Recommendations for early Oct

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smiling
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:02 am

Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19966Post smiling
Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:32 pm

Hi All,

We are from Europe and we are coming for our first time to see foliage in Canada. Why on this forum you may wonder? We will be in Quebec and we were thinking on whether it was worth spending our last 3 days to go to Algoquin park in Ontario or rather come down to Vermont.
We are more inclined for Vermont coming down from Durham, QC.

We should be there on 4th, 5th and 6th October. Given the time, where do you recommend us we could spend these 3 days?
I read the cover bridge tour around Montgomery and then looked like to me that the Scenic Route 100 byway is a must. In 3 days how do you recommend to split? Or given the time of october and in relation to current expectations for foliage do you recommend perhaps other routes.

Thanks a lot in advance


ctyanky
Board Admin
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Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19970Post ctyanky
Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:41 pm

Hi Smiling and welcome to our forum! Glad you could stop by and ask for advice about your upcoming trip! My first comment is, "Go with your inclinations and come to VT"! The dates you have chosen would be perfect for the Northeast Kingdom (aka NEK). There are so many wonderful roads and places to see, and I hope Carol, From-the-NEK and others chime in who are experts in this area. Lake Willoughby, Island Pond, Holland (where I will go for the first time with Carol), route 114, route 111 around Seymour Lake, Darling Hill Road in East Burke come to mind. I also heard there is a Jimapco map of the NEK that has come out in the last year or two which might be helpful. You may be able to pick it up at a gas station or bookstore.

On another note, it might be wise to check for lodging this late in the game. Do you have accommodations in mind? Perhaps others can recommend places that may still have openings.

Maybe two days in the NEK and then take a ride on 100. I defer to others for their very expert opinions on your trip but thought I could get some ideas moving for you. With the cold snap arriving in a couple of days, we should have a better picture of the foliage progression, at least in the NEK.

Best of luck to you and others will come on soon to share their thoughts. Again, welcome to our wonderful forum and please keep asking away!

CT
CT - Board Admin and 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

admin
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Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19972Post admin
Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:34 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum..

Colors in northeastern Vermont should be just about perfect for your visit. I would recommend the Jay Peak area. You can probably get accommodation at Jay Peak itself...they have a big hotel. From Jay you could go over the mountain to Montgomery, then head south you the Notch to Lowell. This is mostly dirt road, and closed in the winter. It can have really stunning colors if you hit it right. After that drive in a big circle over Lowell Mountain to Irasburg and Orleans, then over to Lake Willoughby, then north to Newport and back east to Jay. You could also take route 100 from Lowell over to Stowe...about an hour's drive. In Stowe, take the mountain road over to Smugglers' Notch...another windy mountain road, then head back to Jay again. There are only two bed and breakfasts in Montgomery. They are probably booked up now, so Jay Peak would be your best bet, or if not, the new Burke Mountain Hotel in East Burke.

smiling
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:02 am

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19974Post smiling
Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:45 am

Hi!

Thank you all for the very warm welcome.

Given the distance from Algonquin Park to Montreal, where we will be taking our flight from, I think we will indeed come to VT.

Following your suggestions we tried to develop two alternatives and have some questions for you.

ALTERNATIVE 1
Oct 3rd - Night in Canada around Dunham for wineries/ice ciders
Oct 4th - Montgomery+covered bridges and then night around either Barton or Burke - Seems like quite expensive compared to up north in Canada!
Oct 5th - Completing the loop as recommended and night in Jay.
Oct 6th - Back to Canada

ALTERNATIVE 2
Oct 3rd - Night in Canada around Dunham for wineries/ice ciders
Oct 4th - Montgomery+Lovel+Stowe on the 100
Oct 5th - Down to Hancock or Rochester area
Oct 6th - Back north to Canada

The main idea was to drive with some stops in interesting spots for photos (quite like taking photos, not really a pro but not so amateur!) and visiting nice towns and villages worthwhile on route to get a sense of VT and foliage here.
I read loads of Scenic route 100 but certainly isn't a must-do if you recommend that there are other routes worthwhile to better segment the trip, especially in the view of catching as much as possible the peak time for foliage around. If I am not wrong the west is one of the latest area.

Very much looking forward to your suggestions before booking up!

Thanks a lot to everyone!

ctyanky
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Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19975Post ctyanky
Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:58 am

Hi Smiling: my vote is for alternative #1. That being said, and waiting for others to respond, I would book your lodging asap. I think we can massage your itinerary even more once you are all set with what you choose to do, and add more interesting spots. I hate to see you miss Stowe and Smuggler's Notch on 108 over the pass, but the town itself (Stowe), will be a zoo of tourists and may slow you down. Cambridge is such a gorgeous area. Maybe we can squeeze it in? :wink: I defer to the gang once again!


smiling
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:02 am

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19976Post smiling
Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:00 pm

I will wait for some confirmation, but I hear what you're saying... I will make some calculations about the milage and perhaps can squeeze something extra in as recommended.

Will do some accommodation hunting tonight! ;)

From_the_NEK
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Lyndonville, VT

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19977Post From_the_NEK
Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:14 pm

Here are some interesting options for driving around northeastern VT.
These are links to posts buried in the "THE BEST OF VERMONT; Scenic Drives, Viewpoints, Ponds, Lakes, Streams, Bridges and Buildings" Sticky thread above.

NEK Central:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3532&p=9105&hilit=drive#p9105

NEK Southwest(short and long options):
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3532&p=11706&hilit=drive#p11706

NEK Southeast:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3532&p=16832&hilit=drive#p16832
Last edited by From_the_NEK on Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

shychakr
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:18 pm

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19978Post shychakr
Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:22 pm

Hi,
This would be my first visit to VT. I would be in Londonderry during 5th -7th October. I have a 5 yr old kid. Please suggest the best scenic drives and light hikes.

smiling
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:02 am

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19979Post smiling
Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:30 pm

Thanks for the links.

If it plays out as requested with the lodges, could probably do 4th in Newark, VT and 5th in Jay, unless you recommend the other way round coming from Dunham area, QC.
Last edited by smiling on Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

From_the_NEK
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Lyndonville, VT

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19980Post From_the_NEK
Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:50 pm

shychakr wrote:Hi,
This would be my first visit to VT. I would be in Londonderry during 5th -7th October. I have a 5 yr old kid. Please suggest the best scenic drives and light hikes.
You may want to start your own thread to prevent confusion with the discussion in this thread. Also, just to clarify, are you going to be in Londonderry, VT or Londonderry, NH?

From_the_NEK
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Lyndonville, VT

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19981Post From_the_NEK
Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:05 pm

smiling wrote:Thanks for the links.

If it plays out as requested with the lodges, could probably do 4th in Newark, VT and 5th in Jay, unless you recommend the other way round coming from Dunham area, QC.
I suppose it depends on what time of day you leave Dunham.

If you leave fairly early in the morning, I can lay out a road trip for you that would hit some really nice spots between Dunham and Newark (are you looking at staying at a bread and breakfast because there are no hotels in Newark?). And then I can lay out a nice route between the Burke/Lyndon area back to the Jay Peak area for the next day.

If you noticed while looking at the route I posted earlier, for the mostpart I avoid the major routes in favor of a lot of back road driving. I really feel like the best way to take in Vermont is to get off of the major roads (e.g. Rt 100 cough-cough 8)). The major roads keep you confined to the bottom of valleys where the grand views are lacking. Following a back road (usually gravel) up and over the hills takes you past beautiful farms, wide open fields, and many ponds and lakes. All with an excellent backdrop of colorful mountains.

smiling
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:02 am

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19982Post smiling
Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:22 pm

Hi!

Probably, on a hindsight it would be best to do the other way round as I saw today that there are interesting vineyards in Dunham so perhaps spending a couple of hours in the area before crossing over to VT and focusing around montgomery. In this way I can then leave Jay early on the 4th towards Newark area to stay overnight and back to Montreal on the 6th, aiming to be there for sunset, so no rush.

I found a B&B on Airbnb with nice reviews and the lady seems nice and easy so if you think it can work out seems like an option.
If you happen to have time to lay down a route it would be super!

We rented a Standard class car (Nissan Altima or similar), so hopefully it would be good enough for back roads. I see what you mean about finding higher areas to get a wider view of the colours.

Thanks a million!

shychakr
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:18 pm

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19986Post shychakr
Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:33 am

From_the_NEK wrote:
shychakr wrote:Hi,
This would be my first visit to VT. I would be in Londonderry during 5th -7th October. I have a 5 yr old kid. Please suggest the best scenic drives and light hikes.
You may want to start your own thread to prevent confusion with the discussion in this thread. Also, just to clarify, are you going to be in Londonderry, VT or Londonderry, NH?
Thank you for the reply.
I will be in Londonderry VT. I will start a new thread.

deaner1971
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:01 am

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 19991Post deaner1971
Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:30 pm

shychakr wrote:Hi,
This would be my first visit to VT. I would be in Londonderry during 5th -7th October. I have a 5 yr old kid. Please suggest the best scenic drives and light hikes.
I hope the quote helps to reduce any confusion. I actually have a few moments to respond and I didn't want to risk not being able to do so when the new post went up.

I love SVT and, after years of mostly solo trips, I am bringING my family with me for the first time next year. My son with be 5 for that trip so, I am casting my eye in a much similar way.

Here goes:

Hikes

West River, Jamaica State Park - it can be as easy as a walk on an old small gauge rail line that is now a smooth walking path or a scramble through boulders deposited by the stream or a walk up a traditional trail to a waterfall - you choose. Even the walk along the path has nice views of the West River.

Ball Mountain Dam - a fun walk for a kid (even a 45 year-old one like me). You can walk out on the dam and have a nice view of the valley to take in the views from the parking area (where the gazebo is located). Not a hike, per se, but a fun and short walk for smaller legs.

Stratton Mountain - take the gondola up to the top of the mountain and either walk back down or hike about on the summit and ride back down on the gondola.

Emerald Lake State Park - a nice and easy walk around a gorgeous lake. Pretty much all there is to say about that...

Equinox Mountain - also a strong option for a scenic drive (see below) to the summit, the lower reaches of Equinox Mountain has a network of trails that can be done in pieces or together to create a hike as long, or as short, as little legs are willing to do. Trail map found here: http://www.equinoxpreservationtrust.org/index.php.

I will come up with some more hikes shortly. Some come to mind but, I don't want to recommend ones (like the Dorset Quarry or the Scott Bridge) that have additional risks.

Drives

Pikes Falls Road - named after town of Pikes Falls, I am uncertain as to whether there are waterfalls or it is named after a family named Pike who tripped a lot in the vicinity. You drive along the North Branch of Ball Mountain Brook. The road narrows often and has large stretches of gravel (really more like very well packed sand). I drive an Acura TLX (four door sedan) so none of these routes require four wheel drive or tires so large each represents one day of OPEC production.

Deer Valley Road

Kelly Stand Road

Colvin Hill Road - I swear I once glanced a bigfoot on this road. My wife pointed out that "bigfoot" was wearing a flannel shirt, denim overalls and slurred "*&^ing tourists" at me as I drove by. I stand by my sighting and believe that disguises like this are why sightings remain so rare, as few have my powers of observation to see through his cunning camouflage.

Skyline Drive - OK, first, is your car under warranty? Are brakes (rotors and pads) covered? Seriously, use low gear during the descent and pull over occasionally to take in the views and to allow your brakes to cool off. When I last went on this drive, they still had buckets of water that you can use to cool off your brakes, if they get out of hand. All of that aside, this is a great drive. Wonderful views, especially later in the day. Expect it to be more windy and cool than the valley below and layer accordingly.

Danby Hill Road - if you have time, take a drive down Easy Street. No seriously. Danby Hill Road merges with (or splits off from, depending on which way you are driving it) Brook Road. If, at the fork in the road, you take Brook Road, Easy Street will be at the next fork in the road, right after you cross Mill Brook.

Mount Tabor Forestry Road - OK, a few notes. This is a seasonal road. After a heavy rain I do not advise this one and, I believe, it closes after first snow fall. This drive runs between 7 and Londonderry. You can pick it up as Brooklyn Road in Mount Tabor where it intersects with 7 or, from Londonderry, take the following:

A. 11 west toward Peru. Right on Lover's Lane. Right on Hapgood Pond Road. Visit Hapgood Pond. Get back on Hapgood Pond Road and resume your driving by turning left. Continue to intersection with Landgrove Road where you will turn left. Turn left on Little Michigan Road and right on Danby Mountain Tabor Road Number 10 (gonna tell you now, I don't believe that 1 through 9 exist but, someone liked "Number 10" at the end of the name). This is the forestry road.

B. Take 11 or Old Stowell Road to Landgrove Road and turn right. Turn left on Little Michigan Road and right on Danby Mountain Tabor Road Number 10 (you know the route and joke from here).

Other Fun

Equinox Valley Nursery - they have a great fall festival thing going on from September through November. Pumpkins? Check. Cider? Check. Those donuts you guys all like? Check. Corn maze? Check.

Orvis Flagship Store - see how New Yorkers think Vermonters would live if they were New Yorkers who lived in Vermont. Oh and feed the fish, kids love to feed the fish. Seriously, the upscale fly fishing, wing (i.e. bird) shooting and clothier is a fun visit. After you walk around, check "next door" (across a field really and, if it is Columbus Day weekend, there will be big tents on that field) at the Outlet Store for sale items.

Covered Bridges - Arlington Covered Bridge, Chiselville Covered Bridge and Scott Covered Bridge are all nearby. For Arlington, drive through the bridge and park at the church. It will keep the little one farther from the road (speed limit 55, at that point, I believe). As mentioned previously, I am reluctant to recommend the Scott Bridge as it sits right off of 30 with parking being just feet off of the road. Scott Bridge also was closed to foot traffic when I was last there so, you can neither walk or drive across it. Forget I even mentioned that one.

Bromley - kids rides and an alpine slide. Need I say more?

Northshire Bookstore - great kids section and a wonderful place. The best independent bookstore in Ver..., the United..., THE WORLD!!! Seriously, a good time.

Killington - also a small amusement park (make sure there are things that your little one can do, based on height and weight: http://www.killington.com/site/summer/adventure-center). You can even go to the golf course and watch people hurt themselves on these: http://www.killington.com/site/summer/g ... olf_Boards.

Vermont Country Store - a good time for all ages.

I hope that gives you a few ideas. Have a great time!

From_the_NEK
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Lyndonville, VT

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Post: # 20015Post From_the_NEK
Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:14 pm

smiling wrote:Hi!

Probably, on a hindsight it would be best to do the other way round as I saw today that there are interesting vineyards in Dunham so perhaps spending a couple of hours in the area before crossing over to VT and focusing around montgomery. In this way I can then leave Jay early on the 4th towards Newark area to stay overnight and back to Montreal on the 6th, aiming to be there for sunset, so no rush.

I found a B&B on Airbnb with nice reviews and the lady seems nice and easy so if you think it can work out seems like an option.
If you happen to have time to lay down a route it would be super!

We rented a Standard class car (Nissan Altima or similar), so hopefully it would be good enough for back roads. I see what you mean about finding higher areas to get a wider view of the colours.

Thanks a million!
It looks like your plan is a follows. I'm not quite sure if you are planning on spending both nights in Newark or one in Jay and one in Newark.:

For this route planning, I'm assuming one night in Jay and one night in Newark. I can readjust if that is not the case.

October 4th: Spend the morning in Dunham, and cross over to Montgomery, explore some other areas and overnight somewhere around Jay Peak.
https://goo.gl/maps/dvWZtXKxPds
This route takes you into Montgomery, Belvidere Pond, Eden (Lake Eden), a section of Route 100, Lowell, Hazen's Notch, Jay Peak. Wrap up the day with a tram ride to the summit of Jay Peak (if it is not in the clouds).

October 5th: Leave Jay and head toward Newark, exploring along the way.
https://goo.gl/maps/cwPKSEXpm3s
This route takes you back to Lowell but you head east this time to Irasburg and Barton. You may want to take a few minutes to drive along Crystal Lake in Barton. Then return to the route and head to May Pond, Lake Willoughby (make sure to visit the south beach then return to the route), Hinton Hill to Island Pond, Jobs Pond, Newark/Bald Hill Ponds, Sugarhouse Rd, Burke Hollow, Darling Hill, Burrington Bridge, Ridge Rd, and end the day with a drive up Burke's Toll Rd ($5 per vehicle). Eat dinner somewhere in East Burke, and head to your overnight accommodation.

October 6th: Leave Newark and explore around Vermont arriving back in Montreal before sunset.
https://goo.gl/maps/P4Z4QQKWN2u
Leave Newark, West Burke, Sutton, Pudding Hill, Lyndonville/Lyndon Center (drive through the covered bridge), Hubbard Hill, Fall Brook, South Wheelock/Stannard Mtn Rd, Lake Caspian, Craftsbury Common, Eden, Johnson, Jeffersonville, Bakersfield, Enosburg, Franklin, Canada. The latter part of this route Jeffersonville-Canada is lower elevation and will likely have foliage that lags behind that of the first two day of exploration.


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