Vermont colors right on schedule

JERICHO Theres good news for Vermonts fall tourist businesses. With sunny weather and cooler temperatures forecasted for next week, this seasons foliage viewing is expected to be bright and beautiful throughout Vermont. Color is vivid along the higher elevations and in moist low-lying areas with varying shades of orange, russet, yellow and red. Over the next few days, expect ash trees to begin to turn purple-yellow and native red maples to turn red-yellow. In every area of the state, the mountain gap roads and marshy areas will provide good perspectives on the brightest of the emerging colors. Look for good crops of mountain ash, acorns and apples both for color and for wildlife interest, said Ginger Anderson, chief of forest management for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. Best bets right now are wetland margins where red maples are starting to flame, interstate medians and road edges where sumac trees are turning bright, and where the New England asters are grading from lavender to deep purple. Color is starting to show midway on some mountains such as Mt. Mansfield, Camels Hump, Elmore Mountain, Mount Mansfield, Belvidere Mountain and Jay Peak. In southern Vermont, foliage is beginning to emerge in the higher elevations as well. At higher elevations in the Green Mountain and Taconic Mountain ranges, many of the tree crowns are showing at least some color and hinting of the spectacular foliage yet to come, said Bennington County Forester Nate Fice. The change from green to a pallet of bright colors is occurring rapidly with the bright sunny days and cool nights. Best bets In the Northeast Kingdom, Route 118 from Eden to Montgomery and Vermont Route 114 from Lyndonville through Norton and up along the border to Canaan offers some great opportunities for leaf-peeping. Also try Route 100 from Hyde Park to Newport and Route 16 between Hardwick and Orleans. In central and northern Vermont, Route 12 between Morrisville and Montpelier is showing some great color, and bright foliage is emerging along Route 15 between Jericho and Johnson, and Route 108 between Stowe and Cambridge. The hills along Interstate 89 from Richmond to Hartford are beginning to show a variety of yellows, oranges and reds. Youll also find some nice early season color on Route 4 between Woodstock and Killington, Route 12 between Woodstock and Bethel, and Route 100A between Bridgewater and Plymouth. Route 9 between Brattleboro and Bennington is showing color in the higher elevations, as is Route 7 between Danby and Wallingford. Also worth checking out are Route 140 between Tinmouth and East Wallingford, Route 30 north of Castleton, Route 11 from Winhall to Londonderry, and Route 100 from Weston to Ludlow.

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