-Coming up from CT via 91N, and getting off exit 2 (i believe it is).
-Taking rt. 9 west to the intersection of rt. 100.
-Taking rt. 100 north for a while until we hit the intersection of rt. 4.
-Taking rt. 4 west.
-Taking rt. 7 south towards Manchester.
-Then taking rt. 11 east, all the way back to the highway.
So, you get a sense of where we would be driving around. I dont want to go any higher than this, because we simply dont have the time. Suggestions of any kind would be very helpful, as the only roads I am familiar with is a little section of rt. 100 just up to about where Mt. Snow/Haystack are. Thanks in advance everyone!
That route looks pretty good. It's mainly highways but you should see a lot. Be sure to check out the overlook at Hogback Mountain on route 9. And if you are interested in dirt roads I can make a couple of suggestions.
If possible, come tomorrow rather than Friday. The weather will probably be very nice tomorrow, Friday is much less certain. --c
To be honest, I don't have a lot of experience with the dirt roads in my own area here in southern VT... I spent more time on the side roads in northern VT this season! --c
Routes 9 and 100 are fine, but foliage may be past peak along the West River. If the foliage is still bright, I'd stop at Jamaica State Park for a walk, then turn west where 100 crosses Route 11 at Londonderry and head down into the Valley of Vermont (Manchester) There are a couple of nice vistas on 11 west of 100. One is just past Bromley ski area, although that area will be past peak. Another is on the way down into Manchester, where it will be at peak or slightly past.
A few miles past Bromley, turn right at the sign to Mistral's restaurant and take Barnumville Rd. down into Manchester. There's a Morgan Horse Ranch at the bottom of the hill where you might get some good farm shots and there are some water shots as you cross the Battenkill.
You can avoid Manchester entirely if you take a left on Highland Ave down to Route 11/30 in Manchester Center. (Alducci's deli is to the left of the stop sign at the bottom of the hill. Very good, as is the Flat Road diner at the next stop sign.)
Turn left on route 11/30, and right on Route 7 east. Great vistas on 7 south of Manchester. Take exit 3, go a few miles west on 313 to 7a, turn left and then turn left again at Old Depot Rd, which is a gravel road that parallels 7a for a few miles. Some nice water shots over a marsh there, probably geese on it. There are some larch trees in the marshes, which are fairly rare in VT and they turn a nice yellow. Not sure if they've turned yet. You can also go for another walk at L. Shaftsbury State Park, again good water shots. When you hit 7a again, turn north and it's just a mile or so up the road.
Eventually you'll hit Bennington on 7a if you go south. You can return to Brattleboro via Route 9 (45 min - 1 hr), and then 91, or you can stay on Route 7 south to Williamstown (15 minutes) and cut over to 91 via Route 2. It's about the same time either way, but Route 2 may have better foliage since it's not as high. There's a nice vista coming down 7 into Williamstown, although there are better ones in the field behind the Clark Museum in the village or atop Mt. Greylock.
This route takes you up the CT River Valley, into the Green Mtns, along the Taconics, then over the Berkshires back into the CT River Valley. The geology, soils and trees are slightly different in each range, so you see a wide range of foliage.
I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out and post some pics (might take some time for the pics, since I shoot slides, and have to have them scanned and all that jazz.)
Also, would it be worth it to take the slight detour to go up skyline drive?
Mt. Equinox is in the center of the loop, so you're likely to be there mid-day. The drive is worth it if the weather is clear. Won't be great photography from the summit, but on a clear day you'll have great views of the Adirondacks, Green Mtns, etc.
Hope you did the trip today - weather and foliage are spectacular.