10 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Vermont

The Green Mountain State is anything but when its grand hills and small villages are ablaze with fall foliage.

Aerial view of road amidst trees during autumn, in Vermont
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Of all the places to see fall foliage, New England is tops. And if we had to pick one state, it just might be Vermont. Native maple trees and other broadleaves in the largely forested state put on a dazzling display of fiery reds, oranges, and golds. From bucolic hills to staggering mountain peaks to reflective lakes, there's no shortage of picture-perfect places to see the changing leaves.

So, get ready to take a drive, tackle a hike, or row out on a lake to soak in all the majesty at one of these amazing Vermont fall foliage destinations.


Town Buildings in Brattleboro, Vermont
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Surrounded by nature such as Fort Dummer State Park and Wantastiquet Mountain Natural Area, this artsy town not far from the Massachusetts border offers an array of places to see blazing red, orange, and yellow leaves. It's situated in the lowest point of the Connecticut River Valley, and the rippling hillsides encircling the downtown area put the bright colors on display. Visitors can also treat themselves to a picturesque, 17-mile tour by following Route 30 to yet another cute town, Townshend.

Smugglers' Notch

Birch trees at Smuggler's Notch in Vermont
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Also known as "the Notch," this mountain pass brings a dramatic lens to leaf-peeping. Route 108 is a scenic winding road sentineled by towering cliffs and boulders that lead to Mount Mansfield, the highest peak of the Green Mountains. Enjoy the spectacular view from your car, or pull off for some hiking. The Long Trail winds up at Bingham Falls and connects to Elephants Head's Cliff, a more challenging trek that will reward you with sweeping vistas.


White Church in the Mist in Stowe, Vermont
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Before the neighboring slopes of Stowe turn to powder, this renowned ski area becomes ablaze with fall foliage. Take the Gondola SkyRide to the top of Mount Mansfield, and hit the hiking trails for breathtaking views. From the peak of the mountain to the valley below, the historic village provides a more grounded frame for the flaming ambers and golds.


Barn in Peacham, Vermont
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The piercing white spire of the Congregational Church in this Northeast Kingdom town, framed by rolling hills of contrasting color, is a vision so perfect that Hollywood has been lured by its charms. Despite having big-picture productions roll through, the wee town remains quiet and rural, and ideal for enjoying the simple act of admiring leaves.

Quechee State Park

Quechee Gorge, Quechee State Park, in Vermont
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The 165-foot-deep gorge inside Quechee State Park is also known as Vermont's Little Grand Canyon — an epic spot for foliage immersion. In addition to the mile-long chasm that rises above the clear waters of the Ottauquechee River, the park has hiking and biking trails, picnicking and camping areas, and the Quechee Gorge dam overlook and waterfall. Be sure to also check out neighboring Woodstock for a town as pretty as the leaves themselves.


Equinox Mountain and Pond, Manchester, Vermont in The Fall
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A bucolictown at the foot of Mount Equinox in the Battenkill River Valley, Manchester already comes with plenty of allure. The historic home of Abe Lincoln's son, Hildene, has gardens and a farm with incredible views of the Green Mountains, along with 12 miles of walking trails. Similarly, the Southern Vermont Arts Center, nestled atop a hill, features a sculpture garden and woodland hiking. And the town itself boasts trails with views of the Green and Taconic mountains, as well as the Manchester Riverwalk, which ambles along the Battenkill River.

St. Johnsbury

St. Johnsbury, Vermont
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The color comes early in this remote northeastern corner of the state. About 50 miles from the Canadian border, this artsy town has an old-timey vibe and easy access to nature. Stroll or bike the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, which starts and ends in downtown and crosses all kinds of terrain. If you're traveling with your pooch, the 150-acre Dog Mountain is a must, so your four-legged friend can run free while you check out the sprawling views.

Mad River Valley

Mad River Valley, Vermont in the fall
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Indulge your desire to see the state's famed covered bridges and vibrant leaves at the same time. Two historic bridges — Big Eddy and Pine Brook — are located in the dynamic town of Waitsfield, along with the easygoing Mad River Path, offering quintessential photo ops. Just nine miles south, the Americana vibe continues in Warren, which not only has its own covered bridge, but also a waterfall and historic village to boot.


Car at opening of covered bridge,Grafton, Vermont
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A small village in the rolling hills of southern Vermont, Grafton has history, art, delicious dairy, and lovely foliage. Start at the Grafton Trails & Outdoor Center and surround yourself with 2,000 acres of natural beauty. The Nature Museum will also lead you to stunning views, be it from its own gardens or the Village Park, a wooded trail system for ambling up close to the trees.


Aerial View from Lakeshore Looking Along Streets in Burlington, Vermont
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This bustling lakeside city offers small-town charms, urban culture, and outdoor adventures, all surrounded by some of the best foliage in the northeast. Whether you're strolling the pedestrian-only Church Street or hitting the Burlington Greenway, a bike path along the shore of Lake Champlain, the views here are both scenic and colorful. For an even more memorable vantage of the technicolor display, hop aboard one the local boat tours and see the city in all its glory.

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