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Vermont Foliage Color: Click an image

  • Foliage Scene in Holland
  • Foliiage Color cover hill in Glover
  • Rainbow over Seymour Lake in the NEK
  • Halloween roadside display
All Photos by Tim Palmer-Benson

Vermont in the Fall

September 17th, 2014 State Foliage Report

State foresters report that all of Vermont is still in the early stages of fall color. Healthy green is still the dominant theme, interrupted by early yellows and some flashes of red developing in isolated pockets, particiularly associated with forested wetlands.

Foresters report that hardwood tree health throughout the state has been particularly good with remarkably few insect and disease problems throughout the growing season. This means all factors are in place for a spectacular Vermont foliage season.

Best Bets

In general, higher elevation areas in the northenmost regions will offer the most panoramic views of emerging color across the valleys and many low-lying marsh areas will offer some of the most vivid and varied early season change. Route 108 through Smugglers' Notch between Stowe and Cambridge is beginning to show color, as are Routes 242 and 100 near Jay Peak; plus Routes 16 and 5A in the Lake Willoughby area. The Worcester Range and Mount Elmore along Route 12 north of Montpeller are tinged with early color, as are views from Route 14 in the Hardwick and Craftsbury region.

Latest report from the foliage forum September 18th:

"The leaves are changing fast here in the NEK this year. Across the higher elevations (e.g. Newark) the color is already beginning to pop with an estimated 30+% color change. The lower valleys Lyndon/St J escaped the worst of the frost earlier in the week and are showing an estimated 10% change.

The process is moving fast and it is not going to slow down with a freeze in the mid-20's predicted for tonight.

I'm always surprised at how much change can occur overnight and last night was no exception here in the Passumpsic River valley. There was a good deal more color this morning on the drive to work than there was yesterday afternoon on the drive home. Granted the light rain and clouds this morning tend to make any color pop out more than the sunshine that we had yesterday.

I estimate we are running a bit ahead of average this year. Hopefully it doesn't go so fast that we peak before the weekend of the September 27th. I'd like a nice long color season" says NEK in the Foliage Forum


Low temperatures this week and frost in some areas is bringing on the color. There are early signs of foliage color in areas of high elevation and in the swamplands.. Foresters there are predicting a very brilliant season with lots of eye popping reds!. Check out the foliage forum for more information.

Below is our second aerial video of some foliage scenery near Island Pond and Canaan.


(Use the slider to choose a date. Right click to zoom into any area.)

Please note that this is only a general portrayal of fall color on any given date. Foliage color can be as much as a week early or a week late in some locations. Weather and altitude influence peak color. Keep checking the foliage forum for daily eyewitness reports, where to go, when to go and what to see.










Finding the Elusive Peak:
Does it really matter?
(From the Foliage Forum)

Today I was thinking about all my years of foliage travel in Vermont and trying to recall whether or not I had found the “peak” and in what year. First and foremost, it is Mother Nature’s call, but truly a personal and subjective experience as well.

From a flatlander’s point of view, yes, I would say it is very important to me and a highlight of my trip. There is a considerable amount of planning and quite an expense in orchestrating a Vermont fall color tour and I for one, don’t like to be disappointed. I’ll admit it. (Even though I have the advantage of chasing the color all the way down to the Connecticut shore if necessary). Frankly, who doesn’t want to experience nature’s ultimate grand color show? Isn’t that part of what we all hope for when we arrive in Vermont for foliage season? A true Vermont foliage extravaganza? I’ll be the first to acknowledge it’s at the top of my list!

I have found peak in some years. Some years I have not. I have found peak in some parts of the state while not in other sections, all in the same season. Crazy as it may seem, I have even found peak scattered about within the same town or village or in different parts of a single mountain range! Sometimes I hit it and sometimes I don’t!

When I see peak color, my eyes often fill with tears. Pure heart- stopping, breath-taking, jaw-dropping, speechless moments frozen in time. Brilliant dazzling reds, oranges and golds dancing before me as if a kaleidoscope of color has stolen my field of vision.

I have come to the conclusion that, if you do find peak, real or subjective, consider it to be your icing on the cake. After all, you are in Vermont! And what a place to be in the fall!

Some may disagree with my statement, “After all, you are in Vermont”. Many travelers come from afar (even out of the country) and plan months ahead of time to see great fall color in Vermont. This is often their primary focus. Although I am close enough to the state to return at will, I do empathize with folks who come across a “not so great” foliage year or who miss the timing on a “perfectly fabulous” one. It’s happened to me many times and I live right here in New England. I know it can be discouraging. There’s always next year. For those of you Vermonters who have the blessed opportunity to be there when and where it happens, I ENVY YOU!!!

So, what do you do for a backup scenario? Plan ahead! Make an itinerary! Find things to do and don’t obsess over finding the peak! You will lose some of the pleasure of being in the great state of Vermont during the most beautiful season of all!

Hike, bike, horseback ride, visit a country store, take a gondola, tram ride or train excursion, kayak, take a cruise on Lake Champlain, go to a fall foliage festival, stay overnight at a working farm and join in the chores, stop at a farm stand or farmer’s market. The list is endless! And, if you get your “icing on the cake” so to speak, then you have arrived! After all, it’s the big picture that counts!

Enjoy your time in Vermont this fall, and make the best of it! It’s only a few months away! The leaves are waiting for you!

What are your thoughts on finding the elusive peak? How would you describe your “peak foliage” in terms of color?



For the latest eyewitness reports of color progression please view posts from members of our foliage forum






Site creator and Administrator - Timothy Palmer-Benson