Lest we lead anyone here to believe that there’s such a thing as a “bad season” in Vermont (even ‘mud-season’ as the spring thaw is called…. has it’s gooey charms), allow us to put such ideas to rest. Winters are cherished for the stillness and subtle blanket over the sleeping land in the snowy season with hillsides accented by frosted trees and laced by sparkling ski runs. Spring blooms in an explosion of wildflowers and verdant valleys and mountains emerge from the slumber. Summers are warm and refreshed by streams and rivers to the delight of fisherman and kayakers. The mountain passes are at long last open for the lucky hikers who explore them. But then, there is autumn. Fall in Vermont is especially special. Leaves shed the green cloak of summer to show their real selves underneath in a transformation of color unlike anywhere else on earth. Brisk winds invigorate and inspire the harvest gathering instinct as summer’s last remnants cling briefly and are swiftly swept aside. Twilight becomes magical as waning light becomes more precious and the land becomes firm and flinty. If you move here in autumn you will be dazzled and delighted by the changes. These are our favorite reasons to move to Vermont in the fall of the year.
Centuries of prose and poetry have been devoted to the explosive kaleidoscope of color that accompanies the changing of the leaves in Vermont’s autumn. Check out places like Peacham, in the Northeast Kingdom where bursting hues of rouge, ochre and gold grace the grounds alongside Congregational Church’s stark white edifice. Take an easy drive up to the foot of Mount Equinox with stunning views of the Battenkill River Valley. Serious hikers summit Mount Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont for the unique perspective over miles seasonal splendor spread out before your eyes.
If you love taking a drive through the countryside, there’s no better time in the Green Mountain State than the fall. The foliage is a great reason enough to get started, but there’s juncture at the midway point between trees at their peak of glory and the bittersweet time when a few still cling to the last leaves. This window formed by denuded branches permits a more extensive view of panoramas, where you can see features and structures normally hidden from the road. You can appreciate the ‘lay of the land’ in its subtle undulations. It’s always wonderful to wander in Vermont — weather permitting! — but it’s never better than in the fall.
If you’re a person who appreciates seasonal culinary goodies, you’ll be a happy camper when fall arrives on your doorstep. An annual tradition is apple cider doughnuts. And yes, you can pair them with the best of seasonal ciders to add another texture to tickle tastebuds.
In fact, there’s a lot of sweet and several boozy treats that emerge in the autumn months. Chocolatiers debut their latest confections as do the local wineries — how can you say no to wine and chocolate? Craft brewers also reserve special batches reflecting autumns flavors, as do some of the world-class cheese producers in the state. See where we’re going with this? Eating and drinking this time of year rocks! (You can simply buy a bigger handmade sweater if you overdo things a bit-)
Seeking that Spooky Vibe
Let us not forget that while fall is the time for harvests it also heralds the unearthly tidings of the Halloween season! The two traditions merge into a merry celebration in this part of the world. Vermont is famous for its bountiful agricultural output. Pumpkin patches are a delight to visit as they join the fun with the Jack-o-Lantern crowd. Corn mazes are a wonderful diversion for both children and adults. And Norman Rockwell scenes of apple dunking and apple picking reain a joyful part of life? Of course, orchards produce plenty of cider for quaffing all winter!
Autumn in Vermont is a time of celebration and gratefully sharing the bounty of summer. Festivals bloom in the pre-winter months from the cities to the inexpressibly lovely small towns sprinkled around the state. Octoberfest at Mount Snow. Harvest markets in community centers and alongside country roads offer up everything from an amazing variety of squashes, hot chocolate and hayrides among the hills and valleys of the surrounding countryside. Food-centric gatherings focus on everything from a dazzling array of apple, pumpkin and cherry pies with the air filled with seasonal spices. Festivals display the remarkable range of talents craftsmen and women with handmade goods from textiles, furniture, musical instruments and wrought iron wares while the air is pierce by delighted voices of children in the bouncy houses wearing masks made at face painting booths. Art walks, outdoor music, food cooked over open fires and the rural traditions of tractor, draft horse, and oxen pulls are artifacts, artforms and simple pleasures of yesteryear are part of the bucolic splendor in the Green Mountain State as changing leaves signal a joyful time of relaxation. It really is the best time to be here!