Southern Vermont, Sunday 10-4-2020 There's ALOT more great color forthcoming!
We got to route 9 via route 8 north out of N. Adams as I wanted to check out the Woodford area. Pretty much well past peak with sticks. Pretty bland. A future hike around the lake in Woodford State Park will have to wait till next fall. However, as we descended into the Bennington area on route 9, the color improved greatly. The whole route 7 corridor around Bennington seemed a lot earlier than I expected. During the end of this week and weekend, the color will surely pop from what I observed. Route 7 into Manchester showed excellent bright foliage but mid stage but some cool peak areas on the ranges, lots of oranges, reds, gold and yellow. We bypassed Bennington by way of the 279 interchange. There is a lot of color to come here so I would bet on Columbus Day Weekend. Yes, there were small patches of leaf blowout in some sections from the past rain/wind storm but quite minimal.
We bypassed as well, the village of Manchester and headed up route 11 east. Color was stunning on Bromley! Peak color all the way to the summit. OMG! It was also packed with adventurers! The higher elevations of route 11 were great, Magic Mountain beautiful! I would say our best color today was on 11 at these higher elevations. Heading down, the trees still looked early and route 103 into Chester town was pretty green. So much more to develop in these areas. I would suspect, that Andover and Weston might be similar but Ludlow could possibly be more advanced. I also think that if we had time to tool around the dirt back roads, we would have seen nice color close up in the tree tunnels. We decided not to take 35 into Grafton from Chester so I don't know how it looks there.
After Chester, the whole ride home on 91 was as green as summer, with patches of flares appearing in the ranges/hillsides with excellent bright color. I suspect this whole area will pop within 10 days. If I were to come back and I will, I would take 91 straight up or come up through the Berkshires or route 22 or the Taconic State Parkway into Vermont.
So these are my personal impressions. I don't describe the color in southern VT (esp. SW) as patchy, bland or past peak. I think it is early with a lot more transition to peak in the coming days. Don't write it off yet! It doesn't look like wind or rain in the near future so hold out hope for more great foliage in southern VT. I really feel Bennington and Manchester and the route 7 corridor up there will be the place to go this coming holiday weekend.
I am waiting to hear from the New Hampshire boys for our potential meetup in southern VT! Can't wait to see Bogey and Calguy as we first met last fall in Peacham. These guys got some real photography talent going on.
Hope this helps, I tried to say it like it was up there and not embellish anything that wasn't. If you are in the areas highlighted, I would be open to your impressions. We all observe foliage differently and I guess the saying goes, “Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder”.