Driving Trip in Vermont
Best way to view Vermont fall foliage is to drive around. Curvy bends weave between rolling hills. Like a carpet of embroidery the many colors of fall covers the hillsides. I chose Killington as my base to explore Vermont. From here I drove North via famous Route 100 to Stowe. Passing by Rochester its town square is beautiful with a pergola and a memorial. All along Route 100 is beautiful fall colors everywhere. An occasional farm house dot the hillside. Ben & Jerry ice-cream factory at Waterbury offers a quick tour. I had to taste a scoop even though it was chilly outside. My destination at Stowe is the ski resort where I can take a gondola up Mt. Mansfield. On the top you can get a panoramic view of the valley below and many miles beyond. A short drive up Smugglers' Notch is a must from here. It is a small pass up in the hill with steep inclines and narrow curvy bends. Legend has it that smugglers used this path and there are hide-outs among the fallen rock caves. Over the hill on the other side is Smugglers' Notch Ski Resort. It is much smaller than Stowe Ski Resort. I turned around and returned the same way I came.
I started the next day exploring the Killington Resort. There is a small lake and it is beautiful around it. Morning light is best when capture the varying colors of the leaves. Heading South along Route 100 I passed by some small lakes. Echo lake is rather nice with a boat ramp. I stopped in Okemo Ski Resort. The hill is not as high but I hiked up a short trail to get up close to the maple trees. Then I drove East and then North to Woodstock. This is an old town which library and town hall and church at the center of town had typical period architecture. Further east is Quechee Gorge. The route passed over the top on a bridge and the view is nice. I took Route 4 West back to Killington. I ended the day early enough to see the sun setting just behind the hills casting shadows on the far away hills. The glow of the sun turns the hill top into fiery reds.
East of the Green Mountain is Route 7. I drove East to Rutland. But I forgot that I really wanted to try Route 73 or Route 125. So after reaching Brandon, I turned East onto Route 73 and crossed the mountain to Rochester. Take Route 100 North again to Hancock. Turn West onto Route 125 crossed the mountain again to get to Middlebury. This long route took me through the mountain and is really beautiful and awesome.
I continued North on Route 7 from Middlebury to Burlington. From the waterfront I can see Lake Champlain. It was raining so there is not much to see. A lot of shops are closed after summer season. If the weather was nice, I could take a lake cruise. But I stayed in town and walked the pedestrian cobblestone streets. To see more of Lake Champlain I went north to Sand Bar State Park. It connects the Grand Isle, which is an island in Lake Champlain. From here it is not far from the Canadian border. I went as far as the Grand Isle State Park. This is a very small park. The sun came out briefly for me to take some pictures. Then I went back to Burlington and took the highway I-89 South back to Killington.
Last day of the trip I feel like I don't have enough of the famous Route 100 so instead of just going south back home I headed North again on Route 100. After Reaching Rochester I took Route 73 West to Brandon and then turn South onto Route 7 and drove all the way along the length of Green Mountain to exit Vermont out of the southern state border. The remaining route was simply heading towards Albany back onto highway I-87 and home.
All in all we drove more than 1,000 miles on this trip. I can say I saw the peak fall foliage in Vermont and it is unforgettable.
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