Everyone has heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, but have you checked out the world wonders, Vermont-style? Sometimes it’s not necessary to travel all around the globe to see amazing places. In fact, there are many sights to behold right here in Vermont that are wonders of the world in their own right. From natural to man-made, here are 7 sights you won’t want to miss.
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. Smugglers Notch State Park
The famous Smugglers’ Notch is a narrow pass through the Green Mountains. Lined with staggering1,000-foot cliffs, the winding road is closed in winter for safety.
In the earlier days, only a footpath and trail for horses existed here.
One of the many wondrous sights to behold in Smugglers Notch State Park is Bingham falls which is located at the end of a steep (but doable) hike down. The falls has three drops, with the last one being 25 feet into a teal tinted pool of water.
Hildene, the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln in Manchester, remained occupied by descendants of the Lincoln family until 1975. In 1978 the non-profit organization, the Friends of Hildene, purchased the property and began restoration of the house, outbuildings and gardens.
Situated on a 412 acre property, the Hildene estate was completed in 1905 in the Georgian Revival style. The formal garden is in the form of a cathedral's stained glass window was planted in 1907. The garden is especially noted for its collection of over 1,000 herbaceous peonies.
3. Quechee Gorge
Hundreds of thousands of visitors stop each year to take in the breathtaking views of the Quechee Gorge. The focal point of the park is Vermont’s deepest gorge, formed by glacial activity approximately 13,000 years ago.
Visitors can look down at the Ottauquechee River, flowing 165 feet below viewing points along Route 4.
Enjoy the hiking and walking trails along the mile-long chasm. Exploring the gorge from the bottom gives you a unique view of “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.”
4. Shelburne Farms
Shelburne Farms is located on 1,400 breathtaking acres and is a working farm, nonprofit education center for sustainability, and a National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelburne.
The property is a well-preserved example of a Gilded Age "ornamental farm", and was developed in the late 19th century. It continues to be nationally significant as well as educational, not to mention stunning!
5. Floating Bridge
The first bridge on this site was erected in 1820. It was built this way because the lake is too deep for traditional pilings. The seventh bridge was closed to traffic and torn down in 2008 for replacement due to failure of its floatation system, which was based on foam-filled barrels.
The Brookfield floating bridge in 1906.
The current bridge, the eighth at this location, is supported by fiber-reinforced polymer pontoons. Driving on top of water is certainly a wondrous experience, albeit a white knuckle one!
6. Texas Falls
Texas Falls in Hancock has long been a popular Green Mountain National Forest attraction, and photographs of these falls have been used on postcards, books and hiking guides.
The best view is from the bridge that crosses over the stream. From this view you will see two small plunges with a deep green-blue pool in between them. This once popular swimming hole is now off limits due to numerous injuries.
7. Vermont foliage
No matter how long you have lived in Vermont, the wonder and beauty of autumn never ceases to captivate. The colors are nothing short of breathtaking.
The best thing about the foliage is that you can find it anywhere in Vermont for a few magical weeks every year.