Autumn is an exciting season to explore New England, thanks to the warm weather, beautiful fall foliage, and endless activities to keep travelers busy. The New England region is known for its breathtaking foliage views and fall celebrations through live events and festivals. Apple ad pumpkin picking is some of the season's major draws among local and international visitors.
But for photography and nature lovers, autumn's favorite activity is leaf peeping on scenic drives. Recognized as one of New England's states to experience the region's most impressive foliage, Vermont receives over one million visitors each October. Planning an autumn trip to Vermont? Don't miss these 10 most scenic fall drives.
10 Route 100
Located on the state's south-central side, the scenic Route 100 is one of the most famous scenic drives in Vermont. Taking about five hours to complete, Route 100 is the longest.
The journey begins in Northern Massachusetts and winds to the top of Vermont. Along the route, vacationers will encounter many mountains and valleys, which are glowing in vibrant autumn colors.
Also referred to as Vermont’s Main Street, this gorgeous byway connects some of the most impressive hiking and riding in the Northeastern.
- The time it takes to complete: About five hours
9 Stowe Hollow Road
Starting from the charming town of Stowe, one of the best places to celebrate fall in Vermont, travelers should drive north. Along the way, on the left-hand side of the road, one should see the Gold Brook Bridge.
Once at the bridge, take a right turn on the opposite side of the bridge, and drive up to the red-colored barn.
This place is brimming with beautiful private farms and gorgeous mountains covered in breathtaking foliage, creating incredibly stunning views of the surrounding.
8 Mad River Byway
Starting from Middlesex and ending in Buels, this scenic drive takes visitors through the state’s popular ski spots, beautiful farms, gorgeous downtowns, and passes around mountain ridges, offering incredible leaf-peeping opportunities.
Travelers may also participate in several activities and special events along the way, including entertainment and fall festivals. Only covering about 36 miles, this byway may be shorter, but the experience it offers is thrilling.
- Distance: 36 miles
7 Kelly Stand Road Heading Towards Grout Pond
Kelly Stand is not always maintained in the winter, but it is one of the most scenic drives in Vermont, and leaf peepers would definitely enjoy driving on the route.
By early October, this area is already experiencing peak foliage because the road passes through the mountains. Travelers should follow this route until they get to Grout Pond in the Green Mountain National Forest, which is among the beautiful spots to see fall foliage and take some epic photos.
While the route is just below 65 miles, it is on a dirt road, so it will take between two and three hours to complete.
- The time it takes to complete: two-three hours
- Distance: Under 65 miles
6 The Shires Of Vermont Byway
This route begins at Pownal and ends in Manchester, and only covers thirty miles to complete. The Shires of VT Byway is one of the most popular and impressive scenic fall drives, as it winds through beautiful vistas.
Known to have attracted several celebrities, this scenic route is one not to miss when planning an autumn vacation in Vermont.
- Distance: About 30 miles
5 Mount Snow Loop
Covering 100 miles, this scenic fall drive starts from Brattleboro to Whitingham. Travelers will find beautiful shops, incredible food eateries, and a circus school.
The route winds through Mount Snow ski. This route will also get visitors through the charming towns of Newfane and Whitingaham, and the views along the scenic drive are unmatched!
The drive follows route 9, also known as the Molly Stark Byway.
- Distance: 100 miles
4 Stone Valley Byway
From Manchester, this beautiful drive takes travelers to Hubbardton. Along the route, visitors will get to Dorset, another impressive town in Vermont, which is also one of the best spots to see fall foliage in the state.
The village town is full of things to see and do. So, it won't hurt to stop there for a while and grab some cider donuts in Vermont. The region boasts some of the most impressive foliage views.
- Distance: 30 miles
- The time it takes to complete the drive: About 50 minutes, and two and a half hours if making stops along the route.
3 Northeast Kingdom Loop
This gorgeous drive is located in the northeastern corner of Vermont and is always an outdoor paradise. St. Johnsbury is the major town along this route, and it has a magnificent art museum, where visitors can stop and explore some amazing art.
Travelers will also find Jay Peak, a stunning ski resort with a large indoor water park, where travelers can play around with water. It is always good to take a break away from the car.
- Distance: About 150 miles
2 Upper Connecticut River Valley Loop
The journey along this scenic fall drive starts and ends in Vermont's Woodstock. It winds through the Killington ski area. Along the ski region, there are several vistas, an incredible dining scene on the mountains, and numerous fall festivals to catch.
Covering 115 miles, this route offers some of the most scenic landscape views full of breathtaking autumn colors.
Travelers can decide to make a side small trip to the magnificent Quechee Gorge, sometimes called, ‘’Vermont’s Little Canyon.’’ The Gorge is brimming with brilliant fall foliage, offering more fun to leaf peepers.
- Distance: 115 miles
1 Beaver Meadow Road
Connecting the towns of Sharon and Norwich, this drive is covered in beautiful yellows, reds, and browns of autumn leaves. With no cars or people around, this could be the best Vermont trip ever!
The fall foliage along this gorgeous, quiet drive is dramatic, and travelers wouldn't leave without making some stops to take epic photographs. There is a small lake along the road. Stop by the lake and take in the beautiful, relaxing atmosphere.