By Peter Oliver
Vermont. Fall. Foliage. Those three words converge with such symbiotic unity that they essentially become a consuming definition of life in the state in late September and early October. For all of Vermont’s fame as a state renowned for skiing and its powerful skiing economy, the busiest period for tourism is late summer and fall. Inns fill, camera shutters snap, and restaurants do a brisk business.
Of course it is tourism in a very different form than what consumes the winter months. Foliage tourism activity isn’t concentrated at ski areas. There are no lift lines. Instead, visitors fan out broadly, through the Mad River Valley and the rest of the state, in search of the best view — perhaps the single most vibrantly hued tree — that can take a person’s breath away.