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Killington, Vermont Fall Foliage Report

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Near Peak in the Higher Elevations & Northeast Kingdom

September 27, 2020
MONTPELIER, Vt. – Foliage is nearing peak color on the mountainsides of the Northeast Kingdom and at higher elevations down the spine of the Green Mountains.
Vibrant foliage continues to develop around Vermont, and most areas of the state will be displaying ever more colorful foliage throughout the week.  “The mountains in Richford and Montgomery are at mid-stage to near peak, and the lower elevations are in the early to mid stages of color,” reports Nancy Patch, a forester in Franklin County, near the Canadian border
Likewise, foliage is nearing peak color in the Northeast Kingdom and on some of the higher elevations of the Green Mountains well into central Vermont. Look for bright color between Jay Peak and St. Johnsbury, Stowe and Montpelier, then south to Killington.
The lower hillsides in central Vermont are generally at mid-stage with a 30 to 50 percent change. Bright, scarlet maples highlight the emerging, quilt-like mix of yellow, orange and burgundy.
In southern Vermont, some higher elevations are approaching mid-stage, while valley areas are beginning to display bright spots of early color.
Best Bets: In general, higher elevations will offer the most panoramic views of emerging color across the valleys, and many low-lying marsh areas will offer some of the most vivid and varied fall color.
In northern Vermont, try Route 114 between Lyndonville and Norton, Route 105 from North Troy to East Charleston, Route 5A from West Burke to Westmore, and Route 111 between Derby Center and Island Pond.
Interstate 89 from Northfield to Bolton offers beautiful views of orange, red and yellow foliage emerging on the hillsides. Colorful foliage can also be found on Route 108 between Stowe and Cambridge, Route 100 between Warren and Stowe, and Route 12 between Montpelier and Elmore, or Route 14 between E. Montpelier and Hardwick
In the eastern area of central Vermont, try Route 302 through Orange Heights, Route 25 in Topsham and Corinth, Route 110 between East Barre and Tunbridge, or Route 113 in the Vershire and Chelsea area.
Mountain gap roads also offer quality foliage viewing:  The Lincoln Gap between Warren and Lincoln, Route 125 between Middlebury and Hancock, and Route 17 between Waitsfield and Starksboro.
In southern Vermont, suggested drives include Route 11 between Peru and Chester, Route 100 between Jacksonville and Weston, Route 7 between Wallingford and Manchester, Route 30 between Winhall and Newfane, and Route 9 between Bennington and Brattleboro.

Detailed road conditions reports from Vermont Agency of Transportation are being updated at least twice daily.  

The Color Change

Different varieties of trees change at different times. Red maples are among the first to change, especially those along roadsides and in wet areas.

The earliest foliage change generally occurs in the northern part of the state near the Canadian border and at higher elevations.

By mid-September full color generally begins to appear across the north, moving progressively south during October. Typically, individual trees and groups of trees with brilliant color can be found as early as the Labor Day weekend.

"Peak" color is a bit of a myth, since every person has their own ideas of what "peak" looks like. Typically, the fullest color can be found from late-September in the north through mid-October in the south.

Many experienced foliage viewers actually consider late October the most beautiful time in Vermont. Once the most brilliant colors have passed, the hills take on a subtler and richer range of hues that are just as beautiful, if not as spectacular.

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