The Local Scoop for Viewing Foliage! Part 1
Vermont is arguably the best state in the country to visit during foliage season thanks to the higher elevations, beautiful valleys, peaks and the 4.5 million acres of forest land that come together to create the brightly-colored landscapes we love!
Experts believe that Vermont will have a great foliage season this year because the trees are currently vibrant, rich and green and have seen minor to normal amounts of defoliation from insects and disease throughout the past year. Did you know that the speed and timing of foliage season is dependent on factors including light, temperature and soil conditions? These factors can change every year, making foliage season a moving target. However, you can expect to see the foliage at its peak between the end of September to mid-October. While there is no one “perfect” time to plan your visit, the rule of thumb is to start your leaf-peeping party at higher elevations, since these trees will start to change color first, making Ludlow a great place to begin your Vermont fall vacation or excursion.
Leaf-peeping is the official hobby of the fall season throughout Vermont, which is why we have created a list of the best locations for foliage viewing in the Okemo Valley! If you end up visiting one of these locations, take a picture and tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #vtpropfoliage and we will happily share your memory on our page.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog for more epic foliage viewing spots!
1. Okemo Mountain
While this seems like an obvious one, we couldn’t leave it out. Okemo Mountain offers sweeping views of the Okemo Valley and there is more than one way to enjoy the views. The first option is to drive up Mountain Road, a ski trail that transforms into an actual road in the summer and park at the gate. Before you get to the parking area, you will pass the Mount Holly Overlook and the Ludlow Overlook. You can most definitely soak in the views here, or you can keep driving to the parking area and then walk to the summit! If you decide to reach the summit, enjoy a mild 15-minute walk to the top. The summit of Okemo is also home to the fire tower, which could offer thrill-seekers an even more jaw-dropping experience. If you are looking for a bit more exercise, hike up the Healdville Trail in Mount Holly, which leads you up the backside of Okemo and drops you off at the top. You could also pick your favorite ski trail and hike it…perhaps Chief or Sapphire? And finally, if you want to take a more relaxing route, buy a ticket for a Scenic Chairlift Ride on Okemo’s Sunburst Six Chairlift! No matter which option you choose, they all lead to some epic foliage views.
2. Echo Lake Vista Trail
The Echo Lake Vista trail is a great option if you are looking for a beginner hike and you only have an hour to spare while on your leaf-peeping excursion. Pop the Plymouth State Park into your GPS and park in one of their free parking lots, which are located on the opposite side of the road from the park. Walk down the road past the park entrance and you will find an inconspicuous trailhead and you’re there, we promise! This hike is about a mile loop with a few steeper sections but nothing your young children can’t handle. The hike through the trees is gorgeous, but the view from the top is even better. You’ll know you reached the top when you can see Echo Lake surrounded by the popping foliage. This is a must-see!
3. Buttermilk Falls Trail
Although this trail doesn’t necessarily lead to anything, this beginner hiking area is so beautiful and serene. Buttermilk Falls is located on Buttermilk Falls Way across from the Jackson Gore Resort entrance. Follow the road down to the trailhead and park along the side of the road. There are several different pathways that adventurers have paved for you. As you enter the woods, you will be enveloped in the foliage with extreme tree coverage overhead. The trees pop against the roaring falls and offer a fantastic photo-op. Pack a picnic or hike with your dog through the glittering woods, you won’t be disappointed!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog! We will have more locations for you to visit during your foliage tour in the Okemo Valley.