Vermont’s Fall Foliage Spectacle: A Leaf-Peeping Guide for Travelers

As summer wanes and the days grow shorter, nature in Vermont begins to unveil its most captivating spectacle: the transformation of its lush green landscapes into a kaleidoscope of vibrant autumn hues. For travelers seeking a breathtaking display of fall foliage, Vermont is a destination like no other. In this leaf-peeping guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the Green Mountain State, exploring the best spots to witness Vermont’s fall foliage extravaganza.

The Art of Leaf Peeping

Leaf peeping is more than just observing the changing colors of leaves; it’s an art form, a celebration of nature’s mastery. Vermont, nestled in the northeastern corner of the United States, is renowned for its stunning fall foliage, drawing visitors from across the country and around the world.

The Timing of the Symphony

Timing is everything when it comes to leaf peeping. The peak of Vermont’s fall foliage typically occurs in late September to mid-October, but this can vary slightly depending on the region and the weather. To maximize your chances of witnessing the most vibrant colors, plan your visit during this window.

Scenic Drives: The Road to Autumn’s Glory

Vermont offers an extensive network of scenic byways, making it easy to explore the state’s fall beauty by car. Some of the most renowned routes include:

  1. Route 100: Known as “Vermont’s Main Street,” this route runs north-south through the heart of the state. It’s a perfect choice for a leisurely drive, offering picturesque views of quaint villages and rolling hills blanketed in fall foliage.
  2. Route 7: This north-south route takes you through the western part of Vermont, passing by the stunning Lake Champlain and offering glimpses of the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Be sure to stop in Manchester for some shopping and dining.
  3. The Notch Loop: This scenic drive takes you through Smugglers’ Notch State Park, known for its narrow, winding roads and towering cliffs. The views of the foliage are nothing short of spectacular.
  4. The Northeast Kingdom: This region in the northeastern part of Vermont offers some of the state’s most pristine and untouched landscapes. The foliage here is exceptionally beautiful, and the region is known for its rural charm.

Outdoor Adventures in Foliage Paradise

Vermont’s fall foliage isn’t just a visual treat; it’s an invitation to immerse yourself in the outdoors. Consider these activities to fully experience the beauty of the season:

  1. Hiking: Vermont boasts an extensive network of hiking trails that take you through forests, along streams, and to scenic overlooks. Trails like the Long Trail and Camel’s Hump offer breathtaking vistas amidst the fall foliage.
  2. Biking: If you’re a cycling enthusiast, pedaling through Vermont’s countryside during the fall is a joy. The Stowe Recreation Path and the Island Line Rail Trail are great options for a picturesque ride.
  3. Apple Picking: Fall in Vermont means ripe apples ready for picking. Many orchards across the state allow visitors to harvest their own apples, offering a delicious way to savor the season.
  4. Hot Air Ballooning: For a unique perspective on the foliage, consider taking a hot air balloon ride. Drifting above the treetops, you’ll have an unrivaled view of Vermont’s autumn colors.

Convenient Car Rentals for Leaf Peepers

To make the most of your Vermont leaf-peeping adventure, consider renting a car. This flexibility allows you to explore the state’s diverse regions and take scenic drives at your own pace.

At Vermont Rental Cars, they offer convenient car rental services that cater specifically to leaf peepers. We understand that many travelers arrive in Vermont by train or airplane, and our goal is to make your journey as seamless as possible.

upper aarow at Okemo


Imagine this typical leaf-peeping trip: You take a scenic train ride from New York City to Rutland, Vermont, where you’re welcomed by our rental car service. With the freedom to pick up your rental car anywhere, you can embark on your fall foliage expedition. Explore the charming villages, traverse mountain passes, and witness the breathtaking foliage displays. When it’s time to return, simply drop off your rental car in White River Junction, Vermont, and catch the train back to NYC.

Beyond Vermont: The Adirondack Mountains

While Vermont offers an abundance of fall foliage beauty, neighboring New York’s Adirondack Mountains are equally enchanting during the autumn season. We also provide rental cars in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, two prime leaf-peeping destinations in the Adirondacks. These areas offer a different but equally captivating experience, with pristine lakes surrounded by forests ablaze with fall colors.

Capturing the Moments

A trip to witness Vermont’s fall foliage is incomplete without capturing the moments. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or simply using your smartphone, take the time to snap pictures of the stunning landscapes, charming villages, and vibrant foliage. These images will serve as cherished mementos of your leaf-peeping adventure.


Vermont’s fall foliage is nothing short of a natural masterpiece. The state’s scenic drives, outdoor adventures, and convenient car rentals make it an ideal destination for leaf peepers. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on a journey through Vermont’s autumn wonderland. Witnessing the leaves change color in Vermont is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

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