Fall Foliage

2011 Foliage Season: Near-Peak Color in the Northeast Kingdom

by Vermont.com Staff

“With cooler temperatures forecast for the weekend, near-peak color is expected to emerge in the Northeast Kingdom and the higher elevations of the Stowe-Morrisville area of Lamoille County.

State foresters say most areas of northeastern and north central Vermont are showing vibrant fall colors that are near, or in some higher elevations, at peak. 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 foliage is nearing peak in the mountains of Richford, Montgomery and Enosburg. The valley is starting to show some very nice color (just getting to mid-stage color) and it makes a nice drive through the valley and into the Mountains,’ says Nancy Patch, Franklin-Grand Isle County Forester. The lower elevations along Lake Champlain remain predominantly green.

Some hillsides in central Vermont appear to be muted this week, apparently due to a combination of weather-related factors. Longtime forester Russell Barrett explains, ‘Anthracnose (a fungus), a heavy seed crop, and saturated soils seem to be working overtime to make brownish-yellow the dominate color’ on these hillsides. Still, other areas in the region are showing the traditional bloom of red, orange and yellow.

The color change is moving slowly into mid-stage in the lower Champlain Valley and the foothills of the Taconic and Green Mountains. However, the mountain ridges and pockets in the higher valleys from Middlebury Gap south to Danby, along the spine of the Green Mountains, are advancing from mid-stage to near peak color with plenty of vibrant yellows, golds and oranges.

‘Many higher elevations also have nice patches of bright red, particularly Route 100 south from Warren to Rochester, Route 125 from Hancock to East Middlebury and Route 4 west from Killington to Rutland,’ reports spotter Tom Olson, Vermont Maple Museum.

At the lower elevations across the broad Champlain Valley, he adds, ‘Soft Maples in marshy areas and around Lake Hortonia are displaying bright reds and oranges – a great contrast against the beige and brown backdrop of swamp grass, wild rice, and cat tails.’

In southern Vermont mid-stage color is showing along the higher elevations while the early stages in the valleys are splashed with the crimson of maples in moist soils.”

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.

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