spreading down into the valleys, and moving from north to south across the state.

'Peak' colors can be found at many different times & places as the season progresses, and the timing varies from year to year, based on the weather.

Current Conditions:

Vermont Foliage Map

Beyond leaf peeping, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Vermont’s mountains, meadows and villages during the fall. Discover Vermont Fall Festivals and other fun things to do in Vermont with our Vermont.com Calendar of Events. Don't see your event? Feel free to suggest an event so we can add it to our Calendar.

COVID-19 REMINDER

Masks are mandatory in public places effective 8/1/20. #MasksOnVT

If you're planning to attend an event in Vermont, please check directly with the event to see if it has been rescheduled.

 


FOLIAGE REPORTS FROM AROUND THE STATE

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. To submit a report for your area, please send it to Foliage@Vermont.com, along with a photo of the location you are reporting from, and the date when the photo was taken.

To view past Foliage Reports, visit the Vermont.com Blog.

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


Northern Vermont Map    Central Vermont Map    Southern Vermont Map


NORTHERN VERMONT:

 
September 16, 2020 in Stowe, VT
Vermont Fall Foliage at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa

"The trees on property are just starting to pop with color!"

-- Courtney Dall'olmo, Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa

 
September 16, 2020 in Shelburne, VT
Vermont Fall Foliage at Willow Pond Farm Bed & Breakfast

"Yellows beginning to show their stuff at Willow Pond!"

-- Bettina Stark, Willow Pond Farm Bed & Breakfast

 

CENTRAL VERMONT:

 
September 16, 2020 in Mendon, VT
Vermont Fall Foliage at the Red Clover Inn

"The blue sky frames the rocky cliffs of Brandon Gap, still covered in dark green with dots of yellow. This says it all: warm days, sparkling sun, chilly nights, and fall is on the way. The trees around the inn are showing signs of autumn as patches of orange and red seem to spread into view overnight.

The pace of fall is unmistakable, and we are ready with a warm bonfire, along with s'mores and lawn games for guests in the back lawn. We offer drinks and Chef Mike's dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Guests may eat outside, or inside at tables spread across three lovely dining rooms to provide for safe distance. Reservations are required."

-- Carol Ryan, Innkeeper, Red Clover Inn & Restaurant

 
 

SOUTHERN VERMONT:

 
September 19, 2020 in Manchester, VT
Vermont Fall Foliage at the Manchester View

"The trees on Manchester View property are starting to change. On your way to the hotel on Route 7A, you can see the area's leaves turning aglow with oranges, reds, and yellows. Soon, our mountain views will be autumnally colorful!"

-- Robin Green, The Manchester View

 
September 16, 2020 in Manchester, VT
Vermont Fall Foliage at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel

"The first signs of fall are showing in Southern Vermont here at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel. The leaves are changing a slight yellow hue and the evening air is nice and crisp.

This picture shows our Green where guests can enjoy café lights, Adirondack chairs, yard games and fire pits. A beautiful place to relax, unwind and enjoy the spender of the autumn colors. Visit our website for more information on fall foliage specials and packages."

-- Anastasia Nichols, Kimpton Taconic Hotel

 
September 16, 2020 in Bondville, VT
Vermont Fall Foliage at Stratton Mountain Resort

"It seems summer has gone in the blink of an eye. Waking up to temperatures in the 40's, beach towels and chairs have quickly been replaced by flannels and warm cider. The trees are no exception. With more color than one would suspect so early in the season, some trees have almost completely turned.

However, on the golf course things are a little greener. Hints of orange and red peak out from treetops while guests continue to play some of the most well cared for fairways in Southern Vermont.

The weekdays remain quiet in preparation for the coming winter, but weekends are alive with Scenic Gondola Rides, Mountain Biking, and Shopping in the Village. With temperatures still warm enough for outdoor dining, one can enjoy their favorite meal from Mulligans while basking in the early foliage glow.

Visit our website to plan your stay and stay up-to-date on latest travel guidance."

-- Luke Robins, Stratton Mountain Resort

 
September 16, 2020 in Manchester, VT
Vermont Fall Foliage at The Barnstead Inn

"Foliage hasn’t set-in in Manchester yet, some random trees have turned here and there but we are holding out for a few weeks for the big show! Here at the Barnstead, our hydrangeas have changed to a magnificent shade of pink, our first sign of the change of weather.

This is our favorite time of year... refreshing nights for sleeping, the cool breeze and rustling leaves on the trees is so peaceful. Waking up to sunny days for enjoying all the beauty of the Green Mountains. Join us, Friday nights into foliage [season] for pop-up pizza dinners outdoors, from our wood fired oven. Follow our social media for our latest updates!"

-- Andrea Conrad, Owner/Manager, The Barnstead Inn

 
 

STATEWIDE:

September 20, 2020
Vermont Fall Foliage

"Frost has paid an early visit to pockets of the state as this week graces Vermont with cool, crisp nights and warm, sunny days—conditions that contribute to our most vibrant foliage. And while the best of fall color is yet to come, signs of the season abound. Forests in many parts of the state are transitioning from their lush summer green to the subtle olive and bronze that comes just before brighter fall colors pop. This shift is most noticeable now at higher elevations and in northern parts of the state. A hike, bike ride, or drive over one of Vermont’s many mountain passes is a great way to take it in.

Meanwhile, on village greens, roadsides, and backyards throughout Vermont, many standalone trees are already turning, creating vibrant presentations that surprise the eye. Maple trees are often the most striking of these soloists, singing out in shades of red, orange, and even dark purple."

-- Mike Snyder, Commissioner of Forests, Parks & Recreation,
Vermont Department of Tourism

 

To view past Foliage Reports, visit the Vermont.com Blog.


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


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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