Visitor from California - help needed to plan foliage viewing starting from NEK then going south

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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Re: Visitor from California - help needed to plan foliage viewing starting from NEK then going south

Post: # 23503Post Andy
Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:59 am

Prabal: A couple of thoughts:

1. One of your locations is labeled Barton Road Farm. Maybe just a typo, but to avoid confusion, while it is in Barton, the road is actually Burton (with a "u") Road :-).

2. You have East Orange on your list (I see a lot of locations covered in our book, and bet that is why you want to see this spot). I think you should scratch it from your ambitious list. I just yesterday learned that the view from the road above where the photo of the village was made from, is completely grown in. I think it will be disappointing - photographically - and its a pretty good drive from your place and was best made in the late afternoon. That, of course, will make you think about the other locations close to there. East Corinth is pretty, but you will need to get an early start, as this is best lit very early in the morning. There are so many places closer to you worth looking at, that I would think about this one. If you do go, note that East Corinth is early morning and Waits River is mid-late afternoon. You'll need a plan for between times :-). And, if you didn't know this, that Waits River scene you always see - is full of overhead power lines, signs, and utility risers. I spent more post-processing time cleaning up my Waits River images than any other single photo I have ever made. Not to discourage - its a great shot. Just be aware.

3. Likewise, Blueberry Lake. That is a very long drive for just one image. There is a lot of good imagery to be had in and around Waitsfield and if you were going to spend a whole day in that area, I would consider it. The Common Road and the Bragg Hill Road loops are early to mid-morning locations, mostly, which again means a pretty good poke of a drive to be there on location for the early light. Blueberry Lake, otoh, will be lit by the late afternoon sun. I was there early in the afternoon and it was much too bright. As far as a photographic "highlight" spot, although there are those that will strongly disagree with me, I don't get very excited about it. Certainly not enough to drive a couple hours for just that image.

4. Jenne Farm: Your best photo op (although I have seen it shot from all times of the day) is going to be early in the morning. I have never been there - I am planning to shoot it this year. I will be in White River Junction the night before and I still will give myself a minimum of 1 hour to get there (about 30 miles from WRJ). It is my understanding from others who have been there that even if you arrive in the pre-dawn, you will be looking for a spot to park and set up your tripod - among the others already there. For me, it will be a Saturday morning - which will probably be even worse. But my point is, that, again, is a long way to go to be there at sunrise, from where you are staying. Just some food for thought.

5. Martins Pond/Hillside Acres: as long as you are there, consider stopping in Peacham. It is worth it!

Lots of shooting ops very close to where you are. Think about Darling Hill. Note that Bean Pond is a tiny pond along the highway and you might miss it if you Blink. If there is fog very early in the a.m., it is absolutely worth doing. It would be my first stop one morning.

Good luck, and please do report back here with findings and images!!

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

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Re: Visitor from California - help needed to plan foliage viewing starting from NEK then going south

Post: # 23506Post edmcguirk
Wed Sep 29, 2021 1:07 pm

'I am wondering if my choice of E Burke for the 2nd half (10/4-10/7) is putting me too far out. Should I try to split the time between E Burke and, say, Waitsfield?
- Given how color is progressing, will Oct 6/7 be too early for the Woodstock/Maple Hill area?"

To me, staying in the Lake Willoughby area and in the Burke area, you are more or less staying in essentially the same place. Neither are really all that close to either Woodstock or Waitsfield. You are looking at some very long drives to either of those locations. That's why I earlier suggested you prioritize Woodstock vs. Waitsfield and spend your second half of the week in one of those locations. However if you can't find lodging that far south at this late date, stick with your current lodging and spend an entire week concentrating on Peacham, Groton State Forest, and the area northeast of Saint Johnsbury. There are enough photo ops in those areas alone to occupy me for a couple weeks themselves. Peacham and Groton are must do's IMO. Andy is right on about Peacham. IMO Peacham is better than Woodstock, it has great classic Vermont scenes, and with far fewer people around. You can certainly day trip to Woodstock from the NEK, but that's a heck of a lot of driving to do in one day.

We have not seen all that many real time foliage reports here this year, other than from Admin. But based on limited information, it feels to me like NEK foliage is turning later than last year (which was early). My gut feeling is that the NEK will be at peak for much of Week 1 of October. And that Woodstock may be far south enough that it may not quite be full peak by 10/5 or 10/6. Just a gut feeling...

Or you can go to Jenne Farm at sunrise, and rub shoulders and elbows with 30 other photographers all crammed into a 15 foot wide road for the same shot :lol: .

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Re: Visitor from California - help needed to plan foliage viewing starting from NEK then going south

Post: # 23509Post ctyanky
Wed Sep 29, 2021 1:50 pm

Prabal: I agree with Ed. Woodstock turns much later and probably even later this season. I would bet it doesn't peak until Columbus Day Weekend. We are saving Woodstock for the last part of the excursion, to hike Mt. Tom for this reason. (Hey, that rhymes!) :wink:

Minnesotaman mentioned to me on a couple of occasions that Woodstock was sometimes hard to figure out with the foliage show, sometimes patchy, parts were peaked while others were dull. One year it was spectacular (maybe two seasons ago?) He stays there a month each year so I usually go by his recommendations.

I enjoy the areas beyond the town of Woodstock, such as the communities of Barnard, Sharon, Royalton and Pomfret which have become some of my favorite locations. We discovered Amity Pond Natural Area which was a top notch state park and a true hidden gem. So maybe on your next trip to Vermont, you can check out these lovely towns.

Definitely concentrate on Peacham and Groton forest as Ed mentioned. I stayed in Peacham for an entire week right in town in 2019 and it was the absolute best. That whole area is divine!

You mentioned something about Maple Hill? What was that referring to? Did you mean Maple Grove Farm? I think that is in Pomfret or Barnard.

Anyways, enjoy your time in Vermont and am looking forward to your return report if you have time! CT

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Re: Visitor from California - help needed to plan foliage viewing starting from NEK then going south

Post: # 23542Post pkb2508
Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:23 am

Hello CT - sorry, I had missed your question regarding Maple Hill. I found its reference in Arnold Kaplan's handbook. Not in the original book, but in the few pages that I received as an "addendum" to the original book. It says to go to Belmont, VT and go up the Maple Hill road from the Belmont General Store for about a mile. The attraction seems to be the canopy. Haven't checked it out, and possibly a bit too early at this time.

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Re: Visitor from California - help needed to plan foliage viewing starting from NEK then going south

Post: # 23543Post ctyanky
Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:28 am

Hi Prabal, thanks for the clarification. I have been to Belmont thanks to someone on this forum and it is a nice area for tooling around the back roads. I think Minnesotaman told me about Star Lake which is supposed to be nice when it is peak foliage. I almost stayed at an Airbnb in Mt. Holly but they were booked.

Their cider days festival is next weekend and it is coined as a top ten fall event in Vermont. Here is the link in case anyone is interested. I would like to go but will be hiking in the south and also going to the Newfane Heritage Festival weather dependent................ 8) ... ont-green/

Looking forward to your further adventures! :D

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Re: Visitor from California - help needed to plan foliage viewing starting from NEK then going south

Post: # 23546Post MinnieB
Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:53 pm

A friend of mine sent me some pics from Waitsfield a few days back an there was a lot of brown leaves. Can speak for the whole town, but at least were my friend was it wasn't looking too hot this year.

I agree with CT about Barnard and Pomfret. A good road to try in the vicinity is Gold Coast Rd. I've not been on it this year, but in years past it's had some nice color and views.

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