What a great forum!
I'm coming to Vermont next weekend and I'm staying the night in Montpelier. Can anyone recommend any good sunrise/morning photography spots near Montpelier?
Also, I'm open for suggestions for Sunday. On Saturday morning starting at 8.00 from Boston I'm going to drive straight to West Wardsboro. From there drive the Kelly Stand Road, continue past Arlington to Arlington Covered Bridge (perhaps a quick sidestep to Manchester). Then drive north on the west side of Equinox Mountain on Sandgate Road, Rupert Road etc. to Danby Mountain Road. From there I'm going to drive towards Montpelier on smaller or bigger roads, depending on how much daylight is left. Has anyone recently driven these roads I mentioned? How's the foliage like in there?
However, I still haven't decided whether to stay more up north around Montpelier and Stowe or drive back south on Route 100 on Sunday. This depends entirely on the state of foliage, so which option would you suggest? I'm driving to Portland, ME on Sunday evening to see lighthouses on Monday, but most likely after it getting too dark to take photographs.
I have both David Middleton's book and Photograph America Newsletters for Vermont (which suggested the roads on the west side of Equinox Mountain), but neither has any suggestions for sunrise spots near Montpelier.
I think Kelly Stand Road will be well past peak by Sunday, though other areas lower in elevation should be okay.
To the immediate North East of Montpelier is the Groton State Forest. There are a couple of possiblities there. Just South East of the center of Town, Route US 2 goes NorthEasterly and Route 302 Goes Southeasterly. If you look on a VT map, you'll see that these split in kind of a "V" around the forest. The State Forest Road (232) goes generally N/S through the middle of the State Forest and you can catch it from either of the Roads above. From the South, there is a nice stream that flows to or from the Pond at Ricker State Park (I haven't been there, but have corresponded with someone who has -- there is a photo on the contributors section). Also, the Pond, itself may have some opportunities.
More toward the North, perhaps the "best" shot would be from Owls Head toward the West, of Kettle Pond. But for sunrise, you would have to be willing to hike (again, I haven't been there but have corresponded with two who have -- one who lives near the area). There is a road up to a hiking trail which leads to the Owl's Head Overlook. The road is gated and the gate closed before sunrise (I hear, anyway). So you would have to find a spot to park and then hike up a steep road (I am told about a mile). That would get you to the "parking area." I am then told its another 1/2 mile up the trail. I have seen photos of Kettle Pond. You would have mountains to the West behind the pond being lit by the rising sun. If its cold, there may be some clouds or fog. Could be a nice shot--sun behind you for the shot, though, so if you want the sun in the shot, this might not be it. Hard work, but sounds worth it if you are serious.
If you want the Village Scene, best bet is probably E. Corinth. Probably would want to give yourself about an hour from Montpelier. Take 302 to 25 south toward West Topsham and Waits River. Go through Waits River and shortly afterward look for the turn to the Corinth-Topsham road. On 25, you'll be heading South East. The turn will take you due North, so its a HARD left. E. Corinth is about a mile north of the turn. There is a farm field from which you can get the Village. Further North, E. Topsham also purportedly had a spot to shot that village from. However, I was there last year and the purported afternoon spot was no longer viable. It would be good as in any case, to "scout" your locations in advance.
You might try posting this same inquiry over on the Vermont Photography Forum here in the Scenes of Vermont Forums. We are hoping that will be more "focused" (pun intended, of course ) on the issues of photographers.
If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .
What I mainly had in mind to photograph was either a nice view of a town with foliage surrounding it or a reflections on a pond/lake. But any nice scene is OK for me.
What about the other question about staying in Montpelier/Stowe area or driving more south on Sunday? Where do you think will be the best foliage? I could make plans ahead based on the Middleton's book.
Do you think I should skip Kelly Stand Road on Saturday? I've never been in Vermont (I'm from Finland), so I don't know how high these roads are.
The roads will be busy this weekend, and it will take time to get around. If you leave Boston at 8:00am, you wouldn't be on Kelly Stand Road much before noon even if don't stop.
Pwt's tip about North Street in Montpelier was spot on! I got some very nice sunrise photos from that road. Thanks for the advice!
After getting some recommendations from two local photographers on the North Street sunrise spot, I decided to leave VT and drive the Kancamagus Highway to Maine. That was a good decision, since the colors were better there than in VT.
But the best colors on this trip were on the Maine coast north and south from Portland, where the foliage starts to peak. Very, very beautiful.