Leaf Peeping 101

fall leaves graphic

Fall, Fall, Fall. You are amazing and bring such amazing beauty for us to enjoy. One of our (Bored Team) favorite things to do on a crisp fall day is to go Leaf Peeping. Leaf what…? That is right, we said leaf peeping, and no, it’s not creepy. A leaf peeper is “a person who visits wooded areas in autumn to view the changing colors of the foliage .” And you can become an expert peeper with the blog! We are giving you all of the tips, tricks, and locations to maximize your peeping experience!

Ready, set, peep!

Fall Colors With Leaves On A Mountain Road

Before you go out on your big adventure, make sure that the leaves are just as ready to see you. Going leaf peeping is no fun if the leaves are still green. Here are some signs that you’re good to go:

1. Almanac

Just like farmers did in the ye old times, using an almanac to predict when leaves will change color (among other things) is super helpful. Luckily, these days we have a really cool thing called the internet, so check out this online almanac for color changes in your area. Generally, the second and third weeks of October are peak leaf-peeping weeks!

2. Check your surroundings:

This may seem like an obvious one, but checking out the foliage in your area can help you figure out what it looks like in other locations. Leaves tend to change color north-to-south and at higher elevations first. So, if there’s not a ton of color in your area yet, but you’re determined to go now, head north and to the mountains!

3. The early bird doesn’t always get the worm… 

Be careful of how early you set out to leaf-peep. Especially in the cold of Vermont, early morning frost can dull the bright colors of the trees. Your best bet is to get to your location late morning-early afternoon for the best visuals.


colorful autumn fall leaves

Know before you go! Make sure you follow the six tips below to have the best leaf peeping experience possible.

1. What to wear?

You’re going to want to have some layers with you. The morning sunshine can be quickly overtaken by breezy afternoons. Make sure you have clothes that you can either put on or take off if you get too cold or hot. A flannel is always a good choice, and pack a hat just in case.

2. Download your map route.

If you’re trying to find the best places for leaf peeing, it’s likely that you won’t have cell service where you’re going. Make sure you download your route to and from your desired leaf-peeping spot. You can find out how to use offline navigation on google maps here.


If you’ve driven around the state of Vermont, you know how sparse gas stations are when you get to less populated areas. Make sure you fill up your tank before you go unless you want to leaf peep from the side of the highway!

4. Don’t be afraid to pull over!

If you want to pull over on a road because you see something beautiful, get as far out of traffic as possible. Remember to use your hazards to let other vehicles know what you’re doing.


Snacks are a must-have if you’re planning a long trip (or even a short drive). Make sure you pack a variety of snacks to keep yourself busy in the car.


Don’t let the rain cancel your plans! Pack an umbrella and a raincoat to see beautiful leaves, rain or shine!


forest with fall leaves

There are so many fantastic leaf peeping locations for you to visit this season! Here are a few that are close to campus and will give you all of the leafy feels!

1. Smuggler’s Notch Pass

Smuggler’s Notch is about 45 minutes away from campus right near Jeffersonville! There are amazing maple trees that line the roads that are perfect for leaf peeping dreams! If you want to get take a hike to enjoy the leaves you can hike up the Sterling Pond Trail at the top of the Notch. The trail is 2.3-mile out-and-back with pretty views of the pond and the leaves in the area! Additionally if you get hungry, you can make at stop at the Burger Barn to have one of the best burgers in Vermont!

2. Shelburn Farms

We are happy to include this Freebie Friday Collaborator in this blog! Shelburn Farms has amazing trails that you can visit for the day, and you can even check out their classes, and hang out with the animals on the farm! They are a 15 minute drive away, so feel free to check them out while the weather is cool, and the leaves are popping.

3. Burlington Bike Path

Woah, a place for leaf peeping right in our own back yard! Burlington Bike Path starts right on the waterfront and extends for 8 miles. If you want to go on a further bike ride, the causeway is 28 miles round and back! You can enjoy the leaves on your bike, walk, skate, or run. There is no need to for a car to get to the bike path, you can walk down and or also take the bus down to the waterfront (using the transit app).

4. Mount Mansfield

Hike, hike, hike! You can enjoy all of the Vermont leaves by hiking the 7.7 miles Mount Mansfield loop. You will be able to see all of the leaves from up 4,395 feet high. Make sure to bring a jacket for when you reach the top because it will be extra cold!


We hope that you enjoy fall in Vermont! Feel free to tag any leaf peeping photos/videos with @uvmbored.


Bored Team