State Foliage Report No.9 issued Tues. Oct. 18th, 2011

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State Foliage Report No.9 issued Tues. Oct. 18th, 2011

Postby admin » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:06 pm

Foliage Display Moves South and West

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The broad Champlain Valley, including the Lake Champlain Islands and the Burlington area, joins the valleys of southern Vermont to continue the colorful display of autumn.

In southeast Vermont along the Connecticut River, the lower elevations range from mid-stage to near peak as the elevation increases, reports Forester Sam Schenski about the Brattleboro to Springfield region.

To the north, around Burlington, Chittenden County Forester Keith Thompson explains: “Away from the lake the rains and winds have pulled many of the colorful leaves from the trees down to the forest floors. This is not to say there aren’t still stunning hillsides. Many sheltered valleys and forest pockets are still ablaze with color, but for me, the greatest way to see the fall foliage now is on a hike through the woods. Throughout Chittenden County the forest floor is a carpet of brilliant reds and oranges.”

Forester Chris Olson, who works in the Addison County area around Bristol and Middlebury, concurs about getting into the woods. “The Long Trail winds down into the Gaps and an ‘out-and-back’ walk on this ‘Footpath Through the Wilderness’ will definitely bring you to some beautiful vistas and certainly have some beautiful colors above your head and underfoot.”

“There’s still good color where it exists, particularly west and south of Rutland. Again, though many areas are past peak, there is still color in lots of spots that are very picture worthy, especially on a day like this,” adds Rutland area Forester Eric Hansen

The lower elevations along the Connecticut River Valley are also colorful, reports Windsor County Forester Jon Bouton: “Foliage is still quite colorful near the main rivers and in the valley-protected villages. The hills near my home, just south of White River Junction, are very pretty alongside Route 5. We have occasional bright orange sugar maples, and the maples are red to yellow. Red oaks vary from bright red through ‘brick red’ and burnt sienna. Many green leaves are still left.”

Areas of bright foliage will still be found in the sheltered mountain villages and towns of central and northern Vermont, though the hills and mountain sides appear increasingly gray as the leaves drop from the canopy. At the same time, anyone hiking or walking woodland trails will find that the understory of smaller, younger trees feature a second wave of color, typically intense lemon yellows.

Best Bets: Route 7 from Burlington to Charlotte is showing pockets of bright color. Also recommended are Route 2 through the Champlain Islands, and Route 78 from Alburgh Center to Highgate.

In Addison and Rutland Counties, the foliage west of Route 116 in the northern portion of Addison County is at peak. Morning hours on clear days show off beautiful colors on east-facing hills like Snake Mountain in Weybridge - viewed best from Route 23 and Route 17. The Adirondacks also are showing some beautiful colors in the morning hours, and the Charlotte Ferry is a nice ride across the lake.

The Gap Roads in Addison County (Route 17 - Appalachian Gap, Route 125 - Middlebury Gap) are just past peak but still offer some incredible views. Each Gap Road has pull-offs at or near the gap summit where views are incredible anytime of the year, especially right now.

Also recommended is Route 30 north from Pawlet to Cornwall. The hills surrounding Lakes Beebe and Hortonia are at peak color and reflect beautifully in the lake water. Route 7 from Middlebury to Wallingford is peak to just past peak, still showing an abundance of yellow, gold and orange. Along Route 3 from Pittsford south to West Rutland are rolling hills loaded with color, including red.

Along Route 4 from Rutland west to Castleton, the mountains on both sides of the highway are peak to slightly past peak. On Route 22A from Fair Haven north to Bridport the Sugar Maples are peaking and contrasting well with the green meadows, brown corn fields and marsh grasses.

The hilly terrain and Village Greens are still displaying brightly colored Sugar Maples along Route 140 Wallington to Middletown Springs, Route 133 from West Rutland to Tinmouth, Route 133 and Route 153 to Rupert and Wells.

In southern Vermont, suggested drives include Routes 7A or 7 from Manchester to Bennington, Route 313 in Arlington, Route 153 between Rupert and Wells, Route 315 near Rupert, Route 5 along the Connecticut River, Route 30 from Manchester to Rupert, Route 35 from Townshend to Chester, and Route 30 from Brattleboro to Newfane.

In the higher mountain valleys of central and northern Vermont, town and village centers still have many trees just reaching peak colors, contrasting with the dark green of evergreens and the soft gray of hillsides where the leaves have fallen.

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