Fall Foliage Report

Prepared by Forests, Parks, and Recreation

Commissioner Michael Snyder of Forests, 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.

Published on October 17, 2022 

After a gradual start, we’ve been graced by outrageous peak conditions as the northern two-thirds of the state exploded with color in the first weeks of October. With harder rains and high winds late last week, ridgetops and higher elevations are mostly bare, but lower elevations and protected areas still offer a lot of foliage on display. Vermont’s late-blooming foliage species are now taking center stage. Aspen, beech, and tamaracks are turning brilliant shades of yellow, while oaks and maples in the western and southern tiers should deliver prominent reds for a few more weeks, especially in the Champlain Valley and southern regions. Standout color is holding strong, particularly in lower elevations, along the western flank of the state in Franklin, Chittenden, Addison, Rutland, and Bennington counties, as well as southern Windham County.   

Looking beyond the colorful canopy, this is also a fascinating time of transition in the forest. In places where the leaves have fallen, get out to enjoy the color now underfoot and the more expansive views into the woods to see the features of both landscape and human history that have been hidden for much of the year, such as stone walls and cellar holes that signify the close working relationship with the land from generations past.  

Recreation Recommendations and Best Bets 

Head south and west this week for the brightest color. Driving Route 11 near Bromley Mountain, Routes 7 and 7a from Wallingford and Dorset to Manchester, Route 9 from Brattleboro to Bennington, and most destinations along the Taconic Mountains will yield beautiful views.  Explore the trails at the Merck Forest & Farmland Center in Rupert, or pause for foliage reflection in the Japanese garden at Taconic Mountains Ramble State Park in Hubbardton. Enjoy the color from the water’s edge at Emerald Lake State Park in East Dorset (park at the gate for off-season access) or visit Mt. Philo State Park in Charlotte to hike up the updated trail or appreciate the views from the universally accessible trail at the summit.

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