Where are the Most Maple Trees in Vermont?
September 20, 2022
If you’re wondering if there’s an epicenter of Vermont maple trees, look no further than rural Orange County. The county, home to the most maple trees in Vermont, is located east of the Green Mountains. The region includes Newbury, West Topsham, Vershire, Strafford, Thetford, Brookfield, Chelsea, Randolph, and Tunbridge.
One in every four trees in Vermont is a maple tree. Maple trees grow almost everywhere in Vermont, especially in Orange County.
-A classic Vermont fall scene / iStock photo
“I have to make reference to what you might call the ‘planetary epicenter’ of sugar maples, which is in Orange County, Vermont,” says Mike Snyder, Vermont Commissioner of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, in a Happy Vermont podcast interview. He explains that the geology of the Waits River drives much of the ecology in that particular area.
“Sugar maples happen there, and they happen in a glorious way,” Snyder adds. “They grow well, they do well, they’re healthy, and people have been taking good care of them there for a long time. It’s a really good place for sugar maples.”
Explore the Region with the Most Vermont Maple Trees on These Scenic Fall Drives
-Maple trees along a Vermont dirt road / iStock photo
If you’re looking for the most maple trees in Vermont, head to Orange County for scenic drives, small-town charm, and outdoor recreation.
Finding the Most Maple Trees in Vermont: Route 25 from Orange to Bradford
Route 25 extends for nearly 18 miles between the towns of Orange and Bradford along the scenic Waits River. This rural route features the iconic, widely photographed New Hope United Methodist Church in Waits River, as well as Lim Law Maple Farm in West Topsham and Northeast Slopes ski area in East Corinth.
Chelsea Mountain Road to Route 110
Chelsea Mountain Road, located between East Randolph in Chelsea, climbs along hillsides, meadows, and deep woods. At the end of the road, take a right on Route 110 south to Tunbridge, where you’ll find covered bridges, the North Tunbridge General Store, and the Tunbridge Fairgrounds.
-Cilley Covered Bridge in Tunbridge.
Stone Road to the Floating Bridge in Brookfield
Nothing beats traveling along a Vermont dirt road in the county with the most maple trees. On Stone Road, you’ll go past wide-open fields and coast under a broad canopy of trees. You’ll find the Floating Bridge crossing scenic Sunset Lake in Brookfield.
After you drive, walk or bike over Vermont’s only floating bridge, head west on Route 65 to Allis State Park in Randolph (day use is permitted off-season). Climb the park’s fire tower to soak up sweeping views of the Green Mountains.
-A view of the the Strafford Town House before the leaves turn.
Route 132 and Justin Memorial Highway in Strafford
The iconic Strafford Town Green alone will make you a lifetime fan of this Orange County community. The Town House, built in 1799, stands at the north end of the common between Brook Road and the Justin Memorial Highway. To the south is the Justin Morrill Homestead, a state historic site with public gardens, workshops, and events.
If you want to stretch your legs, explore Clover Wildlife Management Area, a 500-acre forested area open for hiking and wildlife viewing off Route 132. For a longer drive, take Route 132 east and continue to Thetford.
-An aerial view of maple trees in Vermont’s forests / Unsplash photo by Thomas Dils
Route 244 to Route 113 Between Fairlee and Thetford
From Route 5 in Fairlee, head west on Route 244 and wind around Lake Fairlee. Head south on Route 113 in Post Mills—home of the Vermontasaurus, created by the late Brian Boland—and to Thetford, a classic Vermont town.
Route 5 in Newbury
Main Street in Newbury is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features everything you would want in a classic New England town—a general store, a town green, and easy access to outdoor recreation in the region with the most maple trees in Vermont. Along Route 5, you’ll find the Newbury Village Store, a 19th-century Methodist Church on the Town Green, and historic homes at every turn.
South of Newbury Village, head west on Snake Road to access Tucker Mountain Town Forest, one of Vermont’s newer town forests. The town forest offers public access for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and snowshoeing, with panoramic views at the summit.
-Mike Snyder, Vermont Commissioner of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, in Corinth in 2020.
Happy Vermont Podcast: Fall Foliage, Where to Find the Most Maple Trees in Vermont, and the Future of Forests
In this episode of Happy Vermont, Vermont Commissioner of Forests, Parks, and Recreation Mike Snyder talks about this year’s fall foliage forecast. He also shares where to find the most maple trees in Vermont and what private ownership means for Vermont’s forests.
-Main Photo: An iconic scene in Waits River / iStock photo.