“Vibrant foliage has brightened considerably this week with mid-stage to full color along the valleys and hillsides from north to south. Leaves are beginning to fall at the highest elevations, but the color display is plentiful throughout the mountain valleys where a late blossom of red maples is striking against the predominant yellow and orange.
Also, foresters expect to see more fall foliage unfold near Lake Champlain and along the Connecticut River over the next several days. While it varies by location, the color change is running four to six days later than the historical average, effectively extending the viewing season by at least a week.
While the lower elevations range from mid-stage to near peak in southern Vermont and the Champlain Valley, the mountain valleys of central and northern Vermont are expected to remain colorful through the weekend to come.
‘The color is amazing everywhere in northwest Vermont,’ reports Forester Nancy Patch. ‘The tops of the mountains in Jay and Richford have lost leaves, but only at the highest elevations. Some may call this past peak in those areas, but I think the overall, from the foothills up into the mountains, does not get any better than this. I expect it will still be fantastic, even through next week-end as some of the lower elevations bring in their color.’
‘Expect lots of yellows and muted shades of orange that can give beautiful glow in early morning and late afternoon. The upper-most elevations are past peak and losing leaves pretty fast, but Routes 12, 14,100 and I-89 should all be good this week. Protected areas around towns and villages should also start to come into play this week,’ says Forester Russell Barrett of the central Vermont area surrounding Montpelier and Barre.
From west central Vermont in the Rutland area, spotter Tom Olson reports, ‘Brilliant patches of near peak color can be found in the rolling hills along Route 22A in the Champlain Valley and the higher elevations along Route 7 between the Taconic and Green Mountains north from Manchester to Middlebury.
Full Vermont autumn color can still be experienced even with only mid-stage color foliage when it is contrasted with brown freshly cut corn fields and dark green meadows, whether a backdrop of morning fog or sunny blue sky,’ Olson notes.
‘Foliage is quite colorful along the Connecticut River and at the mid to lower elevations inland. The weather is great, the foliage fine and Vermont is definitely open with only brief delays for the continued road restorations,’ adds Forester Jonathan Bouton, who toured southeastern Vermont over the past weekend.”
The Fall Foliage season in Vermont is one of the busiest times of the year while visitors flock from all over the world to witness the beautiful changing colors. This year it will be more important than ever to call ahead for reservations and check on Road Conditions.
Parts of our updates are thanks to the USDA Forest Service, the Vermont Department of Tourism, and various “Leaf Peepers” around the state. If you’d like to be on Vermont.com’s “Leaf Squad” to help report the Foliage conditions in your area of Vermont, please contact us!
To view our first-hand reports throughout the state of Vermont, visit our Vermont Fall Foliage Reports.