As we kick off the first days of fall, conditions on the ground certainly line up with the calendar. Color is still in the early stages but is steadily emerging. While southern parts of the state are still donning summer green, the crimsons and golds of autumn become more noticeable as you travel north, with the most color in higher elevations, northeast regions of Vermont, and along the spine of the Green Mountains. And while it’s still early across the state, peak conditions could come quickly in areas where color is more advanced, especially in the Northeast Kingdom.
As you explore this week, make sure to pause and admire the tremendous variation observed in many individual trees. Single trees are showing off some branches in flaming reds and oranges, while other branches display more mild yellows, and the remaining ones are still dark green. And remember that conditions can change very fast. Take advantage of every opportunity to get out and appreciate the views around you!
The colorful displays of autumn in Vermont are an annual reminder of how lucky we are for our forested landscape, the thousands of private family landowners who steward our forests, and the many Vermonters who live and work in them—foresters, loggers, producers, and all of the others supporting our landscape and in turn our trees, our health, our economy, and so much more.
Areas in the north and higher elevations continue to be the best places to spot early color this week. One area with striking color coming on and plenty to explore is the over 26,000 acres of Groton State Forest, including the seven state parks within this forest. Explore with a hike, a run on the rail trail, or a horseback ride, or enjoy the color from the water with a paddle. Camping is still open at Ricker Pond State Park and New Discovery State Park, and when the sun sets and you can’t see the leaves, you can enjoy spectacular stargazing and the waning Harvest Moon.