Vermont.com Guide to

Fall Foliage

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If you've been lucky enough to experience a peak Fall Foliage in Vermont, you might know what's in store - but if this is your first Autumn Adventure, prepare yourself for sensory overload because Fall in Vermont isn't just a season, it's an event! Sure, we may have the most stunning display of crisp fall colors to be found, but up in the Green Mountains, we don't just watch the leaves turn; we throw on our flannel, fill up a thermos with hot apple cider, and dive right into all the fabulous Fall festivities we can find.

Our Vermont Foliage Guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make the most of this leaf-peeping extravaganza. From the secret spots with views that'll have your Instagram followers green (or should we say orange?) with envy, to the lowdown on all the harvest festivals you won't want to miss. Buckle up folks, autumn in Vermont is a beautiful, colorful ride that you'll want to experience year after year!

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Current Foliage Conditions

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.

View the Full Foliage Report here.
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The Full Foliage Report

Vermont's foliage always puts on a show! Get front-row seats to the spectacle with our dynamic Foliage Report. First-hand accounts from our leaf-peaper squad from around the state, so you know exactly where to check out the brightest colors and the most stunning scenes.
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The Best Fall Lodging

There’s no question, a visit to Vermont during Fall Foliage is downright magical. The crisp, fresh mountain air, resplendent bursts of color on every tree, delicious cider donuts, plus that glorious crunch of fallen leaves underfoot. No matter if the weather is moody and dramatic, or shining bright and radiant - everything is just…a vibe.
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Foliage Deals + Packages

"Although leaf-peeping season is over, there's still color to find. Look at the view at the Green Mountains beyond the Manchester View property to see what looks like an impressionist painting with dots of orange, red and yellow among the evergreens. Along the roads, a maple here and there will delight with bright orange leaves."
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Don't Miss out

The Best Fall Festivals

With classic hayrides and cider donuts, live music extravaganzas and craft beer Oktoberfests - from the end of August through October, these are the fall festivals you should immediately put in your planner. It just doesn't get more quintessential Vermont than these epic fall celebrations.
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Top Fall Cabins + Cottages

Ready to fall in love with autumn all over again? Dive into our enticing roundup of Vermont's top cabin and cottage getaways! From Instagram-worthy views to cozy corners, your magical fall retreat awaits!
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Foliage Stays in Stowe

Foliage Stays in Manchester

Foliage Stays in Grafton + Woodstock

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Foliage Tips and FAQ

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.
Beyond leaf peeping, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Vermont’s mountains, meadows and villages. Late October sees the emergence of pumpkin people on street corners, porches, and country lanes, and there are plenty of upcoming fall events, including several spooky celebrations around October 30th and 31st. You can find fun things to do in Vermont with the Vermont.com Calendar of Events. Don't see your event? Feel free to suggest an event so we can add it to our Calendar.
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Fall Foliage Gallery

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Chic Stays: Boutique Vermont Hotels

Our exclusive guide to the state’s most Instagram-able boutique hotels. Each blends captivating design with unique Vermont flair, delivering picture-perfect moments and stylish getaways.
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Chic Stays: Boutique Vermont Hotels

Our exclusive guide to the state’s most Instagram-able boutique hotels. Each blends captivating design with unique Vermont flair, delivering picture-perfect moments and stylish getaways.
Sponsored by The Grafton Inn
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