Fall Foliage Report—Week 6
October 22, 2021
This weekly report is from the desk of the Michael Snyder, the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation.Vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows continue in Southern Vermont and the Champlain Valley, and isolated, protected forest coves and pockets in other parts of the state still pop with color as well. And while most of the leaves have fallen in other areas, the landscape is still touched with fall beauty as color transitions from high in the trees to below on the forest floor, village greens, and backyard lawns. This time of year, tamaracks emerge as quieter standouts, transitioning from olive to gold and contrasting with the darker shades of evergreens around them.
Over the past 30 years, FPR forest health staff and colleagues in forest science have documented that the length of the forest’s growing season has increased by over a week. This year’s foliage season was deliciously slow and made more gradual in part because of a lack of frost, but the lengthened growing season caused by climate change also contributes to these extended foliage conditions.
And while the 2021 foliage season may be drawing to a close, there’s still plenty to explore and admire in the landscape of Vermont. Venture out into the woods and you’ll rediscover scenes that were hidden through summer and fall: stone walls, cellar holes, and other historic remnants of generations past who lived and worked the land; habitat features; tree architecture showcasing each tree’s distinct form and shape; and new recreation opportunities to scout out.
Take in enduring color in the Taconic Range with a hike up Mount Equinox, or view the Champlain Valley and Adirondack Mountains beyond with a hike at Mt. Philo, and enjoy both the leaves and the new trail improvements underfoot.
~ Michael Snyder, Commissioner, FPR.