Scenic Drives and Colorful Leaves: Exploring Vermont’s Autumn Beauty

Every year, as summer’s warmth gradually gives way to the crispness of autumn, Vermont undergoes a remarkable transformation. Its lush green landscapes become a mesmerizing canvas of reds, oranges, and golds as the leaves change color. For travelers seeking a serene and visually stunning escape, Vermont during the fall foliage season is a top destination. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the scenic drives and colorful leaves that define Vermont’s autumn beauty.

The Artistry of Vermont’s Fall Foliage

Vermont’s fall foliage is nothing short of a natural masterpiece. The state’s unique blend of deciduous trees, including sugar maples and oaks, sets the stage for a vibrant display of colors. As the days shorten and temperatures drop, the leaves begin their transformation, turning the Green Mountain State into a riot of autumnal hues.

The Timing of Vermont’s Leaf-Peeping Season

Timing is crucial when planning your leaf-peeping adventure in Vermont. While the exact timing of the peak foliage season varies each year, it typically occurs from late September to mid-October. Keep an eye on foliage reports and forecasts to ensure you catch the colors at their most vibrant.

Scenic Drives: A Symphony of Color

One of the best ways to experience Vermont’s fall foliage is through its scenic drives. The state offers a network of winding roads that take you through picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and awe-inspiring vistas. Here are some of the must-visit routes:

  1. The Green Mountain Byway: This iconic route takes you through Stowe and Smugglers’ Notch, offering breathtaking views of the mountains and forests. The winding road is a visual feast of vibrant foliage.
  2. The Vermont Route 108 Scenic Byway: Known as the “Mountain Road,” this route leads to the famous Smugglers’ Notch State Park. The narrow road is flanked by cliffs and offers close-up views of the fall colors.
  3. The Mad River Byway: Follow the winding Mad River as it meanders through the Mad River Valley. The foliage along this route is stunning, and the small towns along the way are quintessential Vermont.
  4. The Molly Stark Byway: This historic route takes you through Southern Vermont, passing charming villages and historic sites. The fall foliage here is a blend of reds, oranges, and yellows.

For the ultimate convenience and flexibility to explore these scenic routes, consider renting a car from Vermont Rental Cars. Having your own vehicle allows you to fully savor the freedom of the open road, stopping at viewpoints and charming towns along the way as you immerse yourself in Vermont’s autumn beauty.

Outdoor Adventures Amidst the Foliage

Vermont’s fall foliage is not just about scenic drives; it’s an invitation to immerse yourself in the outdoors. Consider these activities to fully embrace the autumn beauty:

  1. Hiking: Vermont boasts an extensive network of hiking trails that lead you through forests and up to panoramic viewpoints. Trails like Mount Mansfield and Camel’s Hump offer stunning vistas.
  2. Biking: Cycling enthusiasts will appreciate the picturesque bike paths and trails that wind through the state. The Island Line Rail Trail, for example, offers waterfront views.
  3. Canoeing and Kayaking: Paddling on Vermont’s serene lakes and rivers amidst the fall foliage is a tranquil experience. Lake Champlain and Lake Willoughby are excellent choices for water adventures.
  4. Picnicking: Pack a picnic basket with local Vermont cheeses, apples, and cider, and enjoy an outdoor meal amidst the colorful leaves.

Capture the Beauty

Whether you’re a professional photographer or simply enjoy taking snapshots with your smartphone, Vermont’s fall foliage provides endless opportunities to capture the beauty of the season. Don’t forget to bring your camera and take photos of the vibrant landscapes, scenic drives, and charming villages you encounter.


Vermont’s autumn beauty, with its scenic drives and colorful leaves, is a natural wonder that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. The state’s winding roads, outdoor adventures, and the symphony of colors in its forests create an unforgettable journey through fall foliage. So, plan your trip, pack your camera, and embark on a leaf-peeping adventure that will leave you with cherished memories of Vermont’s breathtaking autumn beauty.