Vermont is the 45th largest state in the United States and the second least populated. Vermont is the only New England state with no coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and is notable for Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains. Vermont is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and Quebec, Canada to the north. Montpelier is the capital city of Vermont and is the smallest capital city in America. Burlington is the largest metropolitan area in Vermont and no other state has a largest city as small as Burlington. Vermont is also the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States. So, what makes this little state of Vermont so popular during fall foliage seasons?
Because of the wet spring and summer months throughout Vermont it is expected to be a very colorful foliage season once again for 2009 in this tiny little state. One area that is expecting to be in full bloom, especially the first week of October, is Highway 2 in the lowlands. Another are the upper elevations of northeast Vermont.
In this little state different trees change their colors at different times. Red maples are among the earliest changers found. These are medium to large trees that can reach heights ranging from 60 to 90 feet tall at full growth with leafs that are 3-1/2 to 4-3/8 inches long.
Vermont foliage usually changes gradually beginning in mid-September. These changes occur in the northern part of the state first, near the border with Canada, and in the higher elevations. During the month of October these changes take place throughout the rest of the state and that is when the fullest colors can be found.
Tips for planning a Vermont fall foliage tour for 2009 include making reservations well in advance of when planning to be there. This is especially recommended for weekend visits when the largest crowds are out doing the same thing. Most innkeepers will require a minimum overnight stay of at least 2 days during foliage season with an advanced deposit required. Refunds and reservation restrictions may apply. Bookings should be made by 4pm daily to ensure availability.
The busiest times for foliage tours in Vermont are the first two weekends in October. A multi-night stay in a resort area with day trips, or staying at alternate locations, may be better options for accommodations. Vermont is a small state and can be traveled in about an hour’s time. Mid-week reservations are typically easier to book because rooms that fill up on weekends become more readily available on those days.
Many visitors to Vermont during fall foliage seasons enjoy photographing their experiences. Close-ups tend to work best for these pictures as do having a focal point when taking photographs. Other suggestions are go to backwoods areas for amazing scenery or ask locals where the best locations are for taking keepsake pictures. The hour around sunrise and sunset, or when the sky is dark and dreary, can help bring out the vibrant colors of foliage and present good opportunities for some of the best photos of the season.
According to the website vermontvacations.com, the reds, purples, and many color combinations of fall foliage are produced by anthocyanins, pigments in cell leafs that develop in late Summer in the sap of the leafs. Their formations are dependent on the breakdown of the sugars in the presence of bright light as the phosphate levels are reduced thus producing the colors of the foliage season.
One popular tourist spot for observing Fall foliage is Woodford State Park, located on the Massachusetts state line in southern Vermont, on a 2400-foot elevated mountain plateau. Woodford is Vermont’s highest state park and is frequented often by moose as well as by people. Woodford is a 398-acre state park situated in the Green Mountain National Forest between Bennington and Brattleboro, just east of the Appalachian and Long Trails.
Other suggested parks for observing fall foliage in Vermont are Underhill, Knight Island, Molly Stark, Allis, Groton State Forest, Townshend, and Jamaica.
Websites like foilage-vermont.com, vtliving.com, tripcart.com, newenglandtimes.com, and hartnesshouse.com provide much more information on Vermont Fall Foliage Tours for 2009.