8 Vermont Fall Outdoor Activities You’ll Love
September 03, 2021
Want to make the most of the upcoming fall foliage season? Vermont fall outdoor activities are an ideal way to soak up the beauty of autumn. Whether you want a big adventure in the mountains or a low-key day at an apple orchard, Vermont in the fall has plenty to offer.
Find a Quiet Hiking Trail
Hiking is in high demand these days, so finding lesser-known trails is the way to go during Vermont’s busy fall season. Instead of hiking popular peaks such as Mount Mansfield or Camels Hump on crowded foliage weekends, opt for something with a bit less foot traffic.
Some recommended options include Rattlesnake Cliffs near Salisbury, Jerusalem Trail near Starksboro, the Kingdom Heritage Trail System in Island Pond, the White Rocks Cliff Trail near Wallingford, or Tucker Mountain in Newbury. If you want to try Mount Mansfield or Camels Hump this fall, plan those hikes on a weekday or after the second weekend in October.
Navigate a Corn Maze
Corn mazes give you a chance to get outside and have fun while getting a little lost. In Vermont, you’ll find plenty of corn mazes, including the Great Corn Maze in Danville, Percy Farm Corn Maze in Stowe, Hathaway Farm in Rutland, and Sam Mazza’s in Colchester. After you navigate your way through, you can pick out pumpkins, sip cider, or enjoy a wagon ride.
Take a Scenic Chair Lift Ride
-courtesy of Sugarbush Resort
Soak up the mountain scenery with a chairlift ride to the summit this fall. Ski areas such as Okemo Ski Resort, Mad River Glen, Sugarbush Resort, Bolton Valley, and Mount Snow offer rides on open-air chairlifts, while resorts including Stratton, Stowe, and Jay Peak provide gondola/tram rides.
Once you reach the summit, explore the mountain on foot and enjoy panoramic vistas. At Okemo, Bolton and Stratton, you can climb fire towers at the summit for even more stunning views.
Bike Vermont’s Rail Trails
Vermont is home to a variety of rail trails—old abandoned railroad lines converted into public recreational trails. Burlington’s Island Line Trail, which includes the Colchester Causeway and Bike Ferry, is Vermont’s most well-known rail trail.
Other Vermont rail trails, including the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, and Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail, also offer gentle terrain and natural beauty along the way.
Head Out for a Guided Paddling Adventure
Kayaking or canoeing on Vermont’s rivers and lakes gives you a whole new perspective of Vermont’s fall beauty. Tour companies such as Appalachian Trail Adventures in Killington and Clearwater Sports in Waitsfield offer guided paddling tours during the fall season.
Whether you’re looking for a scenic paddle or ready to learn new techniques, a guided tour is an easy way for couples, families, or larger groups to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Your best bet is to book early as fall guided tours tend to fill up quickly.
Give Mountain Biking a Go
-courtesy of Sugarbush Resort
Mountain biking gives you a chance to explore the woods, forests, and fields of Vermont. Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Millstone Hill Touring & Recreation in East Barre, Pine Hill Park in Rutland, Cady Hill Forest in Stowe, Sleepy Hollow Ski and Bike Center in Huntington, and Blueberry Lake trails in Warren are all excellent options.
Try Mount Snow, Burke Mountain, Killington Resort, Bolton Valley, or Okemo if you’re looking for downhill mountain biking or resort bike parks.
Attend a Fall Festival
While some annual fall festivals—the Peru Fair, Gilfeather Turnip Festival, and Colors of the Kingdom Festival—aren’t happening in 2021, others are still moving forward as planned.
This fall, celebrate the season at the Newfane Heritage Festival, the Trapp Family Lodge Oktoberfest in Stowe, Cider Days in Mount Holly, the Bristol Harvest Festival, or Vermont Wine & Harvest Festival at Mount Snow. If you plan on attending an event, be sure to check each event’s website for any changes or cancellations.
Go Apple Picking
Vermont has no shortage of apple orchards. Whether you prefer Macintosh, Empire, or Honeycrisp, you’ll find all that and more while apple picking in Vermont. Try Mad Tom Orchard in East Dorset, Yates Family Orchard in Hinesburg, Shelburne Orchards, or Scott Farm Orchard in Dummerston. You can find a complete listing of apple orchards at vermontapples.org.
What are some of your favorite Vermont fall outdoor activities?