2022 Foliage Season: Fall Colors Continue to Bloom
September 22, 2022
Many areas of Vermont have begun to display early color as last week's stretch of cooler weather helped to advance Vermont's foliage progression. Leaf Peepers should be able to catch pockets of bright color across the state over the next week of fall, especially in the higher elevations and in low-lying sections. Keep checking back here as we continue to gather foliage reports from our "Leaf Squad" for foliage conditions throughout Vermont. This Foliage Reports page is updated once a week, on Thursdays, during the Foliage Season.
If you can't make it to Vermont during this year's Fall Foliage Season, 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!
The "Current Conditions" map is approximate, based on the reports we receive.
Foliage color generally starts to change in the higher, cooler areas, spreading down into the valleys, and moving from north to south across the state.
'Peak' colors can be found at many different times & places as the season progresses, and the timing varies from year to year, based on the weather.
Beyond leaf peeping, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Vermont’s mountains, meadows and villages during the other seasons. You can find 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.
FOLIAGE REPORTS FROM AROUND THE STATE
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 it to Foliage@Vermont.com, along with a photo of the location you are reporting from, and the date when the photo was taken.
"Colors are popping up a little more in the Northeast Kingdom. The Big Event this Saturday is the Burke Fall Festival in East Burke Village. The huge craft fair opens at 9am, parade is at 10 am and it's all followed by a full day of fun including wagon rides, a wildlife show, kids games, farm critters, live music, a country BBQ and more!
Attached is a photo ... of Long Pond in Westmore with Haystack Mountain in the background. Spots of color are starting to show in the mountains."
"Welcome to Fall in Southern Vermont. We’re seeing mostly reds and oranges to kick off the first full colors of Fall foliage. Wednesday's sunshine brought out all the hues for everyone to enjoy. We're seeing the best colors on the access road and up to the Stratton Golf Course this week, with the base area to mid-mountain next to come. To get in the best views, the Stratton Gondola is open for Scenic Lift Rides Friday through Sunday, through Indigenous Peoples’ Day, October 10. The gondola provides 360 degree views from Stratton’s 3875’ summit as the leaves take on their vibrant colors. Pair that with our annual Brewfest, Chili Cook-Off and an outdoor concert as part of HarvestFest Weekend, and you’re in for a true Vermont Fall experience."
"Only the sensitive trees have begun to change in our area. We always have one small maple that falls early. But my favorite part of the change to colder nights is the vibrant and varying colors of the hydrangea blooms this time of year!
It’s our busy season with events from weddings and rehearsals, to birthday party’s and showers! It’s the perfect time of year for a Vermont Flannel and cocktail by the fire with a good playlist. An added bonus here, pizza night! Sounds perfect!"
"Southern Vermont is basking in lovely weather this week with sunny skies and warm days followed by cool, comfortable nights and early mornings. The trees are showing some color, starting to become more noticeable driving along Routes 7A and 11/30. Apple picking is in full swing at Mad Tom Orchard in East Dorset - the apples are crisp and the views are amazing! There's still a little time left to take a dip in our outdoor pool at the Manchester View surrounded by spectacular views of the mountains - just a week or so before the season ends.
Next weekend, on September 24, the Peru Fair will delight visitors with old-fashioned fun! And the Dorset and Weston Playhouses' summer theatre festivals are continuing to put on Broadway-caliber productions at their way-off-Broadway venues - the last show at Dorset Playhouse is September 23, and Weston continues until October 23. Looking forward to the beginning of autumn and continued leaf changes!"
"The first day of fall is September 22, and while foliage conditions in Vermont are still in the very early stages, the colors are synced up with the calendar. Things are about to ramp up and conditions on the ground can change fast, so soak up every opportunity to get outside and enjoy the show. Particularly in northeastern parts of the state and along the spine of the Green Mountains, yellows are emerging from birch, cherry, and ash, while the more stressed maples that turn sooner are starting to show reds and oranges.
Due to recent rain and wind, some of these stressed trees that are changing early are beginning to drop leaves—but not to worry, there’s so much more to come. This first small phase adds a three-dimensionality to foliage, coloring both the ground and the branches above, opening pockets within the forest to see the depth of foliage yet to turn.
This week’s weather forecast includes a fair amount of rain, and as long as it’s on the gentle side, this will be to our leaf peeping advantage as one of the key ingredients for stunning autumn leaves."
"Commissioner Michael Synder of Forest, Parks, and Recreation, along with his team of foresters throughout the state of Vermont writes this report on a weekly basis to update visitors on the progression of foliage throughout the season. This report is based on scientific data and is provided as a resource as you plan your Vermont vacation. Peak foliage can vary depending on weather conditions."
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