Fall foliage season is here, and there’s no better time to be out and about in Vermont. Fall fairs, hiking, and apple picking are just a few of the fun options. Here are nine things to do in Vermont this fall.
Get Out in the Green Mountain National Forest
What better time to be in the forest than in the height of fall foliage season? The Green Mountain National Forest was established in 1932 and encompasses nearly 400,000 acres that stretch across nearly two-thirds the length of Vermont. The forest offers a variety of terrain ideal for hikes to mountain summits or more leisurely strolls along quiet forest roads. Quite a few places in the Green Mountain National Forest offer fishing (try the Hancock Branch on Route 125), camping (try Grout Pond in Stratton/Wardsboro), and mountain biking (try Moosalamoo National Recreation Area near Goshen/Ripton).
Find Yourself at a Fall Fair
The fall season is packed with fall festivals and fairs across the state. Timeless favorites include the Peru Fair, Stowe Foliage Arts Festival, Cabot Apple Pie Festival, Gilfeather Turnip Festival in Wardsboro, the Vermont Fine Woodworking and Harvest Festival in Woodstock, and the Newfane Heritage Festival.
Check Out a Chicken Pie Supper
Chicken pie suppers are a longstanding tradition in Vermont. Exactly when they first started is up for debate. The first recorded chicken pie supper may have been in Jericho Center, which celebrated the centennial of its event back in 2002. Waterbury Center’s Community Church began holding suppers around 1858. These days, you can still find chicken pie suppers happening around Vermont in Richmond, Groton, Jericho, and other communities.
Shop at a Local Farm Stand
The fall harvest produces much more than apples and pumpkins. Fall is a great time to buy local beets, sweet corn, garlic, carrots, lettuce, as well as beef. Farm stands, which have played an important role in Vermont’s food system for over 50 years, can be found in every corner of Vermont, from Fairfax to Hardwick to Shaftsbury. Most are open until the second week of October. Visit the Vermont Agency of Agriculture website for details.
Explore Haunted Places
Vermont’s mountains are among some of the oldest in the world and humans have occupied areas of the state for thousands of years. Maybe that’s the reason Vermont is filled with so many spooky, strange, haunted places—from Emily’s Covered Bridge in Stowe and Converse Hall at the University of Vermont to Brunswick Springs in the Northeast Kingdom and the rugged Glastenbury Mountain in Bennington County. If you’re looking to read up on weird places in the state, visit Obscure Vermont, an excellent blog by Chad Abramovich.
Be at a Beer Festival
Hill Farmstead. The Alchemist. Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Vermont has some incredible breweries within its borders, and the fall season is when you’ll find some of the best brewers festivials in the state. Try Siptemberfest at Mad River Glen, Oktoberfest in Burlington, the Harpoon Octoberfest Race in Windsor, and the Central Vermont Brewfest in Randolph.
Soak Up the View on a Chairlift
It won’t be long before the snow flies. In the meantime, take a scenic chair lift ride at a Vermont ski area to see beautiful fall views from above. Scenic chairlift rides are offered at Mount Snow, Sugarbush, Killington, Bromley, Okemo, and other ski areas. Visit SkiVermont.com.
Head to the Nearest Apple Orchard
Vermont is home to more than two dozen apple orchards across the state growing Macintosh, Cortland, Empire and other varieties. My personal favorites are Shelburne Orchards, Mad Tom Orchard in East Dorset, and Allenholm Farm in South Hero. One of the best parts of apple picking in Vermont is a chance to win an Apple iPad or iPod in the Apples to iPods contest sponsored by Vermont Tourism, Woodchuck Cider, Vermont Tree Fruit Growers, and Small Dog Electronics. Visit Applestoipods.com.
Take Plenty of Photos
The fall foliage season is relatively short in Vermont. Peak foliage arrives in early October, depending on where you are in the state (it peaks closer to Oct. 1 in the Northeast Kingdom, for example). Wherever you go, bring along your camera or smartphone to capture the beautiful bold colors that grace the landscape. Need some tips on where to go? Here is a list of 8 beautiful places to photograph in Vermont.