• Jillian

13 Best Vermont Fall Foliage Spots

Read this to plan your northern Vermont leaf-peeping adventure.

thick landscape of colorful fall foliage reflecting on lake
Vermont Fall Foliage In All Her Glory

Visiting Vermont at just the right time in the fall is like hitting photography bingo. The colors are vibrant and electric and the numerous vistas around each windy corner of scenic Route 100 make you feel like a kid at Christmas!


After spending a week in October exploring central and northern Vermont's fall foliage, we downsized our list to 13 Best Vermont Fall Foliage Spots and gleaned LOTS of tips to help you in planning your next Vermont Fall Foliage adventure. Strap in!

Table of Contents:

Peak Season in Vermont


Typically, the "peak" season for spotting prime-time, vibrant fall foliage in Vermont is from mid-September in the northern (colder) part of the state, through the end of October in the southern (warmer) part of the state.


However, there are many weather factors that play a role in producing gorgeous colors, such as region, altitude, amount of rain, wind, and temperature. Mother Nature determines the schedule and changes her mind regularly. Check the foliage report, early and often. Conditions change quickly.


Insider Tip: Vermont.com produces helpful and accurate foliage predictions in their foliage reports, which are updated almost daily starting in early September.

13 Best Vermont Fall Foliage Spots

Alas, of at least 30 different stops in Vermont, here are the 13 Best Vermont Fall Foliage Spots.

WHERE

WHY

GPS

Scenic Route 100

From Killington to Enosburg, this is one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in New England. You don't even need a destination, just drive and stop at the many gorgeous sites you'll see along the way. This article gives terrific stops (from south to north).

Barre

Visit the Rock of Ages quarry for a breathtaking view of foliage surrounding the largest operating deep-hole, dimension granite quarry in the world. Tours end for the season mid-November.

Montpelier

The Vermont State House is one of the most picturesque in the country, in part due to the sparkling gold dome against a backdrop of wooded hills. If you time your visit right, you are in for a delight!

Waterbury

One of our favorite foliage viewpoints is the Ben & Jerry's factory campus. The landscape is hilly and provides a great vista for peeping leaves. Plus, ice cream...duh!

Shelburne

You could spend an entire day exploring Shelburne Farms. This 1,400-acre campus has a vast network of walking trails, a store, free wagon rides, a farm area for children, a homemade cheese shop, and most importantly, a beautiful spot to enjoy the foliage.

Burlington

Along Lake Champlain's expansive waterfront bike path, Ethan Allen Park is the highest point in the city. Climb the Ethan Allen Tower and you'll be rewarded with amazing views of the foliage with views of the lake, Green Mountains, and Adirondacks.

Stowe

Stowe is the epicenter for fall foliage and winter activities and is a terrific "home base" to explore the central and northern parts of the state. This is one of the most quaint New England towns you'll find with gorgeous scenery everywhere and great food options. Be sure to visit Emily's Bridge for a haunting story and scenic photo spot.

  • Smuggler's Notch

Driving to Smuggler's Notch is half of the fun. The windy road lined with jagged, 1,000-foot cliffs is an unforgettable experience. Windy walking trails give placards telling the story behind the name. For our photographer friends, the best view of the mountain was seen from the Barnes Camp visitor center (see below item).

  • Barnes Camp

Often overlooked, Barnes Camp Visitor Center has a long boardwalk through wetlands which is a beautiful place to seethe foliage and beautiful birds. At the end of the boardwalk is, in our opinion, the best spot for viewing Smuggler's Notch mountain.

  • Trapp Family Lodge

Want to visit Austria while in Stowe? The Trapp Family Lodge sits on 2,500 hilly acres and is another breathtaking vista for leaf peeping. You don't have to stay at their resort to enjoy the day facilities; although, this little piece of Europe is a luxurious place to call home.

  • Covered Bridge Self-Drive Tour

Starting at the Von Trapp Family Lodge, take a self-drive tour of nine different covered bridges sprinkled around central and northern Vermont. The foliage with the covered bridge makes for stunning photos.

Enosburg

Once again, the drive to Enosburg is part of the foliage adventure as you pass through Hazen's Notch. Be sure to stop at the Cold Hollow Sculpture Park for some creative and jaw-dropping iron sculptures surrounded by (hopefully) beautiful fall foliage.

St. Albans

Definitely the winner in terms of vibrant fall leaves, St. Albans was a surprise to us. Get lost down the numerous small, windy roads to discover beautiful views around every corner. Start your journey at the St. Albans Town Park with a walk along St. Albans Bay admiring the leaves, then grab lunch or dinner at nearby Mill River Brewing BBQ & Smokehouse for the top 5 briskets you'll ever eat.

If you prefer group tours or would rather have a guide navigate you around, consider these Viator guided tour options, or explore more here:

 

Where to Stay & Eat


Accommodation:


Food / Drink:


 

Practical Tips

  • Weather: although every year is different, expect cold evenings (35-40 degrees) and if you are lucky, warm days (up to 70 degrees). There can be rain or even snow in the northern parts of Vermont, so best to bring layers. Here's the current weather:


  • Packing List (click below to see each product more closely):


 

Photo Gallery:


A collection of our favorite photos from our trip, all taken by my talented husband, Jeremy (a.k.a. SiK Imagery). Each is available for download or hanging art through Jeremy's website.


 

Watch our Vermont Adventures on YouTube:


We hope you found this article helpful! Did we miss any of the best Vermont fall foliage spots? Leave a comment below.


Thanks for reading. ;-)

- Jillian


 

Full transparency: there may be some affiliate links in this article that may earn us a small commission, at no cost or impact to you (sometimes our links even save you money!). Please know we only recommend places or products we personally feel comfortable referring you to.


Thank you kindly for your support. 😀



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