Wednesday, September 15, 2021 / by Brian Armstrong
As late September nights deliver brisk air to the green mountains, the trees that line our peaks and valleys begin to transform into their bright and vibrant colors. This beautiful fall scenery is known in New England as fall foliage, and Vermont is one of the best places to view these magnificent landscapes. While fall foliage can be appreciated almost anywhere in the state, we have handpicked some of our favorite drives with great views of this yearly phenomenon!
Smuggler’s Notch Pass
If you have ever traveled on Route 108 or as locals call it “The Notch” connecting Jeffersonville to Stowe, you know what a scenic drive it is through the hills of Mount Mansfield. During the fall season, the views on this trail are stunning, and the forest-laced road with many twists and turns makes for some of the best foliage viewings in the state! As you pass through you will find many pull-offs and hiking trails if you are looking for a more adventurous trip through the woods! Keep in mind that Smuggler’s Notch is one of the most very popular spots for foliage season and its tight windy curves can make this a slow ride when it’s busy!
Appalachian Gap Road
Following closely behind “The Notch” is another extremely twisty, yet beautiful oasis for peeping scenic views during the fall! The Appalachian Gap more formally known as Route 17, spans from Vergennes across to Waitsfield and is a great cruise to see lots of vast colored woods. Unlike Smugglers Notch, this curvy highway is a bit more spacious and open for an easy cruise through Vermont! As you cruise along this picturesque route, we recommend stopping at Buels Gore at the southernmost tip of Chittenden County to catch the colors reflect off the water in this serene location!
Colchester Causeway Trail
This recently renovated pedestrian-only path is a great way to see some amazing views of Lake Champlain and the color-changing leaves. The 4-mile gravel path is flanked by water on both sides so you can enjoy the breathtaking views no matter which direction you are facing! Whether you walk or bike along this trail it is a must for any great foliage trip! While this trail does not fully connect to the South Hero Island, you can take the ferry on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 10th. Keep in mind as the temperatures cool, this path can get a bit chilly as the breeze scurries across the water-locked trail!
Vermont's Covered Bridge Capital
One of Vermont’s best foliage views can be found in one of the smallest towns, Montgomery! This town is known as "Vermont's Covered Bridge Capital" so it’s easy to imagine why this is a picturesque foliage town! Covered bridges are a staple in Vermont and have long been affiliated with fall and winter scenery. Within Montgomery, you will find six different covered bridges in the town all of which are easily accessible and close to the main road. Since this area is a bit lower elevation you may want to plan your trip closer to October to really catch those popping colors.We hope these suggestions help you plan a great foliage trip!