Vermont mountains are epic and spectacular to see, either by car or more up-close on foot. Throughout the entire year, the mountains of Vermont offer a plethora of activities and breathtaking sights. From resorts to outdoor adventures, these ranges provide something for all vacationers.
Vermont Green Mountains
Vermont Green Mountains
Cutting down the middle of the state, the Green Mountain Range runs north and south through Vermont with just under 400,000 acres of national forest, 500 miles of cycling and hiking trails and a wealth of spectacular views. The state is actually named for these mountains, as “vert mont” means green mountain in French. The highest and most important peaks in the state are found here. A visit to these Vermont mountains is an experience unlike any other; vacationers can look forward to a selection of activities, including skiing, paddling, hiking, and relaxing in one of the most beautiful countryside territories of the United States. Enhancing the enchantment a step further, charming villages dot the landscape with white churches and covered bridges, beckoning visitors to drop in and stay a while.
The highest summit in Vermont is Mount Mansfield; it is one of the few remaining alpine tundra ecosystems that originated in the Ice Age and still exists today. The name, Mansfield, originates from the eastern view of the summit ridge, which resembles the profile of a man. Each of the prominent facets is on the peak is named for the features of the "man," Adam’s Apple, Chin, Nose, and Forehead. The highest point is the Chin, at 4,393 feet above sea level. Hiking, camping, and climbing are among the activities that engage visitors of this mountain; several weeks out of the year, from mid-April to Memorial Day, hiking trails are closed to protect the vegetation and earth of the territory, so it may be wise to plan your trip around these dates. This is a very popular mountain for cross-country skiing, and there are some downhill trails that should be tried only by excellent skiers.
Killington Peak Image: heatkernel (flickr)
After Mount Mansfield, Killington Peak is the second highest peak in the Green Mountains, located just east of Rutland. On this peak is Killington Ski Resort, also called “the beast of the east," with activities and amenities abounding, from relaxing gondola rides and golfing to adventurous climbing and hiking. Special events that take place here include the Killington Wine Festival, a summer event featuring more than 500 wines from around the world; Cooler in the Mountains, a concert series near the end of summer; Spartan Race, an early autumn challenge to test endurance; and Brewfest Weekend, an annual three day autumn event for beer lovers. This is one of Vermont’s best ski mountains, and the lifts of the ski resorts remain open through the summer and for the Vermont fall foliage.
Smugglers Notch Image: M. Janicki (flickr)
Also nicknamed Smuggs, Smuggler’s Notch amidst the Vermont mountains, though founded in 1956 by a group of skiers, encompasses a thick forest and a narrow path, which was used for cover by smugglers with contraband bound for Canada, bootleggers most likely during the Prohibition. Today, Smuggler’s Notch is a resort area, well-liked by summer vacationers and winter sport enthusiasts alike, and there are excellent vacation rentals available throughout the year.
Okemo Mountain Image: randomduck (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
With the largest vertical drop in the state, Okemo Mountain is a popular destination for many vacationers throughout the year for the variety of trails accessible in winter and summer. Okemo is also a resort area with a selection of comfortable accommodations located throughout the area, including Solitude Village, The Mountain Lodge at Okemo, Winterplace, Kettlebrook, Jackson Gore Village, and Trailside. Each offer a number of amenities with inviting lodgings, many including a cozy fireplace for those chilly days and nights.