Everyone should visit Vermont in the fall at least once in their lives. Planning your travel itinerary for the year? Consider working Vermont into your plans for late September and October.
In New England, they call the act of viewing the fall foliage leaf-peeping. A drive on one or all of these scenic byways in Vermont in the fall is an experience you’ll never forget.
In Vermont in the fall, there is a four to six-week period between mid-September and late October when the leaves transform the countryside from a lush green landscape to one brimming with reds, yellows, and golds.
The changes begin first in the north near the Canadian border and slowly work south as the season progresses. You can track the changes and get information about where the leaves are at their peak of color on various websites each fall. I like Vermont Foliage Forecaster.
Visit Vermont In The Fall By RV
In my opinion, one of the best ways to see Vermont in the fall is by RV. If you have time to stay for a few nights you can really get the most of the state’s 10 scenic byways. As a savvy RVer, you’ll want to check these routes to confirm they are compatible with your rig and skill level.
- Connecticut River Byway (231-miles)
- Crossroad of Vermont Byway (85-miles)
- Green Mountain Byway (14-miles)
- Lake Champlain Byway (75-miles)
- Mad River Byway (39-miles)
- Molly Stark Byway (44-miles)
- Northeast Kingdom Byway (51-miles)
- Scenic Route 100 Byway (50-miles)
- Shires of Vermont Byway (75-miles)
- Stone Valley Byway (30-miles)
Don’t forget to watch for these beautiful and historic covered bridges as you explore. There are more than one hundred of them still standing. Check out this map for locations.
Connecticut River Byway
Following the Connecticut River from the Massachusetts line to the Canadian border, the route includes 500 miles of two-lane roadways, and winds through 53 communities, located in both Vermont and New Hampshire.
The Vermont portion of The Connecticut River Byway runs the entire eastern border with New Hampshire. Running north/south some 231 miles along the Connecticut River. This byway offers stunning views of the fall foliage that brought you to Vermont in the fall.
A tour along the river reveals the history of the Revolutionary War and the water-powered mills dating back to the nineteenth century. Don’t miss the 465-foot Cornish-Windsor covered bridge, connecting Vermont and New Hampshire.
In northeast Vermont, less than 50 miles from Canada, you’ll find the historic town of St. Johnsbury. Founded in 1760, with a current population of just over 7,300 residents.
St. Johnsbury is built on a hill and from a distance, you see trees with many church steeples reaching toward the sky. Most of the historic downtown area was built in the 1870s and 1880s.
The architecture is stunning. Take your time wandering the area and just soak it all in. Look at the incredibly detailed architecture and paintwork on this Victorian home.
Crossroad of Vermont Byway
The Crossroad of Vermont Byway, Route 4 runs east/west from Hartford to West Rutland, traversing central Vermont. Yet another great drive to experience Vermont in the fall.
Some of the highlights of this 50-mile drive are the 13,000-year-old Quechee Gorge, numerous villages, and the Killington area which is known for its summer and winter recreation opportunities. The west section features the historical mining town of West Rutland and the West Rutland Marsh, a wetland popular with bird enthusiasts.
Green Mountain Byway
The Green Mountain Byway includes Route 100 through the towns of Waterbury and Stowe, Morristown and Hyde Park, to Route 15 and 15A in Morristown, Route 100C in Hyde Park, and on to Johnson and Cambridge in northern Vermont.
In addition to views of scenic farmlands, forests, and meadows, Mount Mansfield at the north end of the byway, is Vermont’s highest peak. The region is home to several state parks and is a popular area for year-round recreation including, bicycling, skiing, paddling, golf, and hiking. This route is also known for its wealth of cultural attractions and festivals.
Additionally, the Byway includes Route 108 in Cambridge and Stowe and the separately designated Smugglers’ Notch Scenic Highway. Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont in the fall is a very popular location for photographers.
Lake Champlain Byway
The Lake Champlain Byway, at 81 miles, is the longest and northernmost of the scenic routes. Running from south to north, the route takes you through Middlebury and Vergennes (Route 7) continuing through Burlington and Winooski, then US Route 2 takes you through the Lake Champlain Islands and ends at the Canadian border.
Lake Champlain and the surrounding mountains offer stunning views and so much to do including recreation, community events, and festivals. The Hyde Log Cabin, located at the northern end of the route in Grand Isle, was one of the very first structures built in the region.
Mad River Byway
Central Vermont is home to the Mad River Byway which runs from Middlesex to Granville and includes sections of Routes 100, 17, and 100B along the northern-flowing Mad River. The byway connects the four villages of the Mad River Valley. During this drive, you’ll be treated to mountain ridgelines, winding rivers, hillside farms, steepled villages, period architecture, and covered bridges.
Be sure to visit the Canteen Creemee Company in Waitsfield for the Classic Vermont version of soft serve Ice Cream made with real Vermont maple syrup.
Check out the Mad River Path, a community-supported organization whose mission is to build, maintain, and conserve a system of continuous public pathways and trails connecting Warren, Waitsfield, Fayston, and Moretown.
Molly Stark Byway
The Molly Stark Scenic Byway (Route 9) is the southernmost byway in Vermont. Running east/west, beginning in historic Bennington and winding through the Green Mountain National Forest to the town of Brattleboro.
The Molly Stark Byway is also known as Vermont’s Heritage Trail. The trail was named after the wife of General John Stark from the American Revolutionary War in 1777.
Be sure to stop a the Hogback Scenic Overlook and enjoy the view of hundreds of miles of colorful fall foliage.
One of the campgrounds we choose is near Bennington which is near the southwest corner of the state. Greenwood Lodge & Campsites is lovely and worth a visit.
In the southeast corner of the state, we camped at Brattleboro North KOA Journey. I often choose KOA parks because they usually have a fenced dog park and that’s a huge bonus for us.
Northeast Kingdom Byway
The Northeast Kingdom Byway is a north/south 51-mile scenic drive that begins in St. Johnsbury and extends north through the towns of Lyndonville, East Burke, West Burke, Westmore, West Charleston, Derby and concludes ends in Newport at Lake Memphremagog.
Consider a side trip to the Vermont Reindeer Farm in Orleans, VT. You must make an appointment before visiting the farm.
Lake Memphremagog is a stunning 27-mile-long lake that’s just 2 miles across at its widest point (much of it lies across the border in Canada).
Lake Memphremagog is a freshwater glacial lake located between Newport, Vermont, and Magog, Quebec, Canada. The lake spans both Quebec and Vermont but is mostly in Quebec.
If you get hungry along the way check out these Northeast Kingdom Chews and Brews. These Chews and Brews guides include a notation for businesses with ample parking for RVs.
Scenic Route 100 Byway
The Scenic Route 100 Byway runs north and south between Pittsfield and Andover. While enjoying this scenic drive you will pass some of the area’s best summer and winter recreational amenities.
The byway includes the highway crossing of the Appalachian Trail, the Killington region, and the historic home of President Calvin Coolidge in Plymouth.
The Lakes Region located in the mountains is a popular place for camping and boating and is not far from Okemo Mountain. This is one of the most scenic drives in Vermont in the fall.
Original General Store – Brands From the Past and Classic Products
The Vermont Country Store
Shires of Vermont Byway
The Shires of Vermont Byway in southern Vermont intersects with the Molly Stark Byway in Bennington, Stone Valley Byway in the heart of Manchester. The byway is about 75 miles from end to end and there are five historic covered bridges to visit along the way.
The Shires of Vermont Byway meanders its way from south to north through the towns of Pownal, Bennington, North Bennington Village, Shaftsbury, Arlington, Sunderland, Manchester Village, and Manchester Center. This byway includes five historic covered bridges.
Arlington, VT was the home of Norman Rockwell for 14 years. The SugarShack is an Arlington business where you can find maple syrup, baked goods, and much more. Don’t miss the Norman Rockwell Exhibition while you’re visiting the SugarShack.
When hunger strikes while enjoying The Shires of Vermont Byway check out the recommendations on Vermont Vacation Chews and Brews.
Stone Valley Byway
The Stone Valley Scenic Byway begins at the intersection of Routes 30, near the New York border, and 7 just north of Manchester. Route 30 takes you over low hills past numerous quintessential New England farms with views of the Green Mountain range in the background. The area surrounding the Stone Valley Byway was also an area of slate and marble production.
Don’t miss a series of five new stone monuments with interpretive panels, in Castleton, Rupert, Poultney, Wells, and Manchester. The monuments commemorate the marble and slate quarries that shaped this region’s rich history. The stones used are native to the towns in which the monuments are located; panels highlight the town’s history.
Honestly, no matter what part of Vermont you choose to visit in the fall, you won’t be disappointed. The entire state is stunning. Enjoy leaf-peeping Vermont in the Fall.
While you’re in New England, consider visiting Maine for more incredible views. Check out Best RV Camping in Maine Near Acadia National Park.
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