We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Crowds and traffic in the fall?

Ohio
Level Contributor
1,368 posts
29 reviews
Save Topic
Crowds and traffic in the fall?

We are considering a trip to Vermont, as well as NH and Maine in early October to explore the area as well as experience the fall foliage. What are the crowds and traffic like then? I hate to think that the roads are clogged with cars all doing the scenic drives, and each pull-off on the side of the road is full of cars and people jockeying for a good photo. We don't expect to have the place to ourselves, but don't want to visit then if the beauty of nature is obscured by people. What's it really like during the peak of the colors season?

Thanks!

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
Level Contributor
12,111 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Crowds and traffic in the fall?

Here is my take. Everyone wants to see the leaves and everybody wishes everyone else didn't. The major roads will be like 100 will be busy and you are at some point yelling at the sunday driver who is do the same thing you are only slower. If you are willing to get off the beaten path then it is possible to find both beauty and solitude. The outlets in Manchester will be crowded. But the state is not one great big traffic jame (just a small one in Stowe or North Conway)

Weekdays are better than weekends.

So, just come and don't complain as whatever crowding you find is as much your fault as the next person's.

conn
Level Contributor
1,541 posts
141 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Crowds and traffic in the fall?

Don't worry about traffic, hardest thing will be a decent B & B or Inn reservation. Manchester, VT and North Conway, NH are clogged with cars. Drive along RT 5 in Vermont and enjoy a trip through classic Vermont. Return on RT 100, many great views and small town charm.

Chester, Vermont
Destination Expert
for Chester, Ludlow, Vermont
Level Contributor
1,035 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Crowds and traffic in the fall?

Hi, and welcome to the NE....you'll have a great time!

Yes the area is at its busiest during this time of year.....however there are ways around the hustle.

1. stick to the villages that represent the true culture.....stay away from the hyped up towns: go to: VT......Weston, Grafton, Chester, ride the back dirt roads. Go to NH....Rt. # 302 up through the mountains. ME....go to Western Maine places such as The Forks, Rangely

2. Make sure you have a B&B well in advance of your travels.......2-4 months ahead is not too soon

3. Eat where the locals eat.....don't even try for the regular eating hours at tourist traps.

4. for VT go to www.vermontvacation.com for information about the state.

5. Plan ahead and enjoy your time.

Dan

Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
985 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Crowds and traffic in the fall?

It really isn't too bad, in Manchester, yes, it gets quite busy , but you will only be delayed 5 minutes on the main thoroughfare.

For the most part you want to slow down to take in the beauty, more of a pain for the locals, so don;t go too slow!

NewEngland
Level Contributor
1,025 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Crowds and traffic in the fall?

I once made the mistake of thinking I would drive through Manchester in October and I sat in traffic a very long time. It was not the idyllic drive I thought I was going to have. Hildene, the estate of Robert Todd Lincoln would be a nice spot to stop though, you can walk around and the view from the garden is spectacular.

Swanton, Vermont
Level Contributor
24 posts
125 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Crowds and traffic in the fall?

Really, the traffic is not all that bad from my experience as a local. Towns like Stowe tend to get a little rough, but even then, it is worth the slog since there are so many nice sights there. Just take your time and enjoy yourself and you will have fun no matter where you travel. I agree with other posters on making reservations early. I own a small inn myself, and I turn away about 1 person an hour on the phones looking for a place to stay during the peak foliage period. Any good inn will be completely booked by August 31st, and after that you are looking at the more marginal properties that charge the same rates but for poorer amenities.

Edited: 02 July 2011, 00:21
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
985 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Crowds and traffic in the fall?

How long ago in Manchester?

They now have a roundabout at one of the intersection (of the 3 intersections in the busiest area, yes 3 intersections....not a huge area of concern) that helps traffic flow on those 2 or 3 Saturday afternoons in October when traffic is at its heaviest.....

"A long time", we must be talking 10-15 minutes at most.

One thing to know is that the traffic is heavier on weekends, so it does help to come during the weekdays if possible, and on weekends go to less busy locales, if possible, however, again for the most part it is not totally unbearable in the busiest areas

8. Re: Crowds and traffic in the fall?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 06 October 2012, 23:16