Fall Foliage Hitting Peak Season in Vermont

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The days are a little soggier, and the night’s a little cooler.  It means were getting into prime leaf peeping time.  Leaf color should be popping for the next 10 days or so.  It’s good news for visitors, and good news for local businesses.

“The roof is coming off, the energy is just incredible,” said Gayle Brown.  Fall is go time for the Cold Hollow Cider Mill.  Employees are keeping shelves stocked, helping customers, and getting donuts and cider ready.  “All the green, green, green they love seeing, but also the foliage this time of year, that’s what really draws those visitors,” added Brown.

Gayle has owned the Waterbury based Cider Mill with her husband for 17 years.  She says her workforce increases 30 percent to keep up with the foliage rush.  “I had so many customers yesterday who were just making sure, ‘we just don’t want this to be from China, or this made some place else.’  They want to know who our sugar makers are, who our growers are that we buy our apples from.  They just want to hear the whole story,” said Brown.  She says they do about 45 percent of their yearly business in just 45 days.  

It’s a great time for the Cider Mill, and a great time for the state as a whole, “For the economy of Vermont it’s huge.  In terms of, the restaurants are all full, the lodging, it’s always tough to get a room unless you’ve planned ahead of time,” laughingly stated Brown.

Those high commodity and high priced rooms, are why Linda and Craig Tolliver planned their trip from Taylorsville, Kentucky over a year ago.  “It’s been very pretty and driving through all the nice small towns, you see the churches with the white steeple and the big red barns,” said Linda.  The two are spending the week leaf peeping.  They love Vermont’s charm.  “The general stores have been packed, it’s been neat for everybody to interact, get to know more about these Vermont communities,” added Craig.

“People aren’t expecting to see a red wash of color, one tree will do it for them,” said Judy Petersen.  As a Vermont Ambassador at the Montpelier Visitor Center, Petersen has seen a huge influx of tour busses and visitors since September.  She says now is the time to hit Vermont’s roads, with peak happening in the next 7 to 10 days.

And despite a slow start, whether it’s a trip from St. Albans to Jay, or Montpelier to Danville, you’re sure to find some Fall Foliage color.  “Some people say it’s because we had such a sunny summer, some people say it’s because it was so dry, or we haven’t had the cold nights yet, but whatever it is Mother Nature figures it out,” said Brown.

Check out the link for a week-by-week foliage update for Vermont, as well as suggested road trips that take advantage of some of the best leaf peeping spots in the state.

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