“The broad Champlain Valley, including the Lake Champlain Islands and the Burlington area, joins the valleys of southern Vermont to continue the colorful display of autumn.
In southeast Vermont along the Connecticut River, the lower elevations range from mid-stage to near peak as the elevation increases, reports Forester Sam Schenski about the Brattleboro to Springfield region.
To the north, around Burlington, Chittenden County Forester Keith Thompson explains: ‘Away from the lake the rains and winds have pulled many of the colorful leaves from the trees down to the forest floors. This is not to say there aren’t still stunning hillsides. Many sheltered valleys and forest pockets are still ablaze with color, but for me, the greatest way to see the fall foliage now is on a hike through the woods. Throughout Chittenden County the forest floor is a carpet of brilliant reds and oranges.’
Forester Chris Olson, who works in the Addison County area around Bristol and Middlebury, concurs about getting into the woods. ‘The Long Trail winds down into the Gaps and an ‘out-and-back’ walk on this ‘Footpath Through the Wilderness’ will definitely bring you to some beautiful vistas and certainly have some beautiful colors above your head and underfoot.’
‘There’s still good color where it exists, particularly west and south of Rutland. Again, though many areas are past peak, there is still color in lots of spots that are very picture worthy, especially on a day like this,’ adds Rutland area Forester Eric Hansen
The lower elevations along the Connecticut River Valley are also colorful, reports Windsor County Forester Jon Bouton: ‘Foliage is still quite colorful near the main rivers and in the valley-protected villages. The hills near my home, just south of White River Junction, are very pretty alongside Route 5. We have occasional bright orange sugar maples, and the maples are red to yellow. Red oaks vary from bright red through ‘brick red’ and burnt sienna. Many green leaves are still left.’
Areas of bright foliage will still be found in the sheltered mountain villages and towns of central and northern Vermont, though the hills and mountain sides appear increasingly gray as the leaves drop from the canopy. At the same time, anyone hiking or walking woodland trails will find that the understory of smaller, younger trees feature a second wave of color, typically intense lemon yellows.”
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.