With shorter days and cooler nighttime temperatures, fall has arrived, ushering in one of nature’s most magnificent seasons. In Vermont, on the Green Mountain National Forest, fall colors are expected to be most vibrant during the next couple of weeks in the higher elevations.
“America’s public lands, particularly our Eastern national forests, are among the most spectacular venues to view peak fall colors,” said U.S. Forest Service Eastern Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson. “I urge you to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the beautiful scenery that our forests offer.”
“This is a special time for our residents, our visitors, and our Forest. We have already seen a lot of vibrant color in the higher elevations and expect that leaves will be near peak in some of the higher elevations this weekend and next,” said Steve Roy, Natural Resources Staff Officer for the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. Roy also expects that there will be an influx of local and visitor traffic in the coming weeks and is encouraging motorists to be mindful of where they park and to use extra caution when driving and recreating on the Forest.
The GMNF is one of the more heavily recreated national forests in the nation, serving between 3 and 4 million visitors per year. Located within less than a day’s drive of more than 70 million people, the Forest serves a wide variation of outdoor enthusiasts — each contributing significantly to our local communities and the overall economy. In addition to foliage viewing, other recreational activities on the Forest include: camping hunting, fishing, horseback riding, snowmobiling, hiking, mountain biking, alpine and cross-country skiing. Like many tourist destinations, the GMNF is a major contributor to local economies and has been recognized as having some of the nation’s most brilliant foliage view-sheds.
Beginning each September, the Forest Service tracks the progress of fall color and is once again offering a fall colors toll-free telephone hotline – 1-800-354-4595. The hotline provides audio updates on the best places, dates, and routes to take for peak viewing of fall colors on national forests across the country.
Fall colors provide an economic boost to many communities across the United States. The New England area alone receives an estimated $8 billion annually in local revenues from fall visitors, who come from all over the world to see stunning mountainsides bathed in brilliant reds and oranges, mixed with stately evergreens.