We're only a weekend away from the official start of fall, and foliage season is definitely in the air here in Vermont. The days are getting shorter, the nights are delightfully cool, and the leaves have begun their annual transformation. Keep checking back here as we continue to gather information from our "Leaf Squad" to report foliage conditions throughout the state!
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 early to plan a fall vacation in Vermont!
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.
The "Current Conditions" map provides an approximate view of the current foliage color in Vermont, based on the reports we receive.
Foliage color generally starts to change in the higher, cooler areas of the Green Mountains, spreading down into the Lake Champlain Valley and Connecticut River Valley, and moving from north to south across the state. The exact timing of the color change varies from year to year.
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 a description and photo of your area to Foliage@Vermont.com. (Please include the date and time 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!
"Fall foliage is underway, and all factors are in place for another fabulous
season to emerge. It’s been a strong growing season, and as the days shorten,
we look forward to the onset of fall weather with bright, sunny days and cold
nights to bring the next layer of color and vibrancy to our world-famous autumn
Vermont is still in the early phase of the foliage season, characterized by the gradual fade of green and the emergence of yellows and oranges. There is a touch of red scattered among the earliest changing trees."
"The fall colors are beginning to infiltrate the mountains around Smugglers’ Notch Resort. While some intense reds have been visible for a week or more, oranges are in abundance these days. The beautiful forecast for the weekend should make it ideal for nice drives through the Notch! Our FallFest celebration was a tremendous success this weekend, with a nice warm breeze passing through, bringing smells of autumn and a taste of what’s to come. AppleFest kicks off on September 25 and runs through the 29th. Join us for orchard tours, cider tastings, demonstrations, and more! As these colors set in, you won’t want to travel through the Green Mountains without a trip through Smugglers’ Notch. We have a feeling this will be an autumn to remember!"
"Foliage update from Burke and the NEK:
Colors are slowly popping up in and around Burke. We are expecting warmer temps this week and a little taste of summer with some cooler nights. Attached is a photo I took this morning of Long Pond in Westmore. Haystack Mountain is in the background. We are looking forward to the Burke Fall Festival on September 28th in East Burke Village which includes, among other things, Cow Flop (or is it Plop?) Bingo. Here's a video tutorial in case people don't know what that is ... "
"With a warm week on tap, we are basking in the bright sunshine and cool nights of early fall. Vermont's rolling valleys and mountains are still mostly green as orange, yellow, and reds continue to, slowly but surely, creep into view. Lakes of blue reflect the sky and in the past we've snuck in some late-season swims - not sure if that will happen this year! But, the water is perfect for paddling. It's an ideal time of year for scenic hiking, biking and boating adventures - we love to share our enthusiasm for getting outside in the Killington Valley, so let us know what you want to do and soon you'll be well-rested with B & B accommodations, fueled up with our daily chef-prepared breakfast, and on your way!"
"Slight color beginning to show up & down the Champlain valley! Many wetland areas have swamp maples that are starting to show oranges & yellows. Many low lieing areas near the Middlebury river & near Lake Dunmore are beginning to show color as are some of the wetlands near the Otter Creek in Cornwall & New Haven. Hopefully have more for you next report!"
"It's that time of the year, the season of autumn! The evenings are cool and
comfortable, after sunny days, some still with lingering summer warmth. Varieties
of crisp apples are there for the picking off local orchard trees. Harvest your
own pumpkins for Halloween Jack 'O' Lanterns and Thanksgiving pies. Trees are
displaying their new fall colors. At the Manchester View, the impressive landscape
includes many seasonal flowering plants including the huge yellow Dinner Plate
Dahlia and several hues of Mums. We've decorated for the fall with hardy plants
After a relaxing evening watching the sunset on the deck outside your room, sleep restfully. The Manchester View offers 36 rooms and suites, many with gas or wood-burning fireplaces. These accommodations are especially coveted during leaf-peeping and ski seasons.
Wake up refreshed, join us for breakfast and then head out for local and outlet shopping in town, a hike on the trails to the Pond Loop on the Equinox Preserve, or take a winding drive on Route 7A through Manchester Village, stopping in Arlington to see and drive over the historic Green Covered Bridge off Route 313. Go back to 7A and head south stopping on the way at the Sugar Shack for local products and mementos. Continue on through Shaftsbury to Bennington. Visit Bennington Museum, the Bennington Monument, and Camelot Village.
We, at the Manchester View, hope you visit this fall and make 'The View' your home-away-from-home in Vermont!"
"Waking up to brisk temperatures in the 50's and driving up RT 30 I've begun
to notice some trees begin to turn, or at least think about turning. In the
village, a few renegade trees have taken an all or nothing approach displaying
their finest colors. However, a majority are more reserved waiting for the
spectators before debuting their finest burgundy's and Goldenrods.
As more of these looming giants muster up the courage to change, we welcome the newly betrothed celebrating with friends and family. Foliage weddings dates for fall 2020 are still available, but like the breathtaking color they will soon be gone. Take the next weekend to explore the village, admire the color from your scenic gondola cabin, or breathe in the crisp mountain air during a summit deck yoga practice."
"The trees in southern Vermont are just beginning to reveal their promise of fall beauty. Route 103 in Chester often turns first, and true to form the greens there are now shifting to yellows. But the real magic of early autumn is that while the leaves are beginning to turn, the gardens are still in bloom. The Golden Stage Inn garden in this picture had four butterflies and a dozen honeybees in it, all gathering late season nectar as they get ready for winter."
"I've been hunting for bright colored leaves throughout Southern Vermont, including along Route 103 between Londonderry & Rutland, and Route 11/30 between Londonderry & Manchester. The colors are pretty muted right now and not very bright, but there are the occasional trees with a bright POP of color here and there. Temperatures have been in the upper 60s and low 70s during the day, with nighttime temperatures in the 40s, making this a comfortable time to visit Vermont (just remember to wear layers)."
"It's a beautiful day, but you can feel fall in the air. Looking across the lake, color is beginning to appear. Won't be long now!"
-- Linda Warner, Woodford, VT
A great place to stop while you're Leaf Peeping in Southern Vermont, is the Dutton Berry Farm Stands. Well known for their Vermont grown produce including farmer-grown fruits and vegetables, cider, maple syrup, plants, and other unique local products, the Dutton Berry Farmstands offer a cornucopia of great-tasting Vermont produce and products. Located on Route 11/30 in Manchester, Route 30 in Newfane, and Route 9 in West Brattleboro.
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