New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » What if I miss the peak fall foliage?
Mount Tom in the background and colorful fall foliage in the near foreground

What if I miss peak fall foliage?

View off the trail of the nearby mountains with all the hillsides covered in fall foliage

View off the trail of the nearby mountains

I hear this so often that I felt it was time to talk about it again. I consider peak fall foliage to be mythical. Now you may be wondering how I can say that. You look through my galleries and you say, “that’s peak!” How can he say “peak fall foliage is mythical”?

First it’s not that you can’t find it but I live here and I don’t find it every year, let alone many times during a single year. I have the leisure to pick my days and to decide where I’m going to look. Just like you I have guides and maps and yes, a bucket list of places I want to go and find.

I received an email from a gentleman and his wife over in the UK who are coming over for the foliage season and he has already purchased tickets and made reservations. This is exactly what you should do but now he is nervous because it sounds like they may be late for peak color! (The downside to locking in your reservations)

I don’t know what his plans are once they are here and this is what I warn visitors about. If they try to time it so they arrive during peak foliage, they are now at the mercy of Mother Nature. Timing the absolute peak fall foliage is like timing the stock market which is known to be very tough. In fact those who study it daily, much like I do for fall foliage, have only a slightly higher success rate than those who wing it.

 

My best tip for finding fall foliage

My number 1 best tip… Come here with plan to have fun and enjoy yourself. That’s it! You see, if your only goal is to come here to find colorful trees, it’s so easy to be disappointed. After you lock in your tickets and hotel reservations you now have to sit on pins and needles and hope beyond all hope that the season unfolds perfectly for your dates.

 

I find that 9 times out of 10 the season will arrive early (or late) it will be wetter (equals dull colors) or less sun and that means the colors are slow to develop. A hundred factors can affect the way the season unfolds. So your best option is to pick dates and a location that give you the best possibility to roughly be in the middle of the wave of fall colors. This way you can travel North if they are late, south if they are early and all four cardinal points if just in time.

Now add in contingencies

There are many ways to create contingencies for your trip. A few follow and I’m sure you are familiar with one or more of these options.

Google search for things nearby is a great way to start. From street view to their suggestions on nearby places. My wife loves Delorme’s Gazetteers. We have all 6 states and actually two sets for our two cars. Just in case we find ourselves in an exploring mood.

I always tell you that I love them here is what you can get from one. This is an excerpt from the Vermont Gazetteer on Page 40 and the info pages are from the front.

To go with the placement, you add in a search around your hotel or B&B. With the internet I’ve found that locating nearby items of interest is much simpler. Much of it is delivered to you instead of reading tour books.

You merely have to decide what you want to find that will make you happy. My preference is old barns, farms, covered bridges, and history. So I keep my eyes open for Meeting houses and town commons and I pay special attention to historical markers telling about individuals (or buildings) of significance.

This is why you are probably here! Exploring Woodstock VT.

Weather green copper cupola on the top of the courthouse awaiting peak fall foliage in Woodstock

Woodstock court house in the autumn framed by Vermont fall colors

As I go through my travels I keep notes on places that may be interesting in fall. I blog about things I run across like a little out-of-the-way store that I hadn’t seen before or a small pond (see Coffin pond) that had exceptional color. Maybe I walked through the village of Woodstock, Vermont and I describe the view from the village green. From that green, you can look at the old church in one direction and the town court-house in another and their covered bridge (the Woodstock middle bridge or Union bridge) in another.

Mount Tom in the background and colorful fall foliage in the near foreground

The woodstock middle bridge is also known as the Union bridge

I try to pass on to you ideas for exploring a location and what I hope to do is give you enough “flavor” of the place to whet your appetite. Then you arrive and find that there are trails to hike up to the top of Mount Tom which stands above Woodstock, you can try them out. This Woodstock Chamber article states: “The Faulkner trail, The walk is about 30 minutes for the average hiker and provides a magical view of Woodstock”.

I haven’t been on the trail myself but it sounds nice. So I hope you’ll take this to heart and realize that your “fall foliage vacation” can be so much more than just going tree to tree looking for gorgeous fall colors. I’m sure you will find just that, just don’t miss all the other wonders as well.

If you think you’d enjoy seeing what a working Vermont farm is like then you should plan to visit the Billings farm and museum website, just outside Woodstock. Here you can see a working farm with a jersey herd of cows and horses and sheep. They show you what a 1890 farm would be like from the restored farmhouse to the creamery.

You can turn this into a day long adventure by going just a short distance away to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller, National Historic Park. Click to view a walking/hiking trail map and if you have a National parks pass it will get you into the NHS. Check the National Park website for detail, programs and more.

I hope this gives you an idea of what an outing around Woodstock Vermont would be like and why you could spend at least an entire day there exploring, and lets not get started on all the covered bridges that are nearby. (Taftsville and Quechee are an easy drive). The Jenne farm is just down the road (15 minutes, and 2-3 more covered bridge just past that!

More of my articles on scenic locations can be found here!

Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
Subscribe to my Newsletter - If you would like to sign up for my Fine Art America Newsletter (click this link and a window will open allowing you to sign up). Why sign up for the newsletter? Contests, discount codes on my artwork, maybe an excerpt from my book "Exploring the back roads of New England with Jeff Foliage"... Yes you heard me right... (Damn now I have to start writing it!)
 

 

share this

Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as: http://www.4cornersnewengland.com/
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff Foliage.com.
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.
share this

Latest posts by Jeff Foliage (see all)


Comments

What if I miss the peak fall foliage? — 10 Comments

  1. thank you jeff
    now i read all your suggestion.
    thanks also for translantion it is more easy but some words is impossible….
    ehehhe
    no problem

  2. thank you jeff
    now i read all your suggestion.
    thanks also for translantion it is more easy but some words is impossible….
    ehehhe
    no problem

  3. HELLO
    I’M ANDREA FROM ITALY.
    I WILL COME NEXT OCTOBER FOR 2 WEEKS FROM 5 TO 19 OCTOBER.
    I THINK TO START FROM THE COST OF MAINE AND THEN VISIT NEW HAMPSHIRE AND VERMONT THEN MASSACHUSETTS AND BOSTON.
    I HOPE IT IS GOOD PERIOD
    WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MY TRIP?
    I NEED YOUR ADVICE.
    THANKS JEFF FOR YOUR BLOG
    ANDREA

    • I just realized that I didn’t answer the rest of your question…
      well you don’t say whether you are landing in Boston or Portland ME. Normally I would say go to Boston and then north from there or from Boston cath a flight to Manchester NH and then travel from there up into northern Vermont (VT) over into New Hampshire (NH) and then over to Maine and come back along the coast to Boston. I would say spend a day or two in Boston to explore and then fly home.

      If you are locked into Maine first let me know and I will post some different ideas.

      Ho appena realizzato che non ho risposto il resto della tua domanda …
      beh non si dice se invece si arriva a Boston oa Portland ME. Normalmente io direi di andare a Boston e poi a nord da lì o da Boston cath un volo per Manchester NH e poi viaggiare da lì fino nel nord del Vermont (VT) nel corso in New Hampshire (NH) e poi verso il Maine e tornare lungo il costa a Boston. Direi trascorrere un giorno o due a Boston per esplorare e poi volare a casa.

      Se si sono bloccati in Maine prima fatemelo sapere e mi post alcune idee diverse.

      Jeff

      • I JEFF
        THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLY
        MY IDEA IS
        START IN 5 OCTOBER WE WILL ARRIVE IN BOSTON IN THE EVENING BUT WE GO IMMEDIATLY TO GLOUCHESTER…
        ROUND TRIP TO COST OF MAINE , BAR HARBOR AND THEN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND VERMONT…
        THAN WE WILL RETURN IN MASSACHUSSETS AND THE LAST 3 NIGHTS (16 OCTOBER) WE WILL STAY IN BOSTON.
        I HOPE FOR THE COLOURS ….
        IF YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PLACE TO VISIT AND TO STAY FOR SLEEP I’M VERY HAPPY!
        WHEN YOU WILL COME IN ITALY TELL ME AND IF YOU WANT I GIVE YOU SOME SUGGESTION.
        ANDREA

        • Well it sounds like you want to go that direction… So if you go to Gloucester there are a bunch of places that you can pick from, Inns and hotels from $89 to $250/night. I went on tripadvisor and saw several with 3-4 stars and $120 Then you can drive up the coast to York Maine and Nubble Lighthouse. Then you have Portland ME, and Portland lighthouse. Then in Bar Harbor, well you have Bass Harbor lighthouse… I think I have a theme going here.. If you drove up to Camden ME (a little further) the Norumbega Inn is wonderful and well worth the price.
          As you head across Maine try to Coos Canyon on Route 17 (Nice stop) Rangeley lake is very nice and you can either go across 16 or route 2 into NH. If Route 16 is your route then pass through errol (scenic) down through Milan and by Mount Washington. You could stay near that location or like I said before, Jackson. Now I would change the Vermont locations to Woodstock south to Middlebury and even Brattleboro. A very nice place that now becomes a good location to stay is in Danby VT. The Silas Griffith Inn
          178 S Main St Danby, VT 05739. http://www.silasgriffith.com/
          Near Danby.. Manchester VT, college town and near there is Hildene, the home of Todd Lincoln (son of Abraham Lincoln, 16th American president, 1861-1865.
          I would then travel down Route 7 to Route 2 and slowly follow it east through Florida (sorry no palm trees).
          You could stop near Petersham MA and the Quabbin Reservoir… Actually near there on old Dana road is Hartmans Herbfarm B&B http://www.hartmansherbfarm.com/ and they can tell you all about the area. Then a stop at Sturbridge Village an recreation of an 18th century village. A very nice explore…

          Boston.. Find the National park and Faneuil hall Old north church, Quincy Market.. The freedom trail… The museums, Fine art or science… The Aquarium… Pick your poison…

          Is the translation helping or hurting? 🙂

          Beh, sembra che si vuole andare quella direzione … Quindi, se si va a Gloucester ci sono un sacco di posti che si possono scegliere, pensioni e alberghi da 89 $ a $ 250 / notte. Sono andato su tripadvisor e ho visto molti con 3-4 stelle e 120 dollari quindi si può guidare lungo la costa a York Maine e Nubble Lighthouse. Allora avete Portland ME, e Portland faro. Poi, nel Bar Harbor, beh avete Bass Harbor faro … penso di avere un tema che va qui .. Se si ha guidato fino a Camden ME (un po ‘più avanti) la Norumbega Inn è meraviglioso e vale il prezzo.
          Come si testa attraverso Maine cercare di Coos Canyon sulla Route 17 (Nice stop) Rangeley lago è molto bello e si può sia andare dall’altra parte 16 o rotta 2 in NH. Se Route 16 è il vostro itinerario poi passare attraverso Errol (panoramica) verso il basso attraverso Milano e Mount Washington. Si può stare vicino a quella posizione o come ho detto prima, Jackson. Ora vorrei cambiare le posizioni del Vermont per Woodstock sud a Middlebury e anche Brattleboro. Un posto molto bello che diventa ora una buona posizione per rimanere è in Danby VT. Il Silas Griffith Inn
          178 S Main St Danby, VT 05739. http://www.silasgriffith.com/
          Vicino Danby .. Manchester VT, città universitaria e vicino c’è Hildene, la casa di Todd Lincoln (figlio di Abramo Lincoln, 16 ° presidente degli Stati Uniti, 1861-1865.
          Vorrei poi percorrere la Route 7 alla Route 2 e lentamente seguirla est attraverso Florida (scusate non palme).
          Si potrebbe fermare vicino Petersham MA e il Quabbin Reservoir … In realtà lì vicino sulla vecchia strada Dana è Hartmans Herbfarm B & B http://www.hartmansherbfarm.com/ e te lo possono dire tutto sulla zona. Poi una sosta a Sturbridge Village una ricreazione di un villaggio del 18 ° secolo. Un bel esplorare …

          Boston .. Trovare il Parco Nazionale e il corridoio di Faneuil Old North Church, Quincy Market .. Il sentiero della libertà … I musei, arte o scienza … L’Acquario … Scegli il tuo veleno …

  4. I’m not from New England but have visited in the Fall about 15 times in the last 20 years so I know what you mean Jeff. We have found that if you explore long enough and drive a little farther, you will not be disappointed. It is sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack but it’s there. Hoping to make it this year.

I'd love to hear what you think!

%d bloggers like this: