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Fall Foliage Report—Week 5

October 14, 2021

This weekly report is from the desk of the Michael Snyder, the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation.

While peak color this week will mostly be found in central areas of the state and is coming on strong in Southern Vermont, one of the most noteworthy features of this foliage season continues as beautiful fall color endures across the state. Even northern landscapes predominantly past peak have held on to their leaves. Prolonged mild, summer-like weather and a lack of damaging storms have helped sustain excellent color in localized areas. In short, this year’s graceful patchwork of yellows, oranges, and reds is varied, prolonged, and well worth admiring no matter where you find yourself.

While many aspen trees provided great early color, other standout aspens are now showing up later, displaying classic yellows and golds sprinkled across the hillsides. Similarly, the oaks more prevalent in southern and western regions are just getting started, with deep greens beginning to change to ambers and russets. In areas that have moved past the most concentrated color, lingering red maples continue to radiate.

Early in the season we reported on heightened incidences of damage from insects and pathogens in pockets of the state, and while these did impact leaves in isolated areas, even here the foliage has hardly disappointed. Leaves on many affected trees weren’t lost completely but took on more muted hues of tan, adding a textured backdrop to the brilliant yellow aspen and red maple.

Best Bets:

Take in the views from a vista on Mt. Ascutney, accessible via drive to the top or from multiple hiking trails; take advantage of comfortable temperatures and fall color reflected in the water with a day of fishing in Lake Shaftsbury; or in dry weather windows enjoy the leaves from the seat of your mountain bike.

~ Michael Snyder, Commissioner, FPR.

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