It was always in our wish list to witness the iconic New England’s Fall Foliage. We had heard a lot about fall foliage and seen heaps of photos. So, we took a road trip from NJ to Vermont in the first week of October 2020 to see the most beautiful & colorful season of all. We had a great time driving through the gorgeous golden/orange allée of trees, clicking millions of pictures, drinking hot apple cider and devouring delicious cider donuts. Here are the things we loved about our Vermont fall trip.
Staying in Stowe
Quint cozy little town of Stowe is the perfect place to visit during fall. There are plenty of things to do in and around the town. We stayed for 2 days and explored all the nearby places.
Stowe Recreation path is a 5.3 mile paved trail for walking or biking through spectacular vistas. If you are staying in the town, rent a bike and enjoy the trail. There are plenty of hiking trails available in the area – You can check out the list here.
Exploring Little river state park
Half an hour from Stowe, Little river state park is an ideal place to spend an evening. The orange mountains glowing during sunset was the highlight of our visit apart from the golden fall foliage drive.
Driving through Smugglers Notch
Stowe to Cambridge through Smugglers Notch & Mt Mansfield highway aka VT 108 has a dramatic fall foliage scenery. Passing through the avenues of colorful trees, pulling over to admire the nature’s best display and clicking numerous photos were the things we enjoyed while exploring the area.
Mt Mansfield auto toll rd
Mt Mansfield is the highest mountain in Vermont. The view from the top is spectacular and the 1.4 mile hike (one way) to Mt Mansfield summit is something you should not miss.
There are three ways to reach the top of the mountain – by road (aka Auto Toll Road); by hiking or by riding in a gondola. We chose to drive the 4.5 mile Auto toll Road. The road is unpaved & pretty narrow for two way traffic, so be very careful while driving and use low gear when coming down.
Tip – If you are planing to hike at the top – wear a hiking shoe ; bring a jacket and always stay in the designated trail.
Visiting the most photographed farms
A visit to Vermont in Autumn is incomplete without visiting the picturesque farms – Sleepy hollow farm in Pompret VT and Jenne farm in Reading. Both the farms are exceptionally beautiful and there are some amazing photo opportunities.
Note – Be respectful of the property and maintain distance.
2023 update – The road to Sleepy Hollow farm in Pompret, VT is closed to Non – Residents.
Wandering the streets of Woodstock
Woodstock is a very popular town in Vermont during fall season. Iconic covered bridges, pretty boutique shops, victorian mansions are few things you should definitely look for while walking around this charming town. There is plenty of street paid parking available in the town.
Visting Queche gorge
Quechee Gorge is a 15 mins drive from Woodstock and the view from the road side pedestrian path on the bridge is something not to be missed. The parking is available on both sides of the bridge.
Tip – If you have time, visit Sugarbush farm for some cheese tasting on the way to Quechee gorge
Having hot apple cider & donuts
Cold hollow cider mill is the best place to taste the apple cider and delicious donuts. It is about a 20 mins drive from Stowe and also has plenty of things to buy – Maple syrup, Hot Cocoa (we loved it), Vermont coffee etc.
Enjoying the Scenic drives
Taking pictures of covered bridges
Where we ate
There are lots of restaurants in Stowe to choose from. You can definitely check yelp for options and booking tables online. Due to covid, we preferred take outs and our favorite place to order in Stowe was Piecasso Pizza and Tres Amigos. Other times, we bought groceries and cooked food in our Airbnb. In Woodstock we stopped at Mon Vert Cafe for coffee and sandwiches.
Don’t forget to try apple cider (hot or cold) and donuts in cold hollow cider mill – the best in town (as mentioned above) and season’s favorite Pumpkin spice latte wherever you get. Vermont has good variety of coffee and we found great coffee selections at gas stations as well. Do visit breweries for beer tasting, we heard it is an amazing experience, unfortunately when we visited it was not open.
Time to visit
First week of October is considered as the best time to visit Vermont for Fall Foliage, though you can visit anytime from September last week to end of October to enjoy fall colors. You can keep an eye on the tracker to follow the updates.
This road trip was in our travel bucket list forever and we are glad we hit the road for the season’s grand display. We really thought after witnessing such eye popping colored mountains, it would be hard for us to go back to normal green ones..lol!
Hope this post inspires you to plan the next year’s fall foliage trip to Vermont. Pin it or bookmark the post if you have plans to see next year’s Fall Foliage in Vermont.