Fall foliage colors popping in the Northeast Kingdom
LYNDONVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) - When it comes to fall foliage in Vermont, the leaves tend to change the earliest in the Northeast Kingdom, and the views never disappoint.
“It’s beautiful, yeah, it’s beautiful,” said Colin Pfund of Nashua, New Hampshire.
Pfund and his wife traveled to Vermont to celebrate his birthday. They stopped for a lunchbreak outside the Wildflower Inn.
“We rented bikes here from the village sport shop and always wanted to come up here in the fall to do some mountain biking,” Pfund said.
This land is part of the Kingdom Trails network of mountain bike trails. It’s more than 100 miles of trails that are surrounded by color this time of year.
Jenifer Oliphant is the general manager of the Wildflower Inn.
“We are booked solid,” Oliphant said.
According to Vermont tourism officials, the fall foliage season in the Green Mountain State has an annual economic impact of around $300 million.
“We are not only busy on the weekends during fall foliage but a lot during the week during fall foliage which we don’t see in other months of the year,” Oliphant said.
Communities across the region benefit.
“I’ve been doing this for 27 years and there is not a year that I don’t look out at the foliage and go wow,” said Darcie McCann, the executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.
She says the region continues to capitalize on the colors as they create and promote the recreation economy.
“The Lamoille County Rail Trail is going to be 93 miles going all the way from St. Johnsbury all the way to Swanton. It is going to be a phenomenal opportunity,” McCann said.
And things are returning to normal as the pandemic feels more and more like a thing of the past.
“The Canadian border being open is huge,” McCann said.
Pfund used to visit the region every summer growing up in Connecticut.
“I feel like it kind of grew up as I did and sort of continues to offer exactly what I am looking for,” Pfund said.
And he says foliage is not the only thing he appreciates about the region. “Looking forward to coming back in a few months to do some snowboarding too,” said Pfund.
It’s estimated that between 1 million and 1.5 million tourists will travel to Vermont this fall foliage season. The upcoming holiday weekend is one of the busiest tourism weekends of the year.
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