My trip is approaching. My wife and I will be leaving from Philly on Friday after lunch and plan to be in Bennington, where our lodge is, by dinner.
We will spend two full days in New England.
Ideally one day in VT and one in Berkshire, but if Berkshire is still green we may stick with VT.
Following CTYanky indications, I will definitely spend the first day between Manchester (Route 7A), Dorset, and then route 30 to Jamaica, Townshend and Newfane.
Any suggestion on backroads, ponds, overlooks etc.. in the area?
Also, any particularly recommended place to eat (including breakfast)?
I have spoken over the phone with people in Manchester today, and told me the foliage is as good as it can get right now, and hopefully tomorrow's rain won't be too drastic in term of leaf-drop.
Has anyone been on Mount Greylock this week?
On route 30, that should be peak now in the higher elevations. Stop at Townshend Lake and Townshend Dam. If you have time, take French Hollow Road off 30. Manchester was looking good when I left, so I am confident whomever you spoke with, knows the color and go with it! My innkeeper in Manchester says it will happen overnight and when I left, it was about 75% along.
Dorset! Follow this loop off 30. Dorset Hollow Road to Upper Hollow Road to Lower Hollow Road! Gorgeous!!!! There is a barn and red cupola barn on the left as you are leaving Lower Hollow Road (for sale, 2 1/2 mil) and you'll see why. This a grand photo op spot with the hills behind the red barn peaking! At the end of Lower Hollow Road, take Kirby Hollow Road! There is a horse farm on the right with hills in color behind the winding fence. If you are lucky, there will be a black and white spotted horse there! I would love to live in this area! We took Kirby Hollow Road for the first time on Monday and it will not disappoint! It takes you back to 30. Take the Danby Hill Road all the way up to Colvin Hill Road. Drive Colvin Hill Road south to north for grand long views at the summit.
In the Equinox Preserve, walk in to Equinox Pond! It should be peaking now. I'll send you the link later. We hiked in (not long) and before we did the summit hike (moderate) the pond was beautiful last year.
Drive to the top of Mt. Tabor IF the summit is clear. Drive to the top of Mt. Equinox for long views that rival Jay Peak if the summit is clear as well. Not sure how the color will be but worth a trip for once in your travels if nothing else!
Mt. Greylock, probably not peak, but if you are in the area, do it on your way home! The rangers are totally awesome and if you call the ranger station you will get an idea if the summit is clear or how the colors are. They won't steer you wrong! It's unbelievable at the top and folks bring picnics and bask in its glory.
More later! I have more to share except I need to look at my Jimapco! CT
Stop at the Townshend Pumpkin Festival on the green Saturday! Photo ops galore and ALL local vendors. I loved being there last year. I was going to come up Saturday to the festival but couldn't change my stable obligations so may come Sunday to SO VT. Enjoy! Ask away!
You are the best CTyanky!
Add Nichols Road to your Dorset trip. Upon speaking to a local walking the town green (a must drive around, general store, stately restored historic district) they told me to take it last year for elevation views. We didn't have time so this is not my "must see", but I do rely on the locals' recommendations. Travel west on the town green, it is about two streets away and go south on it. Enjoy!
If you are in Dorset Sunday, go to the Dorset Farmers Market, they will be inside now instead of on the road near the general store. They are only open on Sundays but it is totally worth a visit to the local vendors. CT
We spent 36 hours in Vermont, nearly half of them under a washout on Saturday. Next we drove on top of top of Mount Grelyock, then Mohawk trail up to bridge of Flowers, and then 112 down to Northampton.
Despite the rain, in VT we found an overall much better situation than last year. The only region that is really struggling to get color is the SE quadrant. Leaf-drop was variable, depending on the areas.
On the other side of the Green Mts, in the SW, we found bright oranges pretty much everywhere on rout 7 and 7A from Bennington to Manchester, and then on route 30 on the Green Mts from Manchester up to Bromley.
Then the color abruptly ended as soon as we got on the East/South-East side of the Green Mts. Unsurprisingly, the temperature was almost 10 F higher in Townshend compared to Manchester and Bennington.
Jamaica, Townshend, Newfane looked mostly dull, green or brown. Some spotty orange here and there. It seems like this side was much more affected by the unseasonable heat of last week.
I am afraid that this regions won't get any foliage (like last year): leaves will just fall at some point.
We still enjoyed taking some pics at the Scott Bridge near Townshend. The hill in front of the bridge had some orange colors, unfortunately not bright but I think it was still nice.
From there, in the afternoon we drove to Rutland: once we got there, I saw a very promising hill that was colorful: I took a backroad that was pointing in that direction (Notch Road). This road was spectacular, trees were all reds and oranges up to the top. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!
In the evening we had a great, delicious dinner at the Publyk House in Bennington. Thanks CTYanky for the suggestion!
The next morning was the major highlight of the trip: the night had been frosty, and thanks to this weather the hills around Bennington that the previous day were still mostly green turned to a very bright orange altogether.
The morning light did the rest. I have read many times of how the foliage can be sudden and quick, and I finally witnessed it with my eyes. It was like if someone turned on a click.
In front of our hotel there was a small pond, and at 7 am the mist was rising and combined with the colors of the surrounding hills it was spectacular.
We then drove to downtown Bennington for Breakfast: all the trees in town were so colorful and bright!
Too bad we had too leave already to head to MA and then Philly.
Interestingly enough, while Bennington was "on fire", just a few miles south the area around Williamstown MA was totally green. It seemed summer there. And in fact the view from Mount Greylock was definitely early, even if still very impressive.
On the Mohawk there was very nice color between North Adams and Florida: again the leaf-drop was very variable depending on the areas.
Then we got to Shelburne Falls, where we took pics of the amazing Bridge of Flowers (Thanks again CTYanky!).
From there, route 112 to Northampton was again really beautiful: the colors, the landscape, we really enjoyed it!
Thanks everyone in this forum for the great advice! This is a fantastic resource!
Here are a few pictures.
BONDVILLE, GREEN MTS
VIEW FROM SCOTT BRIDGE, NEAR TOWNSHEND
NOTCH ROAD, RUTLAND
No we didn't get to that diner, we went to the Sunny Side Diner, and it was good as well!
We found it probably 2 or 3 days past peak, and the light was definitely not the best for good pictures. And it was pouring.
But I will still have great memories of this beautiful pond.