Vermont is one of the most spectacular destinations in North America to witness the changing seasons. The abundance and great variety of maples, oaks, and birches in the state ensure the rich palette of yellow, brown, and bronze tones. Red and sugar maples that comprise the majority of Vermont's forests provide the most stunning scarlet, orange, and bright yellow shades. The best time to see changing colors is from early September through October.
Driving through Vermont in the fall is a magical experience. The most famous foliage drive is Route 100 stretching from Massachusetts to the Canadian border. The so-called "Skiers' Highway” is 146 mi (234 km) long. Connecting north and south, it passes the scenic Green Mountains, several waterfalls, and scenic bridges. If you keep driving north on Route 100, you will reach the hidden autumnal treasure of Vermont—The Mad River Valley. An alternative route between north and south is Route 7. Pownal, Manchester, and Burlington are major foliage viewing areas along the way. Also, consider making a stop in one of the small charming towns like Dorset. If you prefer to explore Vermont from east to west, take Route 2 that goes all the way to Maine. Lake Champlain and its small islands look divine with fall colors. Burlington with its Ethan Allen Park and Danville with its Great Vermont Corn Maze are also worth checking out.
Northern Green Mountains and Northeast Kingdom
If you are ready to spend some time in Vermont in the fall, one of the best places is the Northern Green Mountains. Spend a few days in Stowe. You can ride gondolas of the famous Stowe ski resorts to see the colors from above. Mount Mansfield, the highest peak of Vermont, offers a magnificent view of Lake Champlain and surrounding forests. The Green Mountain Byway (part of Route 100) offers many scenic overlooks near Stowe, the Waterbury Reservoir, and at the peaks of the Worcester Range. The Northeast Kingdom provides a good chance to enjoy the fall leaves without crowds. This remote area is considered to be one of the most scenic places in North America. Make a stop in the town is St. Johnsbury and at Jay Peak mountain resort. Best time to see fall colors in Green Mountains and Northeast Kingdom The foliage season in Northern Vermont runs from early September to mid-October. The peak usually falls on the last two weeks of September when visitors can see the whole palette of colors: green, yellow, red, and orange.
Killington Mountain is one of the most scenic foliage destinations in Central Vermont. You can take a gondola ride to enjoy the breathtaking views underneath. Drive on the scenic Upper Connecticut River Valley Loop and make sure to stop in Woodstock, one of the most beautiful small towns in the US. Quechee Gorge and Little Grand Canyon are also worth visiting. Best time to see fall colors in Central Vermont The peak foliage time at lower elevations in Central Vermont is usually mid-October.
Southern Vermont has several scenic areas to enjoy autumnal colors. Manchester is on the top of that list. For the best views, head to Equinox Mountain, one of the highest in Southern Vermont, that offers excellent vistas. Bennington is also among the best places that offer postcard fall views of New England. Stop by Somerset Reservoir to see beautiful reflections. Take a chairlift ride at the Mount Snow ski area to enjoy inspiring scenery in every direction. Best time to see fall colors in Southern Vermont The peak foliage season in Southern Vermont usually falls in the first two weeks of October.
Vermont Fall Foliage Map
The map below depicts the fall color viewing spots and areas, described above. Pick your destination and book your stay to enjoy the beauty of fall foliage in Vermont.