Fall (also called Autumn) is a beautiful time of the year to visit New England. The weather is just right, not too cold, not too hot and the trees are all colorful. Most of the eastern coast of US turns colorful during Autumn, all thanks to the foliage.
Basically, the foliage is nothing but the reaction of trees to the cooling temperatures and shortening days. The trees will stop producing chlorophyll as a result of which the leaves will turn colorful. Different species of trees will exhibit different colors.
Vermont (VT) is a state in eastern United states, that shares its northern border with Canada. VT has highest population of Maple trees in the US because of which it is a very popular destination among the leaf peepers during the season of Autumn. Maple tree leaves exhibit one of the beautiful shades of color that goes from green, yellow, orange and then finally red before falling.
So we decided to visit VT during this fall just to enjoy this spectacular show of nature. We decided to stay at the Smuggs Notch resort in Stowe. We booked a studio apartment that has a full kitchen so we can cook food 🙂 We Indians cannot live without Indian food.
VT is about 4 hour drive from our house in New Hampshire via Interstate 89 and then some of the hilly roads just before Stowe. VT has a visitor center somewhere close to Montpelier, the capital of the state. When we visited the center, the information desk there, informed us that we missed the peak foliage by a couple of days. Peak foliage is when the colors displayed by the trees are at their peak and once the peak is over the leaves will dry out and fall, so there wont be any leaves left on the tree and is not a good thing to see. So we got a little disappointed but the information desk also told us that Northern VT still has peak foliage so it should still be a good time to go and we drove further north to Stowe from there with a hope to see the colors.
By the time we exited I-89, it was dark and we had to drive on a hilly terrain. One of the best driving experience was at the Smuggler’s Notch route, the route gets the name because, once upon a time this hilly place was a hideout for lots of smugglers. The Smugglers notch route is almost like driving any Ghat roads in India but with a more disciplined traffic 😛 This route though, is a single lane at places, so one of the direction has to stop till the vehicles coming in opposite direction passes. Many sharp turns on the route but nevertheless it was really fun driving a automatic transmission car 🙂
We reached the Smuggs notch Resort by 7PM but since days are really short during this time of the year, it was really dark and we just ended the day after having dinner. And since it was already dark when we entered Stowe, we still did not know if the peak foliage was there or not and I couldn’t sleep whole night just thinking about it. At the first light of the day, I was out in the balcony of our apartment and the visuals I could see outside was just stunning.
The colors were really beautiful, although the peak was over a couple of days before and some of the trees were totally naked without leaves.
On the first day we had planned to go on the Gandola ride up to the peak of Mount Mansfield. The mountain gets its name because of its shape. It looks like a face of a man. The Gandola is a small capsule that is driven by motors and it rides on steel cables up and down. It was a over cast day which was not good for Gandola ride as the peak of the mountain was covered by cloud but we did not want to change our plans.
The temperature was almost freezing at the peak and we couldn’t bear it for long as we were not prepared for that 🙂 So we decided to come down back on the Gandola. On Day-1 afternoon we had booked a bicycle tour in Jeffersonville, VT. The company that arranged the e-bikes for us was called Lamoille Valley Bicycle tours, they had something called e-bikes, which are battery assisted bicycles where the battery assists a little in peddling the bike but the battery stops assisting when the person stops peddling. So it is not a fully electric bike. The tour was on a 18 mile trail and the trail was really beautifull all along.
So that was end of the day-1 and we had a delicious dinner at our apartment (Ofcourse ready-to-eat :P)
On the 2nd and last day, we had not planned much, it was a day we reserved to roam around the resort as there were lots of things to do inside the property. There was a kids arena where they had all this inflatable kids playroom. Day-2 was a very beautiful sunny day so the temperatures were much better. We roamed around the Smuggs notch resort, took a lot of pictures, bought some souvenirs.
So 2nd day was a more relaxing day and not to forget we were badly fatigued by riding the bikes for almost 10 miles the previous day 🙂 and it was also the day we had to drive back home 😦
We really wished we could spend more time here in Vermont. A really beautiful place to visit during fall and also during winter. The mountains here have got a lot of ski activities during winter.