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The Best Ways to See Vermont Fall Foliage

Fall is falling on Vermont, and to many people that means one thing: a chance to see the spectacular colors of Vermont's fall foliage. The changing of the leaves in Vermont is renowned as one of the state's most beautiful sights. But how do you see it? We've put together some of our favorite ways to check out the beauty of fall in Vermont — read on!

Vermont Fall Foliage Hike on Mount Olga


1. Hiking

Nothing puts you in the middle of the Vermont fall foliage better than a simple walk in the woods. To get up-close and personal with the trees and leaves, you should check out one of the many excellent hiking trails in southern Vermont. You can find information about some of our favorites — like Haystack Mountain or Mount Olga (above) — right here on our blog, or you can just make your way to one of our parks or mountains in the area to pick up a trail map.

2. Driving

To see the maximum amount of leaves, walking isn't going to cut it — you'll need to hit the road. A number of excellent scenic drives criss-cross southern Vermont for great views of the changing leaves and mountain scenery. One of the best is the Scenic Route 100 byway, which runs from north-to-south from Vermont's southern border to Granville in the heart of the state. This route will give you some amazing views of mountains, lakes, and valleys, and a fun driving experience to boot. For more ideas for picturesque driving routes, try these recommendations from Vermont Vacation or look over our previous blog post.

3. Cycling

Another great way to experience the fall foliage in Vermont is by bicycle. Many of Vermont's less busy roads are popluar with cyclists, and there are plenty of mountain biking trails to put you right in the thick of the changing colors. Jamaica State Park and the West River Trail are great places to get started, with several miles of multi-use trails that take you on a journey through Vermont's forests and trees.

West Dummerston VT covered bridge in fall - credit: chensiyuan

4. Canoeing

If you're as comfortable on the water as you are on land, a canoe or kayak can be another great way to experience Vermont's fall foliage. You'll have a great view of the changing colors along the lake shores and river banks. River canoeing and kayaking can be done on the Connecticut in Brattleboro, or on the western side of the Green Mountains, on the Otter Creek or Battenkill. You can take it a little slower by visiting one of southern Vermont's many lakes, ponds, or reservoirs. We recommend Harriman Reservoir for its long length and picturesque views.

5. Chairlift

There's no snow on the ground (yet), but that doesn't mean Vermont's many chairlifts are out of operation. Our area ski resorts, including Mount Snow and Stratton Mountain, spin their ifts during foliage season for get a birds-eye view of the fall colors.

Want to see more of the beautiful Vermont fall foliage than you can fit into a single day? Make it a weekend getaway – or a weeklong retreat – in one of our spacious and comfortable southern Vermont rental homes. 

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