The green leaves of sugar maples, red maples, oaks, birch, beech, poplars, and ash transform to the richest golds, mustards, crimsons, maroons, and oranges. Like the mountains are afire, the colors seem to take on a life of their own, a natural phenomenon you should see at least once in your lifetime.
There’s nothing like a Vermont road trip on a crisp, clear, autumn day and marveling at the colors of the season. Each year, 3.7 million people from around the world visit Vermont in autumn to view the splendor of the Green Mountain State’s most colorful season. Leaf turning coincides with the harvest season, so it’s a wonderful time to visit the state to sample locally produced vegetables, pies, meats, and world-famous cheeses along your drive.
The science behind leaves changing color: As the amount of daylight decreases, deciduous trees cut off the green chlorophyll pigment to the leaves. This allows the yellows and oranges that essentially have been hidden by the chlorophyll to shine through. In addition, trees create red pigments.
The timing of peak foliage varies by latitude, altitude, and the year’s weather conditions. Generally, Columbus Day weekend and the surrounding weeks are excellent times to visit. VermontVacation.com has a foliage forecaster as well as weekly foliage reports once the season begins.