Throngs of Tourists Head to Vermont for Fall Foliage

(NECN: Anya Huneke, South Burlington, VT) - Fall foliage means lots of reds and yellows in Vermont, not to mention green. This time of year is generally a boon to Vermont's economy, with throngs of tourists flooding the state with their cameras and wallets.

This is a first for Judi Kirshbaum.

She's biking the back roads of Vermont- to take in a sight she doesn't get to see at home in San Francisco: fall foliage.

She and her tour group join the thousands of tourists who, every autumn, flock to the Green Mountains to watch them change color.

Tim Shea, Vice President of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, says this year is no exception...

In fact .. at the visitors center in Williston, Art Bessette has his hands full- directing leaf-peepers to the best views in the state.

For most people, leaf-peeping is a safe, relaxing activity, but not all.  Wednesday, a Massachusetts man was involved in a two car crash on Interstate 89 after, as he told police, he took his eyes off the road to check out the foliage.

Fortunately, no-one was badly hurt. It's possible the driver was distracted by an isolated pocket of colors-- plant physiologist Paul Schaberg says there seem to be more of those this year-- with some spots at or beyond peak.. and others just starting to change.

He says the weather is partly responsible. Vermont's dry late summer may have encouraged certain species of trees to shed their leaves, and recent heavy rains may have impacted certain colors of leaves more than others.

Regardless, the vibrant colors are out there this and every year, he says, sometimes- you just have to look harder to find them.

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