Fall foliage in the misty Waits River Valley
Enjoying a sleigh ride at Mountain Valley Farm in Waitsfield
Manicured gardens at Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home in Manchester
Tree-top obstacle course at Smugglers' Notch
Cheese-producing Nubian goats at Hildene Farm in Manchester
The Inn at Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield
Biking the Millstone Trails in Barre
Fog lingering in the crevices of the lush Green Mountains
- Major Airports:
- Burlington (BTV)
- Green Mountain State
Relax and reconnect with Mother Nature
Vermonters have a long tradition of respect for the land and are committed to preserving and sharing their appreciation of the environment. Two centuries of agricultural traditions have created open, working landscapes amid a backdrop of mountains, whose ridgeline is the course of the Long Trail, the nation’s first through-hiking long-distance trail.
As mountain ranges go, the Green Mountains are very old and have been sculpted to their present form during several ice ages. The state stones – granite, marble and slate – as well as the state mineral, talc, continue to be mined. Vermont has more than 220 mountains exceeding 600 meters in elevation, with Mount Mansfield the highest, at 1340 meters. The mountainous areas of the state are primarily forested. In fact, although Vermont’s 251 towns were virtually clear-cut of timber during the late 19th century, more than 75 percent of the state's land area is now forested.
Beneath the mountains and rolling hills are fertile valleys that support extensive dairy, crop, vegetable and fruit production, along with horses, cattle, goats and the occasional emu. Vermont, which has long been in the vanguard for local food, farm-to-plate restaurants, fine artisan cheese-makers and farmer’s markets, has the most craft breweries per capita of any state in the USA. In recent years, numerous vineyards and several distinctive distillers have been established.
While it’s easy, and highly recommended, to spend days simply taking in the scenery, even more rewarding is becoming part of it. Explore back roads and well-maintained trails by bicycle or on foot. Go for a run or walk in historic downtowns or through quiet villages and covered bridges. Visit the studios of the many world-class artisans and discover their creations. Catch up on history at well-interpreted historic sites and museums. Cast a line in a lake or stream, or relax beachside at a pristine state park. In the snow season, drop into a half-pipe on skis or snowboard and share the trails with former, and likely future, Olympians.
Whatever the day brings, the night is sure to deliver a blissful night’s slumber – whether you choose to camp under the stars, cozy up under a quilt at an inn or indulge in the thread count at a luxurious resort. Above all, relax and stay awhile. In Vermont, one thing is certain: The seasons will change. And with that change, so does the landscape, the recreation, the footwear and the way of life. With every season comes new opportunities to explore the world around you.