Fall Foliage in Vermont
Fall is the shortest of the four seasons in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, but the most spectacular. The air is crisp and cool. The countryside is vibrant with color.
Leave the interstate and follow the country lanes and backroads that wind their way through forests ablaze in yellow, orange, and red foliage. Better yet, get out of your car and bike or hike off-road along lumber trails and paths that run deep into the forests. Or canoe on rivers or quiet lakes reflecting autumn colors. The Northeast Kingdom has more lakes than any other part of Vermont.
Many of the small villages you pass through will be alive with harvest festivals, church suppers, bake sales, craft shows, tag sales, and entertainment ranging from rubber duck races to cow plop bingo.
The forests in the Northeast Kingdom are always the first to change color in Vermont, usually from the end of September to early October. And one of the most spectacular routes runs from St. Johnsbury on Rt.2 East to Rt. 102 North along the Connecticut River. Go all the way to Canaan and from there take Rt. 114 West to Quimby Country in Averill, which is the perfect base to explore the area on both sides of the Canadian border.
You have several options for your return:
- Get back on Rt. 114 West to Norton and South to Island Pond, which is one of the wildest stretches of roads in the Northeast Kingdom with plenty of swampy areas along the road that attract moose.From Island Pond, you will have two major choices:
- Head East on Rt. 105 along the Nulhagen River to Bloomfield and then back on Rt. 102 South along the Connecticut River to St. Johnsbury. The higher elevations along Rt. 105 usually have spectacular color and there is a visitor center in the Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge in Brunswick along the way.
- Or continue South on Rt. 114 through the pretty village of East Burke and along the Passumpsic River to Lyndonville where you can join Rt. 91. In East Burke, you can take a chair lift or the auto road up Burke Mountain to see beautiful views of Lake Willoughby, Mount Pisgah, Mount Hor, Mount Mansfield, and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. And the five-mile, tree-lined drive between East Burke and Lyndonville is one of the most scenic in Vermont.
- Or you can take Rt. 114 through Norton and take Rt. 111 West to pass the spectacular cliffs of Seymour Lake in Morgan Center on the way to Derby, where you can join Rt. 91.