Despite a dry summer, experts say a colorful fall in the Green Mountain State is almost guaranteed.
“We can now say it is looking pretty good and as long as we have sort of normal fall weather with sunshine and not too many big storm that blow the leaves off the trees than we can be pretty confident in predicting that things are going to shape up like usual… Brilliant,” said Michael Snyder, Commissioner of Forest, Parks and Recreation.
Mike Tierny works at the Visitor Center in Montpelier, greeting the thousands of visitors that travel through. He says fall is the center’s busiest time of the year.
“In one year’s time for us in this building between 35 and 45 thousand people… In the fall it’s probably 15 percent of that,” said Tierny.
To handle the larger crowds, the Visitor Center brings in temporary employees through October. Vermont’s fall colors are known to attract people from across the country.
“The fall up here is breathtaking and we have seen it just the week we have been here we have seen a change and its getting prettier and prettier… It’s like each morning and someone has dabbled the red and yellow paint on top of the trees on the mountains,” said Marie Louis and Kathy Tillett, visiting from New Jersey and California.
The changing of colors is expected to continue as Vermont could be seeing some of the best foliage in the New England region due to ‘healthier’ forests.
Snyder said, “One of the prime factors for good foliage is you need to have healthy forests and in southern New England they have had some outbreaks of gypsy moths a defoliating insect.”
So when should you plan that next road trip?
“We can’t predict it perfectly, traditionally late September into early October Columbus Day Weekend is a good general rule of thumb that somewhere in Vermont we are going to be seeing peak conditions,” said Snyder.
The state estimates that communities across the state see more than $400 million of economic activity during the fall season.