Fall New England Trip

Discuss Fall Foliage in Vermont, when to come, where to stay, where to take a tour etc. Note: You must be registered in order to post. If you have trouble registering, use the contact us form on Scenes of Vermont's home page.

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Kerry29
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Fall New England Trip

Postby Kerry29 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:30 pm

Hi, my name is Kerry Leibowitz; I'm Andy Richards' co-author on the Photographing Michigan's Upper Peninsula ebook. Andy suggested that I post on this forum and I'm taking his advice.

I'm planning a photography trip to northern New England this fall and hope that members of this forum can help me a bit with planning. I'll be driving from the Midwest and I'm going to be in Maine--based in Rumford--from Sept. 25-30; Vermont--based in St. Johnsbury--from Sept. 30-Oct. 5; and New Hampshire--based in North Conway--from Oct. 5-10. This will be my first photo trip to New England (other than time I spent at Acadia National Park in the spring of 2006).

I have several sources that I'm using. I have Andy Richards' very helpful Vermont ebook; I also have a book called Colors of Fall, that lays out fall color drives (and suggested stops) throughout the entire region; and I have a book called New England Waterfalls (it's obvious what this covers).

While in Maine, I plan to check out the areas around Rangeley Lake, Grafton Notch and Evans Notch.

While in Vermont, I expect to focus my attention on the NEK, and, time permitting the Green Mountain National Forest.

In New Hampshire, I anticipate spending most of my time around the White National Forest and, time permitting Lake Winnipesaukee.

I know that everyone who frequents this forum knows more about the region--Vermont in particular--than I do. If anyone has any suggestions for places that I should go, or avoid, in any of these regions or any other ideas I'd love to hear about it.

If you'd like to get a sense of the kinds of things I typically photograph, please have a look at my website (http://www.lightscapesphotography.com) and/or my blog (https://lightscapesphotography.wordpress.com/).

Thanks very much,

Kerry Leibowitz


minnesotaman
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby minnesotaman » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:34 pm

I have spent a month in the fall in Vt (and NH) for fifteen years. I usually arrive around Sept 25, and I usually head to the Whites (Kancamagus Hwy, Bear Notch, and trails off each) a few days after that because that is usually where the first color is. Of course, every year is different (summer moisture, fall rain, fall wind, arrival of first frost, the presence or lack of clear cold nights, etc, vary the foliage conditions significantly even over short distances), but I would be concerned that Oct 5 to Oct 10 could be late for the Whites. Oct 5 to 10 is often a good slot for the NEK. Also, in my experience the upper elevations in the Whites often get stripped by wind. I have driven up there in late Sept and concluded that the area needed another week, only to discover bare branches a week later. In short, the window in the Whites is often narrow. If you are too late for the Whites, try the Franconia/Sugar Hill areas, which contain many beautiful roads, and NH routes 112 and 118 and related back roads. These areas usually peak a week or so after the Whites, and usually last longer also. NH south of the Whites will likely still be early during the Oct 5 to 10 period, although sometimes trees around a lakeshore will color up earlier than the trees a few hundred yards off. Southern NH is usually one of the last areas I check out, usually Oct 15 or later, after Vt is past peak.

Kerry29
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby Kerry29 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:00 pm

Thanks very much for the reply--I greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for the heads up on White Mountains timing; the information I received suggested that peak in this area was normally in the first and second weeks of October, which is far different from what you're saying. I definitely had planned to hit Franconia Notch and Crawford Notch as well...and thanks for the tip re Sugar Hill (which wasn't on my radar--I'll have to look into that).

Perhaps, during the time I'm going to be based in western Maine (Sept. 25-30), I can plan to shoot over to the Kancamagus Highway and check things out, to see how things are developing. It should be doable, at least in theory.

One point of clarification, if I may: you mentioned NH routes 112 and 118. Since the Kanc itself is Rt. 112, can I conclude that you're referring to areas, of both roads, that are west of Lincoln?

Again, thanks very much for the assistance.

minnesotaman
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby minnesotaman » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:22 pm

Yes, 112 west of lincoln, then up to 116 to franconia. I have seen moose in the ammonoosuc river dry beds and on 112 itself in that area, one time strolling down 112 about fifty yards ahead of my car (i stopped and hoped that he would not turn around and charge my car, he gave me a look and walked off into the woods). There are several places to pull off 112 on the north side where it runs alongside the ammonoosuc. Many good side roads in the area of 112 and 116. For mid to late afternoon go to sunset hill rd in sugar hill, incredible long views to the east. Also try bear notch, from the kanc up to bartlett, and then 302 west out of bartlett. Some great long views of mt washington from a small parking area on the east side of 302 near the dry river campground, if you are lucky the valley will be full of purple wildflowers, flanked by orange maples on either side and boxed, about five miles or so off, by mt washington with snow on the cap. I hit it just right about every third year. Also very good spot about 500 yards north of where 302 crosses willey brook, this is on the left and a bit hidden if you are driving north--take the turn off and curl around to the little parking area. It is elevated with a great view down a valley to the south. Usually no one there.

There is a lot more, this is just a start.

When i get up there, probably around oct 1, i will try to remember to post here with an update on conditions.

The upper elevations of the kanc peak well before these other spots, which some years are still good as late as columbus day, well after the kanc is blown out.

Another beautiful spot that you can get to easily from north conway is the connecticut lakes area, all the way up to the top of nh.

Kerry29
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby Kerry29 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:27 pm

This is really priceless information; I can't thank you enough. I'm going to print out all of these notes and retain them for reference in the field.

My initial drive-in route, to Rumford, Maine, is still up in the air, but depending on time I may go right past Sugar Hill on US 302. If so, I'll plan to take a bit of time for a brief detour and scout that area (i.e. Sunset Hill Rd.). And I'll have to look into the Connecticut Lakes area.

I, too, will try to check in with updates on conditions once I'm on the ground in the region (beginning Sept. 25 or 26).

Again, thanks very much.

wentworth
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby wentworth » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:31 pm

I would get to St Johnsbury and the NEK a few days sooner, if its a typical year--A typical year, like 2014 was, the peak was like Sept 25th, and we saw amazing and widespread color on Rt 114 even on Sept 21st--last year was an anomaly, the Fall Colors were 10 days later because 17 of the first 19 days of September were above normal, some days way above normal--weather.com lets you track each day for any city, by hitting "monthly" in the upper right, showing the deviation of normal temperatures--Frequently, the North East Kingdom's colors need a few nights in the mid thirties to get things going(see Island Pond's temps)

Kerry29
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby Kerry29 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:25 pm

wentworth wrote:I would get to St Johnsbury and the NEK a few days sooner, if its a typical year--A typical year, like 2014 was, the peak was like Sept 25th, and we saw amazing and widespread color on Rt 114 even on Sept 21st--last year was an anomaly, the Fall Colors were 10 days later because 17 of the first 19 days of September were above normal, some days way above normal--weather.com lets you track each day for any city, by hitting "monthly" in the upper right, showing the deviation of normal temperatures--Frequently, the North East Kingdom's colors need a few nights in the mid thirties to get things going(see Island Pond's temps)


Thanks for the reply; I appreciate it.

I wish I had the freedom to alter this itinerary, but I don't. I'm coming from the Midwest, and I had to set the timing of things back in May, based in part on the sources I had available at the time. I'd add that the published sources I have suggest that peak timing in the area ranges from the first to the second week of October (apparently I was sold a bit of a pig and a poke in that regard). If I miss peak in the area, I'll have to turn my attention to the Green Mountains NF area, I guess (and I'm prepared to do that if need be) when I'm in St. Johnsbury.

wentworth
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:56 pm

Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby wentworth » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:15 am

Kerry29 wrote:Hi, my name is Kerry Leibowitz; I'm Andy Richards' co-author on the Photographing Michigan's Upper Peninsula ebook. Andy suggested that I post on this forum and I'm taking his advice.

I'm planning a photography trip to northern New England this fall and hope that members of this forum can help me a bit with planning. I'll be driving from the Midwest and I'm going to be in Maine--based in Rumford--from Sept. 25-30; Vermont--based in St. Johnsbury--from Sept. 30-Oct. 5; and New Hampshire--based in North Conway--from Oct. 5-10. This will be my first photo trip to New England (other than time I spent at Acadia National Park in the spring of 2006).

I have several sources that I'm using. I have Andy Richards' very helpful Vermont ebook; I also have a book called Colors of Fall, that lays out fall color drives (and suggested stops) throughout the entire region; and I have a book called New England Waterfalls (it's obvious what this covers).

While in Maine, I plan to check out the areas around Rangeley Lake, Grafton Notch and Evans Notch.

While in Vermont, I expect to focus my attention on the NEK, and, time permitting the Green Mountain National Forest.

In New Hampshire, I anticipate spending most of my time around the White National Forest and, time permitting Lake Winnipesaukee.

I know that everyone who frequents this forum knows more about the region--Vermont in particular--than I do. If anyone has any suggestions for places that I should go, or avoid, in any of these regions or any other ideas I'd love to hear about it.

If you'd like to get a sense of the kinds of things I typically photograph, please have a look at my website (http://www.lightscapesphotography.com) and/or my blog (https://lightscapesphotography.wordpress.com/).

Thanks very much,

Kerry Leibowitz
Kerry, your photos are wonderful

wentworth
Posts: 499
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:56 pm

Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby wentworth » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:24 am

Kerry29 wrote:
wentworth wrote:I would get to St Johnsbury and the NEK a few days sooner, if its a typical year--A typical year, like 2014 was, the peak was like Sept 25th, and we saw amazing and widespread color on Rt 114 even on Sept 21st--last year was an anomaly, the Fall Colors were 10 days later because 17 of the first 19 days of September were above normal, some days way above normal--weather.com lets you track each day for any city, by hitting "monthly" in the upper right, showing the deviation of normal temperatures--Frequently, the North East Kingdom's colors need a few nights in the mid thirties to get things going(see Island Pond's temps)


Thanks for the reply; I appreciate it.

I wish I had the freedom to alter this itinerary, but I don't. I'm coming from the Midwest, and I had to set the timing of things back in May, based in part on the sources I had available at the time. I'd add that the published sources I have suggest that peak timing in the area ranges from the first to the second week of October (apparently I was sold a bit of a pig and a poke in that regard). If I miss peak in the area, I'll have to turn my attention to the Green Mountains NF area, I guess (and I'm prepared to do that if need be) when I'm in St. Johnsbury.
ok Kerry--Actually St Johnsbury will probably still be at peak on Sept 30th if its a typical year--Going north on pretty Route 232 from 302 is another suggestion, and a quick hike to Owl's Head, overlooking Kettle Pond--Also, Lake Willoughby farther north is a beautiful lake, best in Vermont--Killington, further south, is where we stay--Also Stowe is a very nice place to go

Kerry29
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby Kerry29 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:51 am

wentworth wrote: Kerry, your photos are wonderful


Thank you; you're too kind.

Kerry29
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby Kerry29 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:40 am

wentworth wrote:ok Kerry--Actually St Johnsbury will probably still be at peak on Sept 30th if its a typical year--Going north on pretty Route 232 from 302 is another suggestion, and a quick hike to Owl's Head, overlooking Kettle Pond--Also, Lake Willoughby farther north is a beautiful lake, best in Vermont--Killington, further south, is where we stay--Also Stowe is a very nice place to go


Again, thanks. Owl's Head/Kettle Pond (and a few other spots in Groton SF) and Lake Willoughby are on my itinerary.

I have two basic loops I'd planned to investigate while based in St. Johnsbury:

1) to the northeast of St. J, through Lyndonville and Burke (possibly including the Burke Mountain Toll Road), up to Lake Willoughby, east through Island Pond on 105, south on 102 and back to St. J on US-2. Based on Andy's ebook, it looks like the area west of Lake Willoughby, around Barton, has a number of interesting locations to check out as well, so I'll try to plan to look that area over as well.

2) to the southwest of St. J, through Danville, west to Cabot, south 215/232 through Groton State Forest, then back north via a series of back roads around Peacham.

I'm definitely open to specific suggestions within these routes as well as alternatives. There are so many places, and so many back roads. I'm hoping to make the best use of my time.

wentworth
Posts: 499
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:56 pm

Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby wentworth » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:04 am

Kerry29 wrote:
wentworth wrote:ok Kerry--Actually St Johnsbury will probably still be at peak on Sept 30th if its a typical year--Going north on pretty Route 232 from 302 is another suggestion, and a quick hike to Owl's Head, overlooking Kettle Pond--Also, Lake Willoughby farther north is a beautiful lake, best in Vermont--Killington, further south, is where we stay--Also Stowe is a very nice place to go


Again, thanks. Owl's Head/Kettle Pond (and a few other spots in Groton SF) and Lake Willoughby are on my itinerary.

I have two basic loops I'd planned to investigate while based in St. Johnsbury:

1) to the northeast of St. J, through Lyndonville and Burke (possibly including the Burke Mountain Toll Road), up to Lake Willoughby, east through Island Pond on 105, south on 102 and back to St. J on US-2. Based on Andy's ebook, it looks like the area west of Lake Willoughby, around Barton, has a number of interesting locations to check out as well, so I'll try to plan to look that area over as well.

2) to the southwest of St. J, through Danville, west to Cabot, south 215/232 through Groton State Forest, then back north via a series of back roads around Peacham.

I'm definitely open to specific suggestions within these routes as well as alternatives. There are so many places, and so many back roads. I'm hoping to make the best use of my time.
yeah that sounds like a real good plan and Burke Mtn Toll Rd we always hit every year also--Darling Hill Rd, near W Burke, is nice also: cows, long fence, and three pretty hills almost exactly alike

Kerry29
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby Kerry29 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:15 pm

Darling Hill Road...got it. Thanks very much--that wasn't on my radar until now. I did have Burke Hollow Road, in the same general area, on my list, however, so now I'll take a look at both.

I really appreciate the suggestion--I doubt I ever would have known to take a look at Darling Hill without your help.

From_the_NEK
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby From_the_NEK » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:21 am

Kerry29 wrote:I have two basic loops I'd planned to investigate while based in St. Johnsbury:

1) to the northeast of St. J, through Lyndonville and Burke (possibly including the Burke Mountain Toll Road), up to Lake Willoughby, east through Island Pond on 105, south on 102 and back to St. J on US-2. Based on Andy's ebook, it looks like the area west of Lake Willoughby, around Barton, has a number of interesting locations to check out as well, so I'll try to plan to look that area over as well.

I'm definitely open to specific suggestions within these routes as well as alternatives. There are so many places, and so many back roads. I'm hoping to make the best use of my time.


If the NEK is still in peak (and even if it past a bit), this loop through the middle of the NEK should hit a lot of the high points.

The loop is called the "NEK Central Loop"
See this post buried in the Best of Vermont Scenic Drives, etc thread - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3532&p=9105&hilit=Driving+Route#p9105

Here are the Google Directions without Wheeler Mtn Rd but with all optional offshoots (May Pond, Lake Willoughby South Beach, Island Pond, Burke Mtn Toll Road): https://goo.gl/maps/C54KRpQ1Ab82

Utah Baker
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Re: Fall New England Trip

Postby Utah Baker » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:58 pm

Hi Kerry, yes indeed your photos are beautiful, can't wait to see what you capture on your trip. Don't mean to overwhelm you with ideas, but I mentioned to you over on the photo forum that I would look up the road that runs runs along the boarder of N,H, & Maine. Route 113 North out of of North Conway up to Rt. 2 over to Gorham is right up there with Rt 232 in Vermont. A really beautiful drive. All this talk of Owl's Head and Sugar Hill has me longing to be there, we had such a spectacular trip last year (finally hit Owl's Head and Kettle Pond spot on). So many years we have arrived the first weekend of October only to find a nasty storm has just blown thru the day before, wishing the conditions are perfect for you. Safe travels and good luck!



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