October 04, 2011
The foliage change appeared to slow to a near standstill during the misty, atmospheric weather of this past weekend. But with a frosty night or two before the coming weekend and sunny weather forecast through Monday, near-peak to full color change is expected along the spine of the Green Mountains and will begin to emerge in the mountain valleys.
Ray Toolan, who reports from Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, observes a variety of foliage in the area. “Not a great deal of change from last week, most likely due to the wet weather. Still, we have a lot of variation, with the best colors in the higher elevations and around swamps and wetlands. In many places mid-slope forests are still in early stages while other areas are at or just past peak. Pretty much any of the paved roads in Lamoille and Orleans counties are showing nice color,” Toolan says.
Elsewhere, expect various stages of color across the state, including the mountain and river valleys where the foliage change ranges from early to mid-stage.
The foothills east and south of Burlington are at mid-stage, reports Forester Keith Thompson. “The highlights are Jericho, Underhill and Huntington. It’s not as far along near the lake,” Thompson says.
“Overall a full array of vibrant fall colors are popping out from Middlebury Gap south to Killington, Bridgewater south to Ludlow, and Rutland south to Mt. Taber,” reports spotter Tom Olson from the Maple Museum.
The cooler temperatures are also moving the color change in the lower Champlain Valley and the foothills of the Taconic and Green Mountains into mid-stage, while the red maples in marshy areas are nearing peak. “Look for brilliant shades of red, yellow and gold in these areas,” says Olson.
In southern Vermont mid-stage color predominates along the higher elevations while the early stages prevail in the valleys where swampy areas are splashed with the crimson of red maples.
For current road conditions and detailed planning information, please check our frequently updated map: http://www.vermontvacation.com/vtopenforbusiness.htm
Best Bets: In northern Vermont, recommended scenic routes for peak color viewing include Route 114 between Lyndonville and Norton, Route 58 from Irasburg to Montgomery Center, Route 105 from North Troy to East Charleston, and Route 102 along the Connecticut River.
Also try Route 302 east from Barre or Route 232 through the Groton State Forest; Route 2 between Marshfield and Lunenburg, Route 215 in Cabot, and Route 15 between Walden and Cambridge. Also, try back roads in Burke, Peacham, Barnet and Danville, which offer a variety of close-up and long-range views.
Vistas from Interstate 89 from South Royalton to Richmond offer . Colorful foliage can also be seen on Route 108 between Stowe and Cambridge, Route 100 between Warren and Stowe, and Route 12 between Montpelier and Elmore.
In the area around Rutland mid-stage color is emerging along Routes 7 (Middlebury to Rutland), 30 (Sudbury to Cornwall) and 4 (Rutland to Castleton).
Mid-stage to near-peak foliage color is showing at higher elevations: Route 4 west from West Bridgewater to Killington and Sherburne Pass (including the Killington Ski Area Access Rd); Route 103 north from Ludlow to Route 7; Route 140 west from Mt. Holly to Wallingford and Middletown Springs.
In southern Vermont where the foliage change ranges from early to mid-stage, suggested drives include Route 11 between Peru and Chester, Route 30 between Winhall and Newfane, Route 7A between Manchester and Bennington, Route 35 from Townshend to Grafton, and Route 9 between Bennington and Brattleboro.
The Vermont Hospitality Council advises making advance reservations because the most popular lodgings may fill early on busy weekends during the foliage season. Some innkeepers may require a minimum two-night stay, especially on busy weekends. Vermont tourism officials encourage visitors to take advantage of midweek specials during the foliage season as part of the statewide “Midweek Peek” promotion. Deals range from discounted lodging to free Vermont products. For details, visit www.VermontVacation.com
Also available on the website are several tools for planning a Vermont Fall Foliage tour:
• Fall Foliage Forecaster
• Lodging Availability Forecaster
• Scenic Drives
• Fall Travel Tips
For more information, visit www.VermontVacation.com.
Source: Department of Tourism and Marketing
Last Updated at: October 04, 2011 12:03:06