25 Things to Do in Vermont in Fall
August 13, 2023
Looking for fun things to do in Vermont in fall? Here are ideas to help you make the most of Vermont fall foliage season. From scenic fall drives and gorgeous hikes to autumn festivals and outdoor activities, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Vermont’s fall foliage season.
Soak Up Vermont Fall Foliage Season by Bike
Enjoy Fall in Vermont from a Quiet Dirt Road
When it comes to finding things to do in Vermont in fall, finding a dirt road to walk, bike or drive should be at the top of your list. Vermont has more dirt roads than paved roads—8,550 miles of dirt roads to be exact—giving you plenty of options for exploration.
Go Mountain Biking at a Vermont Ski Area
Pedal One of Vermont’s Rail Trails
Vermont is home to many rail trails, the most famous being the Island Line Trail along Lake Champlain (and its must-ride Bike Ferry through Oct, 8, 2023). Other rail trails worth riding include the Delaware-Hudson Rail Trail in southwestern Vermont, the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail in the northwest corner of Vermont, the Historic Marble Trail in Manchester and the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (a section between Cambridge and Walden is currently closed due to July 2023 flood damage).
Bike the Stowe Recreation Path
The Stowe Recreation Path meanders along the West Branch River and features pedestrian bridges, swimming holes, park benches, picnic tables and scenic views of Mount Mansfield. Stop by Idletyme Brewing along the path for lunch and some tasty brews. (Route 100, Stowe; 800-GO-Stowe; gostowe.com)
Vermont Fall Fairs, Art, Mazes and Orchards
Find Your Way Through a Corn Maze in Danville
The largest maze in New England is located at a fifth generation family farm in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The maze is open through Oct. 15, 2023. (1404 Wheelock Road, Danville; 802–748-1399; vermontcornmaze.com)
Go Apple Picking
Vermont is home to a variety of fantastic apple orchards, including Shelburne Orchards, Scott Farm Orchard in Dummerston, Mad Tom Orchard in East Dorset and Yates Family Orchard in Monkton. Head to any Vermont apple orchard to pick your own apples, sip some hot cider and enjoy a cider donut on a perfect Vermont fall day.
See Giant Works of Art Outside in Enosburg
Located in Enosburg on a former dairy farm, Cold Hollow Sculpture Park features about 70 of David Stromeyer’s sculptures built with steel, concrete, stone, and other materials. Visitors can explore the park for free now through Oct. 9, 2023 to see Stromeyer’s impressive collection that spans five decades. Cold Hollow is also an ideal location to see Vermont’s fall foliage colors. (4280 Boston Post Road, Enosburg; coldhollowsculpturepark.com)
Find a Small-Town Vermont Fall Festival
Vermont foliage festivals are a good bet if you’re looking for things to do in Vermont in fall. Some favorites include Cider Days in Mount Holly, the Peru Fair, the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival, the Harvest Festival in Underhill and the Bristol Harvest Festival. Find more event listings on Happy Vermont.
Reflect at the Path of Life Garden in Windsor
The 14-acre scenic Path of Life Garden, set along the Connecticut River in Windsor, features 18 works of art, including sculptures, a granite Buddha, and a maze lined with 800 hemlock trees. During Vermont’s fall foliage season, it’s a stunning display. (36 Park Road, Windsor; 802-674-9933; pathoflifegarden.com)
Celebrate Art, Nature, Music, Sports and Everyday Items
For a small state, Vermont is big on museums. If you’re looking for something different, try the Birds of Vermont Museum (open May to October) in Huntington, The Museum of Everyday Life in Glover, the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe, the Estey Organ Museum (open May to mid-October) in Brattleboro, or The Main Street Museum in White River Junction.
Vermont Fall Foliage Season in the Mountains
Explore the Moosalamoo Region
The Moosalamoo National Recreation Area is a 16,000-acre paradise between Ripton, Goshen, and Lake Dunmore. This beautiful area includes more than 70 miles of well-maintained trails that are perfect for fall hiking and biking in Vermont. (moosalamoo.org)
Ride the Gondola at Stowe Mountain Resort
The gondola at Stowe is a quick and easy way to explore Vermont’s highest peak. Once you’re up there, hike up to the chin of Mount Mansfield or take a more leisurely walk along the ski trails to see gorgeous Vermont fall views. (Route 108, Stowe; stowe.com)
Ride the Single Chairlift at Mad River Glen
Take Mad River Glen’s famous “Single” chairlift up to the summit of Stark Mountain on weekends between late September and mid-October and see beautiful fall foliage along the way. (Route 17, Fayston; 802-496-3551; madriverglen.com)
Take a Vermont Fall Hike to Sunset Ledge
Sunset Ledge is a 2.2-mile round-trip trail that is a good hike for young kids and can be accessed by heading south on the Long Trail from the top of Lincoln Gap Road between the towns of Warren and Lincoln. The payoff is the spectacular fall foliage view of the Lake Champlain Valley and the Adirondacks. (Lincoln Gap Road is between Warren and Lincoln)
Explore Vermont Small Towns and State Parks
Visit a Classic Village in Vermont This Fall
Small towns like Dorset, Weston, Warren, Peacham, Grafton, East Burke, Ripton and Newfane are extra special in the fall. With country stores, church steeples, grange halls and dirt roads, every town has a story.
Hike on Lesser-Known Vermont State Lands
If you’re looking for quiet places to hike on those glorious fall weekends, try lesser-known Vermont state forests, parks and natural areas, including Holbrook State Park in Sheffield, Amity Pond Natural Area in Pomfret, and Okemo State Forest in Mount Holly.
Camp at a Vermont State Park
Several Vermont State Parks are open until October, and early fall camping is an option at places like Branbury State Park on Lake Dunmore, Brighton State Park in Island Pond, Coolidge State Park in Plymouth, Lake St. Catherine State Park in Poultney and Elmore State Park. (vtstateparks-visit.com)
Vermont Scenic Fall Drives
Explore Moss Glen Falls and Granville Gulf on Route 100
Thinking about taking a scenic drive up Route 100? Make sure you stop at Moss Glen Falls, a 30-foot waterfall near Route 100 in the Granville Gulf Reservation, a six-mile, winding stretch of untouched wilderness. (Route 100, Granville)
See the 100-Mile View on Route 9
Between Brattleboro and Wilmington on Route 9 is the famous 100-Mile View on Hogback Mountain. Make sure you stop at this popular Vermont scenic overlook to see beautiful Vermont fall views as far as New Hampshire and Massachusetts. (Route 9, Marlboro)
Drive up Equinox Skyline Drive
Skyline Drive is a 5.2-mile toll road that takes you to the 3,848-foot summit of Mount Equinox. Built in the 1940s, Skyline Drive is the longest, privately-owned paved road in the United States. During Vermont foliage season, the views are magnificent. Skyline Drive is open until Oct. 31, 2023. (Route 7A, Sunderland; equinoxmountain.com)
Travel Vermont’s Notch and Gap Roads
Some of Vermont’s most scenic mountain roads are closed to car traffic once the snow flies. Fall in Vermont is an ideal time to explore Kelley Stand Road in East Arlington, Route 108—the Notch—in Stowe, Hazen’s Notch between Montgomery Center and Lowell, and Lincoln Gap Road between Warren and Lincoln.
Experience Vermont Fall Foliage at Lakes and a Gorge
Cruise on Lake Champlain
See Vermont’s fall foliage season from an entirely different perspective by taking a cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen on Lake Champlain. Daily cruises are offered until mid-October. (Burlington Waterfront; 802-862-8300; soea.com)
Paddle Grout Pond Near Stratton Mountain
Grout Pond near Stratton Mountain is a 1,600-acre recreational area in the Green Mountain National Forest that is picture-perfect for paddling in the fall. (Forest Road 262 off Kelly Stand Road; fs.usda.gov)
Time to Go Fishing
Fall is an ideal time to go fishing in Vermont as cooler water temperatures encourage fish to feed heavily before winter. Try Lake Fairlee or Lake Morey for smallmouth bass, Joe’s Pond in Danville for brook trout, and bass at Lowell Lake in Londonderry. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department offers tips on where to go fishing in the fall.
Gaze at Quechee Gorge for the Ultimate Vermont Fall View
Quechee Gorge is a staggering 165-foot-deep chasm that was sculpted by glacial activity some 13,000 years ago. In fall foliage season, the gorge is nothing short of spectacular. (Route 4; Quechee)
Happy Vermont Podcast
In my latest episode of Happy Vermont, I share ideas for exploring Vermont and connecting with communities. Listen to the podcast on Spotify, I Heart Radio, Apple Podcasts or wherever you find podcasts.