“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”

— Oscar Wilde

That’s how it is around here. Vermont. Green, green, green … then hints of red, yellow, orange, spring green, brown, mostly on trees that are stressed, or dying, or want to be first in line. Then bam! An explosion of color.

Like Mr. Wilde says, suddenly, seemingly all at once, summer is fall. If you run into a local on your trip north this September or October — made more difficult with masks and COVID and virus fears — every single one of them will be sure to regale you with tales of how “the leaves just aren’t as colorful this year” or “it’s never been more beautiful” or “fall comes later and later every year.” That last one might just be true.

So, if you happen to take your fall trip a little too early or a little too late, fortunate son or daughter, it does not really matter. There are old mills and mountaintop trout ponds and scenic streams and waterfalls to explore, and on this you can trust us, they are beautiful year round, no matter the luster of the leaves. Well, if you get it just right and hit Peak Foliage, as we like say, that’s like your first maple creemee of the season.

(Note: If you get about in your car or bike or kayak in different parts of the state, you’re bound to hit peak foliage no matter when you come, from the third week of September to the third week of October. High elevations and NEK, early. Valleys along Mountain flanks, mid. Champlain Valley and southern Vermont, late.)

— Greg Popa

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Submit your lively landscapes, pretty petioles and other fine fall photos. Shutterbugs have now until Nov. 1 to submit up to three photos, which will be shared online and, perhaps, featured in print. Staff will vote and select first, second and third place winners. To share your favorites, email foliage@stowereporter.com.

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Sunset Rock offers a serene vantage point for viewing Stowe village and the tall peaks of the distant Mt. Mansfield State Forest.

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Nearly 80 years ago, the last residents of Waterbury’s Little River settlement abandoned their farms and businesses, turning the once large fa…

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While there’s nothing like a sunny day in Vermont, rainy days can offer just as many rewards if you take full advantage, appreciating the soft…

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A great day-trip destination that includes something of interest for nearly everyone is Jericho’s Old Red Mill, about an hour from Stowe and 3…

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The Hell Brook trail, climbing 1.8 miles up Mt. Mansfield out of Smugglers' Notch, gains 2,600 feet in elevation over its length.

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