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    Foliage in Vermont: Autumn itinerary in the State of the Green Mountains

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    Martí Micolau

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    Here we are again in the north-east of the States, in the beloved New England which during the autumn period transmits endless emotions. We are in the splendid Vermont, embraced by Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York state and the Canadian region of Quebec. Its name seems to derive from the French verts monts (green mountains) and to us this hypothesis seems correct; it is no coincidence that the nickname is "Green Mountain State".

    Wherever you go in Vermont there is something fun to do, beautiful to see, spectacular to photograph, tasty to savor. We like to visit it in the fall when the foliage phenomenon it is an irresistible attraction but in any season there are countless outdoor activities in contact with nature. Bright colors in the fall, snow-capped mountains in the winter, awakening in the spring and recreational activities in the summer: welcome to Vermont, a constant surprise!


    • Some curiosities about Vermont
    • The locations of the Fall Foliage in Vermont
      • Northern Region
      • Central region
      • Southern Region
    • Le scenic byways del Vermont
      • Green Mountain Byway
      • Lake Champlain Byway
      • Northern Foliage Loop
      • Route 14
      • Mad River Scenic Byway
      • Route 73
      • The Shire of Vermont Byway
      • The other highways
    • The main events of the state
    • How to get to Vermont
    • Foliage in the other states

    Some curiosities about Vermont

    Vermont, 45th state by extension, is sparsely populated, with a prevalence of villages, small urban agglomerations, large rural areas and lots of nature with which one lives proudly in harmony. Farms, barns, lakes, covered wooden bridges are the order of the day and for those who love these visions there is nothing better.

    This state is the main producer of the exquisite maple syrup Maple syrup which can be appreciated both in liquid form, for example on pancakes, and in the form of fillings for biscuits, pralines or simply as an ingredient for cakes.

    In the one big city, Burlington, architectural harmony has been taken into account and buildings cannot exceed 38 meters in height, the same rule applies throughout the state.

    The locations of the Fall Foliage in Vermont

    In the fall, many tourists like us decide to visit Vermont, perhaps together with other states that make up New England. This occurs mainly from the last decade of September until over mid-October during the period of the Fall Foliage when the leaves of the maple, beech, oak, poplar and birch trees give life to an explosion of red, yellow, orange. It is the time when a great show goes on stage. A mantle full of warm colors gives light and energy to hills, villages, waterfalls and covered bridges.

    Northern Region

    In Northern region on the Canadian border, rural landscapes abound with lakes, waterfalls and ski resorts. Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, also stands here. Our itinerary starts from the village of Charleston where we stop at theEcho Lake, an ideal lake for fishing whose name has not been randomly assigned; when a sound is produced around it or in its vicinity, a series of echoes are heard in various directions and in this period they capture the attention of those who are already busy enjoying the colors of the foliage.

    Lake Willoughby

    Other lakeside beauties await us in the small town of Westmore where the Lake Willoughby it is surrounded by the homonymous state forest which lights up with color in autumn. The lake is known for its clear waters and public beaches. In the small town of Elmore the namesake State park encloses Lake Elmore and Mount Elmore within its 300 hectares. Someone enjoys the beach near the lake, someone climbs the 795 meters of the mountain and reaches the observation tower, instead we have a picnic surrounded by the best nature can offer at this time of the year.

    It is difficult to leave this place but we continue driven by the certainty that it does not end here and near Cambridge we reach theAlden Bryan Brewster River Trail (off Route 108) starting point of a route along the Brewster river dotted with rocks of various sizes and with a small waterfall. The trail plunges into the forest and the waters are crossed by a covered bridge. Pictures like these are what is expected in Vermont and New England in general, and thankfully, they abound.

    Mount Mansfield

    From the village we leave towards Underhill to enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the Mount Mansfield, the aforementioned highest mountain in Vermont (1.340 meters) with alpine tundra vegetation and many trails that appeal to expert hikers but also normal walkers like us. This is definitely one of the ideal places to visit at this time of year and our camera knows no rest. The street named The Auto Road it crosses the mountain and provides a good view of Lake Champlain to the Adirondack Mountains in northeastern New York state.

    Continuing south along Route 108 we enter the Smuggler’s Notch State Park and we cross the mountain pass of the same name. In the park there are rock formations and caves and it is possible to walk along the paths and go hiking. As you know, Mother Nature follows its own rules and when the intensity of the foliage is normal, these areas are full of charm.

    And we can only be happy when, on the side of the road, a small covered pedestrian bridge heralds the arrival of a Stowe, a delightful postcard country with various points of interest. The first thing we do is a walk along the Main Street, the main street, with pretty buildings and an up-to-date tourist office that provides information on the areas with the greatest concentration of foliage, among other things. The white color and the pointed bell tower of Stowe Community Church stand out, a white church with the characteristic of not having a particular creed; here all religious faiths are welcome.


    One of the must visits in the area is the famous hotel just outside the center, the Trapp Family Lodge (700 Trapp Hill Rd.) Owned by the homonymous family, protagonist of a touching story at the time of Nazism. The Von Trapp story inspired the film All Together Passionately. The hotel was founded by members of the family who fled Austria, reached the mountains of Switzerland and then decided to settle permanently in Vermont. Visiting the large complex and the small adjoining cemetery awaken the emotion of history.

    The structure, immersed in a splendid natural setting, combines mountain style with Austrian architecture and the gift shop also sells memorabilia related to the film. Then we must not forget, always in the property, the Austrian Tea & Tap Room with many sweet delicacies.

    Il Gold Brook covered bridge (Covered Bridge Rd.) Is a covered bridge in the south of the country. It is also known as Emily's bridge and is in a very appropriate location at this time. Not far from Stowe and quickly reachable we point out the Moss Glen Falls, waterfalls immersed in the forest that stop their fall into a body of water that creates a splendid "frame".

    We also recommend the particular natural area of Bolton Potholes, in the village of the same name, where you let the sun kiss you on large flat rocks, you can have picnics; there is also a series of beautiful waterfalls and emerald green pools ideal for swimming.


    Our rediscovery of northern Vermont ends with a visit to Burlington, the largest city in the state, with approximately 43.000 inhabitants. Although the main attraction everywhere is the scenic, it is worth spending some time in the city center and its main street, Church Street. While walking one cannot fail to notice, in a narrow side street, a large e flashy mural which shows a series of images of Vermont. It is very long and it is difficult to photograph it in its entirety if you want to capture the details.

    Burlington arose on the east bank of the Lake champlain which also borders on the state of New York and the Canadian region of Quebec. The lake is a popular destination for both tourists and locals. Inside there are numerous islands. It is a good location for fishing, boating and strolling along the waterfront. In autumn the added value of the foliage transforms it into a destination not to be missed.

    Central region

    La Mendoza City region it includes villages and farms immersed in a generous nature where work activities such as agriculture but also recreational activities take place up to the simple pleasure of walking or indulging in two wheels. At Duxbury, the Camel’s Hump State Park it is the ideal place to admire and immortalize the colors of the moment, even more by venturing into the 1.244 meters of the mountain of the same name also depicted on the collector coins (quarters).

    Montpelier, the smallest capital of the States, has about 8.000 inhabitants, is surrounded by hills and crossed by the Winooski River. Downtown is a historic neighborhood where it is nice to walk between old commercial and state buildings. Here we note the Greek revival and neoclassical style silhouette of the State House (115 State St.) which houses the Vermont government offices; in this period its official image is softened by the warm autumn colors that form the background, creating a postcard effect on which the shining golden dome stands out.

    Behind the government building, Hubbard Park (400 Parking St.) is a green area where you can walk, relax, have a picnic and admire, now more than ever, the view from the tower located at the highest point of the park.

    There is no doubt that Vermont conveys emotions; the warm tones of the scenery repainted by the foliage envelop everything around making it suggestive and to express ourselves as they do here we should use the adjectives: gorgeous, amazing, tremendous (which means great appreciation). The predominant feeling is of peace combined with admiration and along the scenic route 100 we stop at Warren Falls (3919 Route 100) in the homonymous village and then in the village of Hancock at the falls Texas Falls which we reach easily via a path in the forest.


    When we arrive in the country of Woodstock we take a walk in the pleasant colonial-style downtown but then we are attracted by the Farmer's market in full swing in the city park. We are offered apple cider that could not be more enjoyable than this, handcrafted with an ancient manual equipment. We leave the center and reach the Sugarbush Farm (591 Sugarbush Farm Rd.), A farm nestled in a typical rural autumn landscape where it is worth buying cheeses and maple syrup produced right on the estate.

    We set off again towards the Quechee Gorge State Park (Route 4) where, in the village of Quechee, the main attraction is the deepest gorge in Vermont at 50 meters, clearly visible from the bridge over the road. But in this central area there is still something not to be missed; a few kilometers from the border with New Hampshire, a small church with a barn and the backdrop of trees with golden leaves at sunset encloses the quintessence of these magical places; the shot is not easy to find even if the country of Waits River it is tiny, but just say why you got there and what you would like to photograph and you are promptly helped to find the right angle.

    Southern Region

    We continue to discover areas of foliage between covered bridges, emporiums and a historic home. We are in Southern region where, along the hills of Route 7, the towns of Bennington, Rutland and Manchester emerge. Here, too, you can enjoy the outdoors, as open spaces are defined. At Rockingham we experience a dash of romance on the Kissing Bridge (1292 Rockingham Rd.) Whose particular name dates back to the days of horse-drawn carriages. At the time, the covered bridges were a popular place for young girls to get off the means of transport to meet their loved ones and exchange a kiss or a hug.

    The bridge is adjacent to the Vermont Country Store, an emporium that sells a bit of everything, from candies to maple syrup, from cheese to kitchen items and from toys to gift items. The tasting of the biscuits and the local cheese for sale are a tasty added value in a setting that seems to say: “this is the place to taste at the right time”.

    West Dummerston Covered Bridge

    We are now in Dummerston and we cross the West Dummerston Covered Bridge (2891 W. River Dr.), the longest covered bridge in Vermont, but in reality our destination is now historic: it is the Rudyard Kipling Home (481 Kipling Rd.) Also known as Naulakha. Here the author lived from 1893 to 1896 and wrote "The Jungle Book" and "Captains brave". His house on three levels, expertly restored and with a museum section on the third floor, is regularly rented out. It seemed right to take some time out for this visit.

    Then our route takes us to East Dorset, precisely toEmerald Lake State Park (65 Emerald Lake Ln.) With emerald waters perfect for swimming, fishing and with a small beach to relax in. But for us this is the right time for a panoramic picnic in the pavilion in charge of this service and for a walk along the paths that branch off from the lake.

    In the small town of Jamaica le Hamilton Falls they are 38-meter waterfalls, among the highest in Vermont. The waters of the stream cross a gorge before dropping into a body of water where swimming is not allowed due to the danger of the currents. The area of ​​these falls is also considered a good location for a scenic picnic.

    For those who love long walks we recommend in Manchester the Mount Equinox. The trails are not very difficult to follow and lead to the 1.172 meter peak where the effort is rewarded in any case by the panoramic view. Our itinerary ends among the foliage of the White Rocks National Recreational Area (Sugar Hill Rd.) In the village of Wallingford where there is also the Chaos Canyon, a crack created in a giant quartzite rock. It is almost obvious to tell the beauty of a place like this from where trails lead to views of the Adirondack (northeastern part of the state of New York) and the Taconic mountains (states of New York, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts).

    Le scenic byways del Vermont

    The alternative to a route divided by zones is to follow some of the more characteristic ones scenic roads of the United States (scenic byways) that abound here and allow you to enter that "postcard" created by the phenomenon of foliage. Here are our suggestions (you can get an idea of ​​the length and position of these scenic byways by clicking here).

    Green Mountain Byway

    Mount Mansfield

    La Road 100 - Green Mountain Byway (Newport, Stowe, Waterbury, Weston, Wilmington) triumphantly cuts the state in half from north to south with mountain scenery. Tracing a hypothetical route that starts near the Canadian border and goes down from there, as well as stopping whenever the scenic impact requires it, you shouldn't miss Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory in Waterbury , apple cider production at Waterbury Center's Cold Hollow Cider Mill, the two country stores and the Christmas shop in Weston, all the way to the Massachusetts border. Along this road you meet Mount Mansfield with its enchanting views and many other suggestive corners, and there is no shortage of ski resorts for those with plans for late autumn and winter.

    Lake Champlain Byway

    Le Route 2 e Route 7 – Lake Champlain Byway (Champlain Islands, Burlington, Middlebury, Vergennes). The route skirts the east shore of Lake Champlain against the backdrop of the Green Mountains, two of Vermont's most spectacular natural areas. The scenic roads also pass through valleys, quaint villages and farms.

    Northern Foliage Loop

    Lake Elmore

    Il Northern Foliage Loop (Waitsfield, Waterbury, Stowe, Morrisville, Montpelier) is an itinerary in the north that allows, already declaring it with its name, to appreciate the beauty of the foliage, and we do it by immortalizing the reflections of color on Lake Elmore and in the Winooski River. Also along this route you pass by Waterbury where it is worth stopping to taste Ben & Jerry's ice creams with an adjoining production plant and availability of tours. This road also leads to the capital Montpelier.

    Route 14


    Partly parallel to Route 100, but a little further east, the Road 14 (Newport, Barre, East Montpelier, White River Junction) crosses pleasant scenery between hills, Lake Memphremagog in Newport and the town of Barre, home of Real Good Toys, a factory of beautiful dollhouses characteristic of the United States. This route, which from the Canadian border reaches central Vermont, then turns east and ends near the state of New Hampshire.

    Mad River Scenic Byway

    Route 2, Route 100B, Route 100, Route 17 – Named Mad River Scenic Byway (Middlesex Village, Moreton, Waitsfield, Warren, Granville, Fayston), this route passes through areas with forests, farms, covered bridges, the Mad River and Warren Falls. This is also one of the most scenic stretches in Vermont.

    Route 73

    In the center-east the Road 73 (Brandon, Orwell, Goshen) crosses scenic rural areas with farms but also mountainous areas. A stop at the Maple View Farm of Brandon allows you to have a close encounter with cute alpacas, to visit the estate and to get to know the owners.

    The Shire of Vermont Byway

    La Road 7A – The Shire of Vermont Byway (Rutland, Bennington, Manchester, Arlington, East Dorset) crosses the south-west area, between the Taconic and Green Mountains, also with mountain landscapes and agricultural areas that are in turmoil at this time for the upcoming celebration of Halloween; pumpkins of all sizes are already on display for sale. In addition to small towns there are larger towns such as Rutland, Bennington and Manchester.

    The other highways

    Le two highways main, also "dressed" in the colors of autumn, are theI-91 (Newport, St.Johnsbury, White River Junction, Brattleboro) e l’I-89 (St. Albans, South Burlington, Waterbury, Montpelier).

    And if while you are out and about you also find signs for Montgomery, Jeffersonville, Peacham, Dorset, Grafton, Arlington and Newfane, follow them and have your camera ready; they could reserve pleasant surprises.

    The main events of the state

    Autumn is a period full of Events in Vermont. The occasion is tempting for the sellers of handicrafts and local products; there is nothing better than organizing trade fairs with music, food and other forms of entertainment in a moment that scenically invites you to go out, to be outdoors. In September we report to East Burke the Burke Fall Foliage Festival (Burke Mountain Clubhouse, 368 VT-114), a Saint Johnsbury il Colors of the Kingdom (1302 Main Street & downtown) and in Bristol the namesake Harvest Fesival (Green-West St.).

    Between September and October it opens its doors on Fall Art & Craft Festival, the paid event in Manchester (Hunter Park-410 Hunter Park Rd.), then in October it's time for Foliage Arts Festival (Topnotch Field-420 Mountain Rd.) a Stowe e dell’Essex Fall Craft & Fine Art Show (Champlain Valley Exposition-105 Pearl St.) ad Essex Junction, vicino a Burlington.

    In October, Halloween time, the pumpkins are the protagonists. During the Columbus day weekend the Vermont Pumpkin Giant Regatta on Lake Champlain in Burlington is a particular race that takes place on huge pumpkins carved and used as boats. Something more normal but equally attractive are the appointments, also in October, for the pumpkin carving in Montpelier with theHalloween Pumpkin Carving Contest & Pie Sale (City Hall Plaza-39 Main St.) e con il Pumpkin Carving Festival (Equinox Valley Nursery-1158 Main St.) a Manchester.

    How to get to Vermont

    - airports of Vermont do not have direct flights from Europe. TO South Burlington the local airport is located at 1200 of Airport Drive while a North Clarendon is near Rutland at 1002 Airport Road. For our travels in New England we continue to refer to the international airport of Boston in Massachusetts which, regardless of where you have to go, is never too far away (no more than 3 and a half hours, for example, to reach the north of the state).

    Foliage in the other states

    The beauty of the colors of the foliage is a phenomenon that affects all the states of New England, here are our tips to enjoy the autumn season in the other states:

    • Foliage in New Hampshire 
    • Foliage in Maine
    • Foliage in Massachusetts
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