A spectacular time of the year in New England is right now--during foliage season. Several web sites can help you discover just where the foliage is best. At the official State of Vermont tourism web site there is a foliage tracker where you can find up-to-date information about foliage in the state. To visit the web site, go to vermontvacation.com. New England foliage information can be located by visiting the Yankee Magazine web site. Find their foliage tracking map on the web at yankeefoliage.com.
There is nothing quite like the fall colors around New England. Three of my favorite spots to view foliage are on top of three mountains in Vermont: Mansfield, Camel's Hump and Hunger Mountain. On Mount Mansfield, unlike the other two mountains, you don't have to hike up the entire mountain to take in views from the summit. You can stand on top of Mansfield by driving up the toll road and hiking the ridge to the summit which is about 1.5 miles away from where you park your car. Although you don't need to be in great shape to reach the summit you should be in moderate shape. It will cost you and up to 5 passengers $24 to drive toll road. It is a steep and windy road so make sure you have good car brakes for the trip down the mountain. Another way to reach the summit of Mansfield is to take a gondola up. It stops short of reaching the summit so you will need to hike the rest of the way but use caution because the trail is surprisingly difficult and steep for a short distance.
Other mountains in which you can drive to the top are Okemo Mountain in Ludlow and Mt. Equinox in Manchester although at Okemo you will have to walk a short distance to the summit. There's a place in Vermont where you can leave day-to-day life behind for a few days and enjoy a challenge as well as peace and quiet and best of all enjoy the foliage. Vermont's long trail is a north/south 270-mile hiking trail. It has 175 miles of side trails and 70 shelters along the way. The great thing about the Long Trail is that once you're on it, you feel a thousand miles away. Day to day pressures seem to be forgotten at least for the short time. You can spend an afternoon or a day on a portion of the trail; you can spend multiple days on the trail; or you can take 27 days on average and hike the whole trail. Most beginners will hike portions of the trail first before ever attempting the entire 270-miles.
The Green Mountain Club sells a Long Trail Guide that is a must have item for anyone hiking the trail. For more information about the long trail and hikes near you go to greenmountainclub.org. The village of Woodstock, Vermont is a favorite among tourists to visit during fall foliage. Just be aware that traffic in and out of the Woodstock is quite congested during this time of year. You will encounter less people in the Northeast Kingdom area of Vermont, but remember the leaves change quite early in the season.
To find a list of activities in Vermont to enjoy during foliage season visit Vermont's Department of Travel and Tourism web site; the Vermont Chamber of Commerce web site at vtchamber.com; or, Vermont Living at their web site vtliving.com. Also check the community calendar section of any Vermont newspaper, or television and radio station on the web. These web sites are great resources too.