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New England Fall Color Peaking Order

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1. Posted by tdcao (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

Does fall color usually peak in Maine first then New Hampshire and then Vermont or it peaks in no particular order at all? I'm planning to drive to Montreal on 3.Oct.2009 from Portland, ME and then drive back to Burlington, VT on 5.Oct.2009. Or should I drive to Montreal from Burlington, VT first and then drive back to Portland, ME? Route details questions to follow. Thanks a bunch.


2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Colours change in the north first, and work their way down south. The peak is hard to predict until the colours start to change.

Check out this webpage that lists webpages to check the status of Eastern USA foliage.


3. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Most fall colors happen in the Northeast around the first 2 weeks in October but different elevations can happen earlier the higher the elevation.You wont notice much difference between Oct 3 and oct5.

4. Posted by foggyidea (Budding Member 19 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Yeah, what they said.... Check the elevations and head from northwest to the southeast, generally.....

5. Posted by tdcao (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thank you all for replying.

I was afraid there wouldn't be much difference in 3 days like jambo101 said. Any way, I ended up deciding to stick with the PWM -> Montreal -> BTV route. Below is the link to my planned route on Google map. I planned it using tips from the sites you guys gave me. Would you guys please take a look and help me adjust the route to make sure I'll be driving through as many good spots as possible? You can adjust the route by grabbing it and drag it to the right spot. Once done, please get the link up on the upper right hand corner and post it here. While you do that, please keep in mind my few prerequisites below.

1. I arrive at PWM on 2.Oct.2009 @ 10:55 AM
2. I depart BTV on 5.Oct.2009 @1:55 PM
3. I prefer to limit driving time (not counting rest stop time) to only 8 hours/day

One last question. Is the route from PWM to Montreal beautiful enough to be worth the trouble or should I just make it simple and stick with BTV -> Montreal -> BTV.

Many Thanks.


My original plan ->

6. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

If it was me i'd do the drive from Portland if i was landing there anyway but if i had a choice i'd land in Burlington and do an extra 2 days driving around backroads of Vermont and New Hampshire.
Couple of adjustments i'd make on your route would be
At Conway instead of going north through Crawford notch i'd go west on rt 112 and do the Kankamongus highway over to lincoln then turn north on rt3 and go through Franconia notch.
As for where you are crossing the border into Canada that route is basically a 2-3 hour run down a boring interstate type road,a better route would be just before the border in Derby Center take rt105 west and cross at the frelighsburg border,once in frelighsburg take the chemin St Armand until it connects to route35/133 then rt10 into Montreal.,-73.073215&geocode=FcB5rwIdspCo-w%3B&hl=en&mra=mi&mrsp=1,0&sz=12&sll=45.019428,-73.028183&sspn=0.113091,0.220757&ie=UTF8&ll=45.031318,-73.008957&spn=0.113067,0.220757&z=12

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Aug-2009, at 14:07 by jambo101 ]

7. Posted by tdcao (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hey jambo101,

Thanks for replying. Can't believe I didn't know about the Kancamangus Scenic Byway. Kancamangus for some reasons didn't show up in my searches at all. Guess I used too many "fall", "fall road", etc... in my searches.

When I incorporated your suggestions into my route, it became too long. I'm tempted to skip the chemin de st-armand part but not sure if it's wise. Below are a few scenarios. If anybody has any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a bunch.

8. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I like your 2nd option,The St Armand road only takes about half an hour to run,its a hilly windy road with lots of trees that have some dynamic colors in the fall,i'm quite familiar with this road as my wifes family are from St Armand.
Another scenic option you seem to be overlooking is rt2 from Alburg to just north of Burlington,it runs down a chain of islands in Lake Champlain,the views of the mountains on both sides of the lake are impressive.

If you get hungry for seafood on Burlingtons waterfront
And while in Burlington's waterfront a ferry across to Plattsburg and back is quite scenic and very inexpensive if you are a walk on $5 or $6 one way.

9. Posted by tdcao (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks jambo101. Route 2 sounds like a good idea. It will give me a needed change of scenery from the mountains on the way to montreal. Will definitely do seafood if I'm not too late for my flight as I have to fly out @ 1:55PM. The ferries don't seem to run very frequently in the falls so I will have to skip them this time as I might not have enough time. If there are no last minute changes, I think I have my finalized route here: Thanks all for replying...

10. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!