Perhaps the quintessential New England fall foliage drive is Vermont’s Route 100. It is also widely considered to be one of New England’s most scenic drives in any season. Almost anywhere you drive in Vermont will reward you with wonderful foliage viewing. But there are national and state scenic byways that you may want to seek out for that special foliage journey.
National Scenic Byways in Vermont
Connecticut River Byway
Part of the National Scenic Byways Program, Vermont shares the Connecticut River Byway with New Hampshire and Massachusetts. This byway travels down both sides of New England’s longest river – the Connecticut River. Some interesting things that you can see along the way include:
- The Rockingham Meeting House, Rockingham, VT
- The Cronish-Windsor Covered Bridge that spans the Connecticut River between Cornish, NH and Windsor, VT. It is the 2nd longest covered bridge in the United States and purported to be the longest two-span covered bridge in the world.
- The American Precision Museum, Windsor, Vermont which has a large collection of historically significant machine tools.
- The Billings Farm and Museum and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, Woodstock, VT
- Quechee Gorge and Quechee State Park
- The New England Transportation Museum, White River Junction, VT
Vermont State Scenic Byways
Green Mountain Byway
A relatively new designated Vermont Scenic Byway, the Green Mountain Byway passes through the towns of Waterbury and Stowe. Along the way it passes three state parks (Little River, Smugglers Notch, and Waterbury Center) the Mount Mansfield and Putnam state forests, Moss Glen Falls, and the numerous arts and culture attractions of Waterbury and Stowe.
Lake Champlain Byway
The Lake Champlain Byway provides you with wonderful opportunities to view Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, and New York’s Adirondack Mountains. The byway consists mainly of long stretches of Route 2 and Route 7. Click here to see a map of the Lake Champlain Byway (PDF).
Mad River Byway
The Mad River Byway (also see Mad River Byway on Explore Vermont’s Byways) consists of a stretch of Route 100 from Granville to Middlesex and a stretch of Route 17 from Irasville over to near Baby Stark Mountain. It is designated a scenic byway by both the National Scenic Byways program and the Vermont Byways Program. See here for a map of the Mad River Byway (PDF).
Molly Stark Byway
Located on southern Vermont, the Molly Stark Byway stretches east to west from Brattleboro to Bennington along Route 9. Along its way it passes Hogback Mountain, through the Green Mountain National Forest, valleys, towns and villages. The Bennington Battle Monument in Bennington is on this route as are the Molly Stark, Fort Dummer and Woodford state parks. See here for a map of the Molly Stark Byway (PDF).
Route 4 / Crossroad of Vermont Byway
Route 4 east to west from Rutland to Hartford is officially designated as the Crossroad of Vermont Byway. It passes through many quaint New England towns and scenic vistas. Along the way it passes through the Green Mountain National Forest as well as by the Appalachian Trail.
View Vermont Route 4 Scenic Byway in a larger map
You certainly can pick almost any stretch of Vermont’s Route 100 and be richly rewarded with wonderful scenery and foliage vistas. A particularly popular stretch runs from Killington to Waterbury. Some of the “extras” along the way include:
- The Town Green in Rochester
- Moss Glen Falls
- The Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury
View VT Route 100 Scenic Drive in a larger map
Stone Valley Byway
Located near Manchester, Vermont, the Stone Valley Byway runs north to south from Poultney to Manchester. There are 35 active slate quarries along the byway that also features mountains, rural landscapes, picturesque towns, Lake St. Catherine and Lake St. Catherine state park. See here for a map of the Stone Valley Byway (PDF).
Picture credits: The map of the Connecticut River Scenic Byway is from the U.S. Department of Transportation.