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Finding fall color on Columbus Day Weekend — 17 Comments

  1. Jeff, we are on our way back to Kansas. We have spent the past 3 weeks in ME,NH,VT,& MA. We have thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Even though the colors were late in coming, we enjoyed finding the many covered bridges, visiting cheese dairies and eating samples of cheese–and touring Ben and Jerry’s. We left VT on Columbus Day Weekend. Never having been in the New England States before and not knowing what “peak” is, we thought the foliage was beautiful!! One sign we saw that added humor to our trip, “BRAKE FOR PEEPERS”. Keep up the posts and thanks again!!

  2. Thanks jeff. We will start our journey Saturday morning from Ottawa October 24th and we have to be in New York Sunday evening October 25th . can you please help us plan our trip. Where to sleep , etc.

    • I don’t help plan where to sleep because I rarely stop to sleep. I’m not really a travel agent 🙂 So I don’t spend all my time researching B&B’s (unless my wife is with me then I try to find some place nice) But on Route 7 is the Silas Griffith Inn. We stayed there and liked it.

  3. Dear Jeff
    I fully agree that this September has not been kind to us, fall foliage lovers.
    I am planning a trip to New York,and Philadelphia at the end of October (24th- November 2nd) from my home in Ottawa, Ontario. We plan to travel slowly via Vermont/ Upstate New York to admire the fall foliage. I know that this is usually too late to admire colors but I am secretly hoping that this hot September is a blessing in disguise and the region will be peaking around the end of October. Am I right? Could u please recommend me the best route for us and where we should stay to get the most viewing experience?
    Thanks very much
    Kat and Adam

    • I think you’ll see some color but how much is up to Mother Nature. I think also by hitting Route 7 you will go down by the lake in VT and that will be the later color. If you are seeing too much green then by all means head to Route 100 and try there.. If all bare? then head back to 7 as green is a color versus bare branches. What determines quality will be a storm between now and then.. We’ve been very lucky so far… Also do a bit of research on 7 as you have the Shelburne museum and you could if desired in St Albans wick op route 2 and travel down the islands in lake Champlain and then back to 7. lots of farms and such and St Anne Shrine.
      In Manchester is a college town and just south of that is Hildene, the home of Todd Lincoln. (son of Abe)
      I hope this helps

  4. Hi Jeff,

    I am from CT. Planning to drive around VT on Saturday Oct 10.
    This would be my tentative route:
    Montpelier —> Stowe ( rt 100) —> Smugglers Noth ( 108) —-> Hyde Park —> Wolcott —> Craftsbury —–>Peacham —> Ricker Pond —-> back home.

    Would this route take me to most coveted peak foliage areas? OR I need to make any changes?
    is it worth going to the Top of Mt Mansfield at this time?

    Would gladly welcome any suggestions for this trip.


    • I don’t see why those areas won’t be good… Some peak some not but all should be near… Smugglers still has green in it but I just posted a shot from yesterday from there that looked awesome…

  5. Jeff, I am at the airport in Portland waiting to fly back to Atlanta. Due to your excellent instructions, I was able to find the five covered bridges. We went to Bar Harbor then to Jefferson, N H and on to Waterbury/Stowe, VT. The colors on the drive west were few and far between but the further west we got, the more color we saw. Then As we worked our way back to Portland, the colors had burst. Just in the space of five days. Oh so beautiful!

  6. I left Stowe, Vermont yesterday and probably 90% of the trees are complete color. We rode the Gondola in Stowe and they said they were about 2-3 days from ‘peak’.

    We drove to Lake Placid and took the fairy from Vermont to New York. Once we started driving in New York towards the Adirondack Mountains the color was unbelievable. I would say they are at ‘peak’.

    We are going to leave for Manchester, Vermont on Monday and see if the Green Mountain National Forest will be at ‘peak’ then.


  7. One more comment from Gary and Cookie White; before heading back to Pittsburgh on October 6, I decided to take one more side trip so we headed west on route 9 from Brattleboro to Bennington and we saw the best colors of the week. I would say they were close to 60% with some vivid. Also at the top of the mountain there is the Hogback Mountain Country Store which is a nice friendly stop.

  8. Hi Jeff – we are planning for a day drive starting Waterbury – Groton State Park (check out Kettle, Noyes and Seyon Fishing area) – St Johhsbury (Rt US2 and US5) – Newport (I91) – Lyndone (US5) – Jays State Forest (Rt 242) – Montgomery (Rt 242) – Waterbury covering around 210 miles and 5 hours non stop driving timing… my questions ate –
    1. Are any of these routes at peak at the moment?
    2. If we start driving from early morning around sunrise do you think we can easily finish with photo stops and food etc by sundown? We are going to drive in this area for first time so would like to understand and estimate better.
    3. Are there any area/paths you would recommend us to drop/add in the itinerary?
    4. I have seen pictures of Jay’s peak area but i am unable to find directions how to reach same, guidance please?
    5. Any particular Barn, Ponds, Bridges you would suggest stopping for photos on the route as per this years reviews & talks?
    6. Should we squeeze in Pichemen village as well?
    7. Any suggestions for restaurants/local on the route?

    Thanks a lot for your inputs.. Appreciate a lot.

    • Jay peak is off Route 242. Follow it north and then follow the signs up to the resort. The do not have gondolas running this season so maybe just drive 242 to 105 and follow that over to Newport. I haven’t had any reports on Newport.
      Lyndonville heading north on 114 was peak and you can take that north to Norton and east to Caanan. You will find a stop in Island pond with several places in there to catch a meal. I ate at a restaurant on the lake (Onion soup was a little too much cheese but very oniony…

      I think most places north and east of Stowe should be far enough along to be pleasing. (according to comments I am seeing… Peacham is always worth a stop and I wish I could be there this weekend. Head to the breakfast place in town for a sandwich or quiche and other items. Limited hours but good food.
      Near there places that are pretty with farms and things to see are Groton, Marshfield and Barnet. (Hell any small town in there should be nice.
      Covered bridges
      Orne Covered Bridge irasburg VT
      Hutchins Covered Bridge in Montgomery
      Gold brook covered bridge just south of Stowe also called the Emily’s haunted covered bridge

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