Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

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Jeff
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Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby Jeff » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:19 pm

Hello Foliage Forum users - first of all I'd like to thank everyone for their sharing on this forum. I've been following along for a few days before registering on the site today.

My wife, 16-year old son and I will be in Vermont based out of the Burlington area from Sept 30 to Oct 4. I was hoping to ask the users in the forum about route from Cambridge through Waterville and Belividere to Montgomery. Specifically interested in knowing if caterpillars have negatively impacted this area, or if it is worth the drive through this area specifically for fall colors. If recommended, any must stop places?

We'll also be heading to the Peacham/Groton area and on to Franconia/Lincoln. And also plan a day down through Bristol to Middlebury and across to Hancock and back up through Warren and Waitsfield. May try and include Mad River Glen or Sugarbush - maybe a chair lift. Any other not to be missed views for the scenery and the color on these two routes? Trying to balance distances with best spots based on Burlington base.

Kindly,

Jeff


ctyanky
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Re: Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby ctyanky » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:13 am

Hi Jeff and a warm welcome to the forum! Glad you decided to pop in here for suggestions on your routes. I personally have no knowledge of the caterpillar infestation up in that area. Maybe someone can pop in and let you know who lives around there.

I'm going to just give you a couple of roads in Cambridge that are awesome before I head out and will be back later on tonight. The Lower Pleasant Valley Road and loop up the Upper Pleasant Valley Road in Cambridge is a delight. Many photographers stop at the barn scene below Mt. Mansfield on the Lower PVR for photo ops. It is gorgeous!

Another couple of roads in Waitsfield are the Common Road and Bragg Hill Road which offer great views of the Mad River Valley. In Belvidere, stop at the Belvidere Pond, beautiful with a nice pullout for parking.

Do take the single chair lift at Mad River Glen! This weekend and the Columbus Day Weekend are the rides and you can see my post further down on the forum describing the ride up. Route 125 (Middlebury Gap) to Hancock is a must, glad you included it! You will love the ride up 100 from Hancock to Warren. So much to do! :wink:

More tonight! Welcome!!!! CT
CT - Moderator for Scenes of Vermont
**************
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

ctyanky
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Re: Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby ctyanky » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:15 am

P.S. Jeff, I'll call the Department of Agriculture today in VT and check on the deforestation issue in parts of the state. Stay tuned!!!

pwt54
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Re: Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby pwt54 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:46 am

The caterpillars did not hit that area very much. Just one spot on Butternut Mountain can be seen.
You will find that the colors as you approach Montgomery will still be early. This is normal. The highlands in this area will have better color. Routes 58 through Hazen's Notch and 242 to Jay Peak will have good color and the roads end up at route 100 which should have good color. Route 58 is part pavement and part gravel, but is an easy drive.

Jeff
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:38 pm

Re: Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby Jeff » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:38 am

Thanks CT and pwt54 for your replies. Much appreciated!

CT - look forward to your additional input. From what I see, you have a database of knowledge for the region!

pwt54 - I appreciate the notice of early color on the approach to Montgomery and the suggestion for the highlands in the area. We'll explore those!

ctyanky
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Re: Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby ctyanky » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:54 pm

Hello Jeff! I did a bunch of digging to find the most appropriate department in VT to discuss the defoliation. At first, I thought it would be the Department of Ag, but further investigation brought me to the Dept of Forestry. After, scouring the website I found the right sub section of the Forestry Division and had an amazing and informative discussion with one of the foresters who is in charge of the area in question (Waterville/Cambridge). He said that 55,000 acres in VT were affected with the tent caterpillars this year, which only amounts to 10% of the state. It sounds alarming in acreage, but he confirmed that 10% was not bad. He also said that it is scattered, and yes, you will see patches of gray hillsides where the deforestation has occurred. But fortunately, the life cycle has ended until next year. The northern part of VT was the most affected. In his professional opinion, he feels the trees have still suffered a bit from last year's drought and may continue to show stress from this heat as well, in the coming years. It was fascinating listening to him. Foresters so love their work. I was so impressed by his knowledge. Please find below the link that you may find intriguing, as I have.

http://fpr.vermont.gov/sites/fpr/files/ ... 202017.pdf

In the article you will see a link to look at any of the areas:

Defoliated areas mapped during aerial surveys are available on the ANR Natural Resources Atlas. To view the data, click on “Layers” at the bottom of the left hand sidebar. Click the “+” sign next to Forests, Parks and Recreation. And then click on “Forest Tent Caterpillar Damage”. To see the Legend, click the icon between the check box and the layer name. Users are reminded that this information is sketched at speeds of over 100 mph and can be incomplete, since observers can’t see under the plane or behind hills.

ctyanky
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Re: Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby ctyanky » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:24 pm

http://anrmaps.vermont.gov/websites/anra5/

oops forgot to add this link to look at any of the defoliation areas present in VT. It takes forever to load up! Then follow the directions in my first post!

ctyanky
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Re: Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby ctyanky » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:50 pm

Jeff: make sure you stop here on the Middlebury Gap (route 125). You will love it! Beautiful, short drive in and lots of bridges to criss cross back and forth. If the falls are rushing, it sure is a feast for the eyes. The signage is SMALL!!! I've missed it a couple of times and had to turn around. Put it on your bucket list!

http://idigvt.com/play/hike-walk/texas-falls-area/

Jeff
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:38 pm

Re: Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby Jeff » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:35 pm

Thank you for the additional info CT!

Jeff
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:38 pm

Re: Waterville/Belvidere caterpillar impacts and general routes question

Postby Jeff » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:21 pm

Hi everyone - one follow-up question. I've been hearing reports that some of the red maple leaves have turned quickly to brown with the warmer weather. That is one thing we were hoping to experience while in Vermont from tomorrow through Wednesday. (We're from the Canadian prairies and don't get to see those very often!) Any suggestions for where we might try and explore for those? Again, we'll be based out of Burlington, so suggestions within a two hour range of there would be appreciated. I'm happy to report back our findings to keep all this great sharing in motion!



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