Summer days are still here. Shorts, T’s and flip-flops the preferred get-up for the day. Yet that doesn’t mean we haven’t stopped to think about the crisp, cool mornings and sun-touched days of the beautiful fall foliage season. And Vermont is the place to be.
“The first of October in Vermont is the unbearably beautiful American time and place. Brilliant yellow birch-covered hills slope down to glowing green meadows. Every sugar maple along every country lane combusts in scarlet and gold. The autumn sun brightens the white church steeples in the pretty valley towns. Plump pumpkins appear in orange pyramids outside the crossroads stores, and the smell of wood smoke hangs in the air. The intensity of the season so overpowers the senses that autumn cannot be remembered one year to the next, so its splendor comes as a shock.” Charles Kuralt
We are often asked when is the best time to see the fall colors, and why do they change? Well, no two autumns are ever the same. Warm sunny days, mixed with cool nights signal to the cells in leaf stems that it is time for a change. The cells begin to die, and this prevents nutrients from reaching the leaf. When this happens, chlorophyll, the green and dominant pigmentation in leaves which is essential for photosynthesis, begins to break down, thus exposing the yellows, oranges and reds that are the leaves’ underlying colors. And there you have it…beautiful fall foliage!
The timing for fall foliage varies from year, but historically the best times to view the colors are late September into mid October. And, of course, the best way to have an “all senses engaged” fall foliage experience in Vermont is on a Discovery Bicycle Tour! Savor the sweet decadent maple syrup on your morning pancakes before your ride. Take in the glorious, brilliant display of fall colors. Enjoy the sweet smells of local apple orchards and the faint smell of wood smoke in the air. Listen to the crackle of leaves as you walk through a town green. And wrap your hands around a cold local microbrew or hot tea after your day’s ride. That is fall foliage with Discovery Bicycle Tours.