(First report by the State this season)
Most of Vermont's forests are very green and still in the earliest stages of color development, but the state’s foliage show has begun in the north and at higher elevations. Foliage enthusiasts are encouraged to visit Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom during these early stages of the foliage season.
“There are some isolated pockets of very nice early colors - particularly yellows - emerging in the north, and also at higher elevations, even in central and southern Vermont,” said Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder. “Some dryer sites, roadside trees and village sugar maples, along with red maples in the wetlands, are showing typical early splashes of red.”
Overall, foliage season is shaping up quite nicely statewide, according to Snyder. Although some opinions are circulating that fall foliage might suffer because of dry conditions in 2016, that hasn’t been the case in Vermont. In fact, some of the state’s best foliage years follow dry summers because, most often, dry weather brings out the reds, thanks to some details of plant physiology.
Trees everywhere in Vermont are beginning to distinguish themselves in the canopy and with a slight but visible change from summer's deep, lush greens to a range of lighter green hues, hinting at the full display that is yet to come.
Forester Matt Langlais of Essex and Caledonia Counties is encouraging folks to head to the Northeast Kingdom for the best bet on seeing early-season colors. "The hardwood ridges and low lying red maple swamps along Vermont Route 114, from Island Pond through Norton to Canaan, is where the show is beginning."
Best Bets (North to South):
- Northeast Kingdom Byway, which runs north along Vermont Route 114 between St. Johnsbury and East Burke, where it connects to Vermont Route 5A and continues north to Newport.