The scenic drive in Central Vermont is a loop road trip of around 250 kilometers. You can do this drive to admire Vermont fall foliage in just one day, only passing by some of the places I recommend seeing. But the best thing would be to turn it into a weekend road trip and take your time.
The route I have in mind will follow Route 12, south from Montpelier to Woodstock. After that, it heads north on Route 100, then on 100B back to Montpelier. While you may have plenty of surprises on this road trip, one thing’s for certain: you’ll see some amazing Vermont fall foliage along the way. So let’s get going!
Our scenic drive starts in Montpelier, on the northern fringe of Central Vermont. The smallest state capital city in the United States, Montpelier is 293 kilometers from Boston and 158 kilometers from Hartford. To get to the starting point, you could use Interstate 89.
Leaving Montpelier behind, we will take Route 12 and start heading south to Northfield Falls.
There are many covered bridges in Vermont. However, the two in Northfield Falls can be seen simultaneously, while you gaze through one to another. This image is unique in all of New England, so you may want to take a photo!
Continue driving on Route 12, heading to Bethel.
Bethel is a natural part of the landscape. This town is also home to the White River National Fish Hatchery, which focuses on restoring the Atlantic Salmon in the Connecticut River.
White River National Fish Hatchery
Open daily between 08.00 and 15.00.
Address: Hatchery Entrance Rd, Bethel, VT 05032, United States | See on map
Tel. +1 802-234-5937
After leaving Bethel, continue driving on the southern route to Woodstock.
Woodstock in a picture-perfect Vermont town, where you should take some time to just walk around and to try out the local restaurants. In this area, I recommend seeing Quechee Gorge and the Billings Farm and Museum.
Quechee Gorge is like a small version of the Grand Canyon, only in Vermont. While it isn’t as large as the one in Arizona, there are lots of hiking and walking trails available. So don’t miss this opportunity to admire the scenery and stretch your legs a bit during this road trip. And while you’re there, take a walk to the picnic area which has a view over the falls to snap a nice photo!
Established in 1871, the Billings Farm and Museum is a working farm nowadays. Its museum paints an image of farm life in the late 1800s. Depending on when you visit the museum, you may be able to take part in some seasonal activities beyond admiring Vermont fall foliage. So check out their events calendar when you’re planning this road trip, and you might find something interesting. However, they have interesting daily activities, too.
Billings Farm and Museum
Open daily from 10.00 to 17.00 in April – October and from 10.00 to 16.00 in November – February. An adult ticket costs $16.00, while one for children can vary between $4.00 and $9.00, depending on their age.
Address: 69 Old River Rd, Woodstock, VT 05091, United States | See on map
Tel. +1 802-457-2355 | Events calendar
Once you’re done in this area, continue with your drive on Route 4 for around 32 kilometers to reach Killington.
Killington is a renowned ski area, covering the slopes of six mountains. My suggestion is to go up on Killington Peak (1,010 meters) to admire the spectacular views and to admire Vermont fall foliage spreading over the entire region. If you’re not up for a hike, you can go up to the summit with the K-1 Gondola.
K-1 Gondola to Killington Peak
In autumn, the K-1 Gongola is open daily, between 10.00 and 17.00. However, check their website before planning a visit, because sometimes the Gondola is closed for events. In the autumn season, roundtrip adult tickets cost $20.00 on weekdays or $23.00 on weekends, while the ones for children cost $16.00 on weekdays or $18.00 on weekends.
Address: Killington, VT 05751, USA | See on map
Tel. +1 800-734-9435 | Website
In Killington, you’re half-way done with your road trip to see Vermont fall foliage. If you decide to spend the night in this area, I recommend heading to nearby Rutland. But make sure you book your accommodation in advance, as this region is very popular with travelers interested in admiring autumn’s colors, too.
By the Green Mountain National Forest
After you wake up and have a nice breakfast, hop back in the car and take Route 100, along the border of the Green Mountain National Forest. This will take you through Pittsfield, Hancock, and Granville. And, in all honesty, this is the best part of this road trip.
Near Hancock and close to Route 100, you can take Route 125 to get to Texas Falls. The easy hike to the falls s beautiful year-round, but even more so in this season. It’s an amazing place to photograph Vermont fall foliage.
After Hancock, when you get to the north of Granvill, you can stop to see the larger Moss Glen Falls, too. The drive there will take you through 11 kilometers in the rough wilderness, so slow down and take in the views.
Wrapping it up
On the last part of this road trip, leave Road 100 and take Route 100B near Moretown village. This will take you north to Middlesex and as soon as you take Interstate 89 you’ll be on your way back to Montpelier. Don’t worry, though. The final leg of this scenic drive still has some great photo opportunities to capture Vermont fall foliage!
This scenic drive to admire Vermont fall foliage has plenty of opportunities to take detours. My advice to you is to take your time and wander on the smaller roads that take you away from the busy highways. You will appreciate autumn Vermont more and also learn why those who live here wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else in the world.
Vermont fall foliage road trip map
Cristina Popescu is a Romanian blogger who has been traveling since 2008. She has visited 100+ countries across all the continents and accumulated firsthand knowledge about beautiful travel destinations. There is nothing she won’t try at least once in a lifetime and she wishes to encourage others to get out and see the world, too.
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