Vermont December 25, 2016
12 Hidden Gems You Have To See In Vermont Before You Die
The best part about Vermont is that there’s always something new to learn, to see and to do. We love finding interesting places and sharing them with you! Here are some hidden gems – some outside, some inside, all incredible – that need to go on your Vermont bucket list.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Harrington's View, Bolton
Sure, we’ve all seen Mount Mansfield as it’s Vermont’s most famous mountain, but not many people have seen a view of it from here. Harrington’s View is located on the Long Trail, America’s oldest long distance hiking trail, and is a little known spot, despite being relatively close to Vermont’s large population centers. This vista provides a unique view of Mount Mansfield from a different and slanted angle. It gives you a feeling of escape despite only being a few miles from the nearest road and is the perfect place for a picnic or even just a beer. A
, of course!
2. Bellows Falls Petroglyphs
Bellows Falls is home to two clusters of petroglyphs and their origin is unknown. Various hypotheses place them at anywhere from 300-3,000 years old and many believe the Abenaki are responsible for putting the faces there, because their legends say that when a person dies, their soul travels west, and these would provide useful markers for the spirits to know they were headed in the right direction.
3. Robert Frost Trail, Ripton
Take the road less traveled on
The Robert Frost Trail
. This easy hike is accessible year round and you'll be inspired by the poetry along the way.
4. Mount Independence, Orwell
If you’re looking for more history with your scenery, head over to Mount Independence, the site of a Revolutionary War fortress overlooking Lake Champlain and restored Fort Ticonderoga. The area is abundant with hiking trails and archeological finds and depending on what time of the year, you may find yourself surrounded by quiet and solitude, or in the middle of a war reenactment. History junkies will love the several historical reenactments that take place each summer. Either way, plan to stay and watch the sun set over Lake Champlain.
5. The town of Newfane
This charming town is picture perfect in every season. The summer is perfect for strolling, biking, swimming, and shopping at the country store. Colder months enjoy nearby skiing at Haystack, Mt. Snow and Stratton Mountains, or visiting a maple sugar house in the Spring.
6. Ithiel Falls, Johnson
Ithilel Falls in Johnson is a hidden gem for the lovers of water sports and beach goers alike. Each season brings a different personality of the river; for example, swift in spring, gentle in the summer. For added history to this lovely spot, the falls were once a Class 5 River Rapid, which caused massive flooding in the town of Johnson in 1927. The falls were later blown up by the Civilian Conservation Corps and became a Class 2 Rapid. The famous Long Trail goes over the falls by means of a suspension bridge. For the less daring, there is easy access to get here on a sandy walk with parking access via Hogback Road.
7. Lord’s Prayer Rock, Bristol
In 1891, Joseph C. Greene hired a carver to engrave the Lord’s Prayer on a giant rock. Some believe that Greene always said a prayer when reaching this point on the dangerous road when he worked as a log deliverer. Others say Greene was upset by the cursing and swearing of passing wagon drivers so he had the prayer carved so the drivers would think before taking the Lord’s name in vain.
8. Bra tree, Killington
While riding up the chair lift on Skye Peak at Killington this winter, be sure to look down to spot a tree covered in bras. You would need to be on the chairlift to add to the collection, but you have to wonder: Who started this and why? If anyone knows, please share in the comments!
9. Hogback Mountain, Wilmington
Check out the views from the Hogback Mountain Gift Shop. On a clear day, you can supposedly see four states from here.
10. Bug art at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, St. Johnsbury
We’ve seen all kinds of things at museums – paintings, sculptures and even steamships, but never, EVER, did this medium to come to mind. At the Fairbanks Museum you can see the artwork of John Hampson displayed. His medium? Dead bugs and bug parts. Moths, beetles, butterflies alike are painstakingly arranged into a colorful picture that can be hung on a wall. Each picture is made up of between 6,000 and 13,000 bugs and took 3-4 years to complete.
11. Osmore Pond in New Discovery State Park, Groton
Pulling into this campground in warmer weather isn't your average camping spot. It's wonderfully peaceful and underdeveloped. Hidden individual picnic spots scattered along the lakeshore giving you a sense of privacy, summer wildflowers, smooth stones and shady woods make the area more of a romantic than rustic destination.
12. Sunrise at the Allis State Park, Brookfield
Watch the sun rise from the fire tower at the
Allis State Park
at least once in your life. It's absolutely breathtaking.
We’ve brought you stories about
great hikes, historic sites, unique places to visit and must-do road trips and day trips. But what always happens is that no matter how many ideas we find, there is always so much more to see!