Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

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standupphotog
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Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18221Post standupphotog
Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:47 pm

Hello everyone,

My first post here, after lurking for a bit. A lot of helpful information available on these boards, plenty to read through and absorb -- thank you to many who have contributed so much already. :D

We (and half the world, approximately) plan to be in Vermont for Columbus Day Weekend. Thus far we have booked Burlington for Sunday night (12 Oct, non-refundable); we also have lodging in Wilmington for Saturday 11 Oct, to which we'd need to commit by this Friday 10/3. It's likely we'll stay in Lake George NY on Friday 10 Oct, and drive over to Vermont on Saturday morning. Both of us are photographers, and though we've been to Vermont a few times, this is our first fall visit.

For Saturday the 11th, thinking of driving (via Pawlet & Dorset) to Manchester, then eastward for Chester, Grafton, Townshend etc, ending up in Brattleboro for dinner and on to Wilmington for the night.

Then on Sunday the 12th, the plan would be to head over to Bennington, then make our way up to Middlebury and north to Shelburne and Burlington, of course with some nice routing options along the way.

We would probably have the next morning (Mon 13th) as well to explore around Burlington and vicinity, before eventually driving to Montreal.

Now for the questions:

(1) Given the weather and colors seen thus far -- plus the forecast ahead -- what are the odds we'll see some good color? Should we be considering other itineraries / locations that would yield better color?

(2) What are some must-see-can't-miss sites, locales, and/or drives?

(3) What routes would you suggest (that may be a bit off from what Google Maps gives)?
E.g. for the drive to Middlebury, would you recommend 30 all the way or deviate somewhat on the 133? And from Middlebury up, is 116 the best for the entire distance, or go from Bristol via Monkton to Shelburne?

(4) Should we buy a JIMAPCO atlas ahead of time (would need to special order here, or have it shipped to our accommodations in Lake George)? Or will we find one at a store shortly after driving into VT?

(5) Any photography tips or other general advice?

Thanks for any and all suggestions! :)


Andy
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18237Post Andy
Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:19 pm

Given the way things look this year, you might be on the late end. Best bet is to look for areas that are either traditionally later turning, or seem to "hold on." I have had good luck with Peacham in the NEK later in the season (though not as late as 10-10). Also, along the Lake Champlain Coast, colors will often hang on longer.
Andy

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

pwt54
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18259Post pwt54
Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:04 am

I was down in the Bristol and Middlebury areas yesterday. Foliage is very early down there. Should be good for Columbus Day. I like driving route 30.

standupphotog
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18281Post standupphotog
Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:37 pm

Thanks all. :)

Still a bit torn as to how to execute the plan. If we're staying in Wilmington on Saturday night (11th), it doesn't leave as much time to give the Champlain Valley locales justice on Sunday... though we're flexible and could do some drives and shooting there on Monday morning as well, if conditions warrant. Another option is to switch Saturday's accommodations to something closer to the middle of the state, though of course at the moment there aren't many choices (and the ones that are available make us wonder -- with mixed reviews -- as to why they have vacancy at such a peak weekend).

Yes, bm, we'd very much appreciate your advice on back roads around Middlebury and that region.

pwt54
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18288Post pwt54
Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:06 am

Your first night in Burlington is where you need to be this late in foliage season. I would try to find a place to stay in Rutland instead of Wilmington. There won't be much color there this late. Work the west side of the State.
Route 30 is more fun for me than route US 7. Route 30 from Manchester to Townshend will not be good. That area changes color much earlier.
Routes 133 & 140 are paved country roads. I'm not sure what the colors will be like, but they are fun drives. A good loop would be 133 to route 30 in Pawlet. Then route 30 north to Poultney. Then route 140 to Wallingford.


ixl
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18289Post ixl
Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:56 am

I will be in the Wilmington area briefly sometime in the next few days, but I expect it will be peak or already past peak by this weekend, much less the weekend after.
Charles Kozierok - DesktopScenes.com

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standupphotog
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18341Post standupphotog
Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:40 pm

Excellent advice -- many thanks!

Managed to get a room at the Mendon Mountainview Lodge for Saturday the 11th. It will be a good couple of days no matter what... color and weather are out of our control, so we'll see (and shoot) what we see, and enjoy the experience.

standupphotog
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18345Post standupphotog
Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:14 pm

We'll definitely hit up those local roads.
bm wrote:Do you have a Jimapo Atlas or Delorme?
I'd like to pick one up when we get into VT. Right now I'm looking at one of the free state tourism maps from a previous trip, and a CAA/AAA NE map... and Google Maps... but yeah, something more detailed would be great. Easy enough to find Jimapco or Delorme in a gas station etc?

ctyanky
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18347Post ctyanky
Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:40 pm

I definitely would advise getting the Jimapco for all those back roads! Grocery stores and "some" gas stations may have them, most bookstores have them too. It is easier to read and negotiate between pages than the Delorme or Cartographic but at least find one of them! Can't wait to hear all about your trip! :D

standupphotog
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18497Post standupphotog
Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:14 pm

So, things are looking a bit fluid ahead of the weekend. Seems almost random, having green in once place and past peak elsewhere nearby (scientists would probably explain it beyond 'random,' but that's above my pay grade).

Saturday night we'll stay in Mendon, and Sunday night in Burlington, so Sunday we'll hit Middlebury and the Champlain Valley.

For Saturday, driving over from Lake George in the morning, I'd thought to visit Poultney; Pawlet; Dorset & Manchester (these less so for colour at this point); then back up eventually to Rutland via 30, 133, 140, etc. But is there somewhere else we should be considering, given recent reports?

Indeed here (eastern Ontario / western Quebec) it's been kind of odd, this fall... a burst early, then too warm... some places nice to look at from afar or casually, but for shooting we've seen better.

Fallleafechidna
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18504Post Fallleafechidna
Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:27 am

standupphotog wrote:So, things are looking a bit fluid ahead of the weekend. Seems almost random, having green in once place and past peak elsewhere nearby (scientists would probably explain it beyond 'random,' but that's above my pay grade).

Saturday night we'll stay in Mendon, and Sunday night in Burlington, so Sunday we'll hit Middlebury and the Champlain Valley.

For Saturday, driving over from Lake George in the morning, I'd thought to visit Poultney; Pawlet; Dorset & Manchester (these less so for colour at this point); then back up eventually to Rutland via 30, 133, 140, etc. But is there somewhere else we should be considering, given recent reports?

Indeed here (eastern Ontario / western Quebec) it's been kind of odd, this fall... a burst early, then too warm... some places nice to look at from afar or casually, but for shooting we've seen better.
In the Lake George area the Pack Forest has a short, beautiful hike through an old-growth forest. The southeast shore of Lake George has some pretty cool dirt roads, some areas have very large White Pines. Powley-Piseco Rd in the Southern Adirondacks has lots of old-growth forest along the road. So in case the colors don't work out, maybe the grand forests will.

As far as maps, there is a nice set of detailed topo/road maps for the two Green Forest areas available and a mix of DeLorme and ipad/tablet works well. With GPS in a tablet and the mapping software you can actually watch your car as it drives along even the most remote back road and see it take every little turn.

standupphotog
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Re: Advice/Suggestions for Columbus Day Weekend

Post: # 18512Post standupphotog
Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:29 pm

Sounds good -- thanks all for the advice and well wishes.

Enjoy the weekend! :D


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