Updated date:

A Fall Foliage Tour of Southern Vermont Including Mount Snow

Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures and experiences and makes the world a more tolerant place.

Colorful Vermont

Colorful Vermont

Autumn is the perfect time to experience the colorful transformation of the landscape in southern Vermont. With winter rapidly approaching, the area’s ski resorts are a great way to take in the beautiful fall foliage before snow graces their slopes. Most ski resorts open up their chair lifts for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts during the summer months. In the fall, it’s a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the colorful kaleidoscope that descends upon New England. And Mount Snow is the perfect place to take in the majesty of this wonder of nature.

Beautiful Vermont

Beautiful Vermont

A Scenic Loop through Southern Vermont

A nice foliage tour that will include a stop at Mount Snow can start in Brattleboro just off of Interstate 91 that runs north-south from the coastline of Connecticut all the way to the Canadian border. The scenic loop described here can be done either clockwise or counterclockwise. We decided to do a counterclockwise loop. You’ll be traversing just three roads, Routes 30, 100, and 9, and the tour will cover about 65 miles. With stops you should be able to cover this in anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, depending on how often and how much time you spend at stops.

A scenic drive through southern Vermont starting and ending in Brattleboro

A scenic drive through southern Vermont starting and ending in Brattleboro

Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.

— Lauren Destefano

Brattleboro

Brattleboro makes a great starting and ending point for a couple of reasons. Given that it’s the closest sizable town to a major highway in southern Vermont means you’ll likely be starting the tour here. It’s also a wonderful, laid-back, eclectic community loaded with great restaurants, museums, breweries, and galleries. Before heading out to see the foliage consider spending some time checking it out.

Heading north out of Brattleboro on Route 30 you will come to the Grafton Village Cheese Company that has been operating since 1892. We packed a picnic and this was the perfect place to stop and enjoy a leisurely lunch while enjoying the foliage. You can watch the handmade cheese-making process in addition to tasting the final product and doing a little shopping in their cheese store.

Grafton Village Cheese Company

Grafton Village Cheese Company

Not far up the road is the West Dummerston Covered Bridge that is the oldest continuously operating covered bridge in Vermont. This is a great place to stop and get some great shots of one of Vermont’s famed covered bridges. Just be careful as the bridge is still in use today. The bridge spans the West River, which follows Route 30 and makes for a very scenic ride.

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

You’ll pass the towns of Newfane and Townshend before leaving Route 30 and heading south on Route 100. Before the junction of Route 100, we stopped in Townshend as there is a beautiful white church, the First Congregational Church and Meetinghouse, located on the Townshend Common. Townshend is small, quaint, and just typical of what you would expect from a small New England village in the middle of nowhere. It makes for a great photo with the colorful foliage framing the white church.

First Congregational Church and Meeting House

First Congregational Church and Meeting House

Continuing southwest on Route 100 takes you into the Green Mountain National Forest and eventually to the Mount Snow Ski Resort. This is a beautiful area of Vermont and a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. No matter what interests you, be it winter skiing, summer hiking, biking, or the fall foliage, this is a great region to enjoy all that Vermont has to offer.

In autumn the hills come alive with color

In autumn the hills come alive with color

Mount Snow

Mount Snow is located in the quaint community of Dover in southern Vermont. This is the southern end of the Green Mountains. With over 100 peaks above 3,000 feet and nine peaks over 4,000 feet, it’s a beautiful landscape no matter the season.

The Bluebird Express is Mount Snow’s high-speed chair lift that whisks visitors to the top of Mount Snow at 3,586 feet in a little over eight minutes. The lift takes visitors for a ride of almost 7,400 feet and with its bubble design will protect riders from the elements. The other notable feature of the Bluebird Express is that it seats six passengers, which is unique for a sit-down chairlift. Mount Snow was the first ski resort in the country with a high-speed, 6-seat, detachable chair lift in 2011.

Welcome to Mount Snow

Welcome to Mount Snow

From the summit of Mount Snow, you have a stunning view across four states on a clear day. During the fall foliage season, the views are incredible and this is a popular option for leaf peepers. With a network of trails, there are plenty of hiking opportunities or you can simply take in the views while relaxing with lunch at the rustic Bullwheel restaurant/tavern. Many folks opt to take the Bluebird Express to the top and then hike down. This can take anywhere from an hour to 2 hours. If you don’t want to take the scenic ride to the summit there are plenty of hiking options from the base of the mountain that afford stunning views of the foliage.

The Bluebird Express

The Bluebird Express

If you’re into Mountain Biking, Mount Snow has lift-service to the top for your bike and you can ride down a ski trail. If you’re new to the sport you can try Trail-7, designed as an introductory downhill trail for beginners. Mount Snow has been providing mountain bikers access to the mountain for over thirty years and has an extensive network of trails for riders of all abilities. With over 35 miles of trails you can spend hours riding in the serenity of the beautiful Green Mountains.

Mount Snow

Mount Snow

If you’d like to go straight to Mount Snow and skip the scenic drive it’s approximately 45 minutes from both Brattleboro to the east and Bennington to the west. All of the roads in southern Vermont are beautiful in autumn so going directly to Mount Snow still takes in plenty of foliage scenery. You can actually spend all day hiking or biking around Mount Snow and you’ll be doing it amidst the beautiful multicolored landscape of southern Vermont.

The colorful slopes of Mount Snow

The colorful slopes of Mount Snow

Wilmington

Continuing south on route 100 from Mount Snow will take you to charming Wilmington. Wilmington has a lot going for it and during peak foliage season the town is bustling with visitors. Its Historic Downtown is the perfect venue for shopping, locally-owned restaurants, and cozy inns. It would also make a great base from which to explore southern Vermont. Just outside of town on Route 100 is the Wilmington Antique & Flea Market, which runs every Saturday and Sunday from mid-May to mid-October. We spent some time browsing the flea market and came away with some yummy Pure Vermont Maple Syrup.

Wilmington Antique & Flea Market

Wilmington Antique & Flea Market

Back to Brattleboro

As you head back to Brattleboro on Route 9, otherwise known as the Molly Stark Trail, you’ll pass a very popular stop that will surely grab your attention. In addition to a scenic overlook with stunning views, there is also the Beer Naked Brewery, Vermont Distillers, the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, and the Hogback Mountain Country Store. A plethora of attractions to please just about anyone. Even if none of these establishments interest you this area is worth a stop just for the view alone.

Distance and Time from Major Hubs

  • Boston to Brattleboro:​​ 105 miles - 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Hartford to Brattleboro: ​84 miles - 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Springfield to Brattleboto: 58 miles - 55 minutes.
  • Albany to Brattleboro:​ 79 miles - 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Providence to Brattleboro: 124 miles - 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Manchester to Brattleboro: 84 miles - 1 hour and 35 minutes.
a-fall-foliage-tour-of-southern-vermont-including-mount-snow

© 2020 Bill De Giulio

Comments

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 14, 2020:

Thanks Liza. It’s my favorite season also. Vermont is beautiful no matter the season, but especially so in autumn. Have a great day.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 14, 2020:

Thank you, Flourish. The peak foliage has now moved south from Vermont into western Mass and Connecticut and it is stunning this year. I love autumn, except that it’s followed by winter.

Liza from USA on October 14, 2020:

Absolutely stunning! Fall is my favorite time of the year, so I adore these beautiful colors. My husband frequents told me that Vermont is one of the beautiful states in America. I would love to visit Vermont anytime, for sure. Thank you for sharing the beautiful autumn colors in your city, Bill.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 14, 2020:

What a beautiful trip! I especially love the vistas of the white churches against the bright foliage. It reminds me of the year I lived in Maine, very memorable—cold but memorable and picturesque. I’d love to visit New England in the fall again.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 13, 2020:

Thanks Drew. It is a very picturesque area, especially now with the leaves changing. We are fortunate that we live close enough to drive. Thanks for stopping by, have a great day.

Drew Agravante from Philippines, Currently in Qatar on October 13, 2020:

It's so picturesque! Maybe, I should save up and add this to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing this Bill.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 13, 2020:

Thank you, Linda. Vermont is a beautiful state no matter the time of year. The foliage this year was particularly colorful due to the weather conditions. Glad you enjoyed the tour.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 13, 2020:

Thank you, Liz. The days are getting shorter and cooler, but it’s a beautiful time of year here in New England. While we won’t fly yet, we can still get in the car and see the local sites.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 12, 2020:

I visited Vermont many years ago. I'd love to go again and see the sights that you describe. As always, your photos are lovely and the information that you've shared is interesting and useful.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 12, 2020:

I have really appreciated your fall tour. Just the tonic as the nights draw in and the weather turns cooler. This is a well illustrated and interesting article. It's good to see that, in spite of the current situation, that you are still able to get out and write your great travel articles.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 12, 2020:

Thank you, Karen. We finally made it to Acadia last year, wonderful place. It definitely is the best time of year here in New England, my favorite season. Thanks for stopping by.

Karen A Szklany from New England on October 12, 2020:

Beautiful article, Bill! I live in central MA, off 495. Never made it to Brattleboro, but drove to Putney last August. Drove to North Conway, NH in 2011 and all the way up to Acadia around 2015-ish. Best time of year here in New England!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 12, 2020:

Thank you, Peggy. The fall foliage is beautiful no matter the location. We are fortunate that we live in the midst of it. Autumn is definitely my favorite season.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 12, 2020:

Thanks for showcasing the gorgeous fall colors in southern Vermont. While I have not been up there, I fondly remember the fabulous fall colors in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. We also took a trip to the Smoky Mountains one fall to enjoy those seasonal colors. I love the fall season of the year!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 12, 2020:

Thanks Heidi. This is also my favorite time of the year. We’ve never been to upper Michigan but I’m sure it’s beautiful in autumn also.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 12, 2020:

Thank you, Bill. I agree that Vermont is stunning year-round. We are lucky that we can be in Vermont in about an hour although I will say that the Berkshires can be quite beautiful themselves. Have a great day.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 12, 2020:

Thanks John. It’s my favorite time of year and we have been trying to get out on weekends to see the foliage before it disappears.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 12, 2020:

Thank you Pam. It really is a beautiful area, especially in the fall. We had a great day touring this area and the colors were amazing.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on October 12, 2020:

You had me at "fall foliage." I love fall and would also love to see it in the northeast. I have a friend who lives in VT and I'm so jealous. But at least I've been to upper Michigan in the fall which also bursts with color. Thanks for sharing the autumn loveliness!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2020:

I lived in Vermont for two years, and I can attest that it is stunning this time of year. Actually, I think it's stunning year-round. Thanks for bringing back great memories. It was a lovely road trip you took us on.

Happy Monday, my friend!

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 12, 2020:

Thank you for sharing this tour of Southern Vermont and Mt Snow, Bill. What beautiful foliage and scenery.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 12, 2020:

Those pictures are absolutely beautiful with the atumn leaves, Bill. Several years ago one of my sons lived in northern NY, and we took a trip in some of Vermont. We went to the top of Mount Snow I believe. I remember the beauty and how the climate changed as we got higher up the mountain.

I am sure you thoroughly enjoyed this trip as I don't know that autumn is more beautiful anywhere.