New England provides the most spectacular scenes of natural autumn beauty in the U.S., and the Green Mountains of Vermont offer some of the most stunning of those.
Every September, millions of people pass through the state, staying at local inns and bed and breakfasts, touring the state to witness the spectacular turning of the foliage on Vermont scenic fall drives.
There is more to these Vermont tours than just colorful leaves, however – the state offers a deep sense of history, small-town New England charm, and fantastic mountain vistas as well.
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These highways offer miles of beautiful sights, both natural and human-made.
A designated Vermont Scenic Byway. A 30-minute drive along this beautiful stretch of road takes visitors from Killington to Waterbury.
Green Mountain Byway
A relatively recent officially designated Vermont Scenic Byway; passes through the towns of Waterbury and Stowe, three state parks, including Smugglers Notch, Moss Glen Falls, Mount Mansfield, and Putnam State Forest. Follows Route 100.
Mad River Byway
The Mad River Byway is a stretch of Route 100 from that goes from Granville to Middlesex, plus a stretch of Route 17. Both the National Scenic Byways and the Vermont Byways Programs have declared Mad River an official scenic byway.
Molly Stark Byway
Runs through southern Vermont, stretching from Brattleboro to Bennington on Route 9. Passes through the Green Mountain National Forest
Stone Valley Byway
Runs from Poultney to Manchester. Features active slate quarries, mountains, rural landscapes, and Lake St. Catherine state park.
Other Popular Vermont Scenic Drives
Waitsfield to Rochester
Known for spectacular mountain scenery, Lake Champlain, Shelburne Farms, and excellent moose spotting!
Brattleboro to Bellows Falls
This is a beautiful drive starts in Brattleboro, and travels along the West River through towns including Newfane, Townshend, and Jamaica, then continuing into the mountains.
Manchester to Wallingford
Borders the Green Mountain National Forest beginning at the intersection of Routes 7A and 11.
Killington to I-89
Begins at the intersection of Route 4 &100, at the start of the Killington Access Road. Continues north on Route 100 North and ends at I-89, which allows you to head west toward Lake Champlain or east to scenic I-91.
Stowe to Waterbury
Crosses Vermont’s highest peak – Mt. Mansfield, which reaches 4393 feet in altitude. This route crosses Route 108, which can sometimes be a tough road to use due to disrepair. Also passes through Smugglers Notch and Stowe.
Woodstock to Okemo Valley
This drive begins and ends on I-91. Although only a brief 58 miles in length but it will take you to the gorge known as ‘Vermont’s Grand Canyon,’ Quechee Village, Woodstock, Okemo Valley, and the South Central Lakes Region of the state.
More information about these beautiful scenic fall drives and more can be found at America’s Byways or Vermont’s Byways. For information about foliage tourism in Vermont, be sure to visit Vermont’s foliage report.
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