7 Day Vermont Road Trip Itinerary

Looking for a perfect Vermont road trip? We’re sharing our itinerary from our 7 days in Vermont, including hikes, local businesses, and beautiful scenery!

Visiting New England, especially in the fall, had been a US bucket list item for us for years. We dreamt of exploring charming small towns, hiking in the mountains, and seeing gorgeous fall foliage, and finally this past fall we were able to make it happen! 

Our fall New England road trip kicked off in Vermont and despite knowing we would really enjoy the state, we were surprised by how much we loved it! The people were so incredibly friendly, the scenery, with mountains, farms, and lakes, was gorgeous, and the towns were just as adorable as we had hoped.

Watch all of our adventures in Vermont, including learning about maple syrup, visiting different cities and towns, and going for beautiful hikes!

And in this guide we’re sharing a 7 day Vermont road trip itinerary, which is almost identical to our exact route. It will not include every single place to visit in Vermont, but rather the places we loved and highly recommend, which would be great for a first visit to the state!

Looking For More Things To Do In Vermont and New England?

Note: this guide contains affiliate links, which means that if you use the links provided and make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We will only ever recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!

About Vermont

Green Mountains Vermont

Vermont is located in New England in the northeastern part of the United States and is nicknamed the Green Mountain State, after the Green Mountains, which run north to south, like a spine going through the entire state. In fact, the name Vermont actually comes from a combination of two French words: “vert”, which means green, and “mont,” which means mountain.

Vermont was the first state admitted to the Union after the original 13 colonies and is the 6th smallest state by area. It is also the second least populous state after Wyoming, with the largest city in the state, Burlington, only having 44,743 people and is the only state without a building taller than 124 feet.

Vermont's Northeast Kingdom

What Vermont may lack in size and number of people, it makes up for in endless scenery, open spaces that aren’t overly developed, and four seasons worth of activities. It is even home to some major companies, like Ben & Jerry’s and Orvis, and is the largest maple syrup producer in the United States. 

There is just something magical about Vermont that is hard to put into words, but even in just a week in the state, we fell madly in love with it and are already dreaming of returning.

Before embarking on your adventure, please review the Leave No Trace principles to ensure you leave every place better than you found it, so that others can enjoy these beautiful places for many years to come!

These seven principles include planning ahead and preparing, hiking and camping on durable surfaces, disposing of waste properly (pack out what you pack in!), understanding campfire rules and always fully extinguishing your fires, respecting wildlife, and being considerate of other visitors. 

Vermont Road Trip Route

There are many things to do and places to explore in Vermont, but for this guide we’ll be focusing on the areas we personally visited during our time in Vermont, which we highly recommend for first timers to the state who want to experience some of its best sights! Here is the route that this Vermont road trip itinerary will be following.

Flying to Vermont

This route map above assumes you’ll be flying to visit Vermont and the best airport to fly into will be the Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), which is a massive airport that is serviced by all major airlines and offers nonstop flights from many destinations in the United States.

The drive from Boston to the first stop in Vermont will be about 2.5 hours, so it’s not super close, but Boston is also a great gateway to other areas in New England if you plan to explore other states while visiting Vermont.

Driving to Vermont

If you’re driving to Vermont, the road trip route above may need to be modified a bit, as your road trip will possibly start and end in different places. You also may want to do the route in reverse depending on where you’re coming from.

Here is how long you can expect to be on the road if arriving from other nearby destinations:

Lincoln, NH: 1 hour, 40 minutes (76 miles)
Hartford, CT: 2.5 hours (147 miles)
Lake Placid, NY: 3 hours (128 miles), which includes a ferry across Lake Champlain
Portland, ME: 3 hours (181 miles)
Providence, RI: 3 hours, 15 minutes (189 miles)
New York, NY: 4.5 hours (263 miles)

Note: some of the roads and times above include driving tolls. If you want to avoid paying for tolls, make sure to turn off tolls on your Google Maps settings.

Green Mountains Vermont

How to get around Vermont

Since this is a road trip itinerary, you’ll definitely need to rent a car or drive your own to fully enjoy all of the sights on this guide, as public transportation isn’t really an option between all of the towns without hiring a tour guide.

Assuming you’re visiting in the summer or fall, any type of vehicle will work just fine on a road trip around Vermont, as none of these stops require 4×4 to get to. Our Sprinter van was able to navigate Vermont well and we didn’t run into too many issues parking a larger vehicle either!

When to visit Vermont

Bald Mountain Fire Tower Vermont

Vermont offers activities for all four seasons, including skiing in the winter, fresh maple syrup in the spring, hiking in the summer, and gorgeous foliage in the fall. 

However, this guide is focused on visiting Vermont in the summer or fall, when the trails are snow free and less muddy than the spring. Here’s what you can expect when visiting during these two seasons!

Summer in Vermont 

The summers in Vermont are beautiful, with an average high temperature between 70-80 degrees fahrenheit, depending on where you visit (Burlington tends to be warmer than Stowe). With lots of state parks, forests, lakes, and outdoor activities, this is one of the best times to explore Vermont if you want to comfortably enjoy all of the beautiful scenery the state has to offer. It can be busier though, since after a long winter many locals and visitors are eager to get out and explore!

Vermont's Northeast Kingdom

Fall in Vermont

When we think of Vermont, we think of the colorful fall foliage that the state is famous for. And we aren’t the only ones! Fall is a popular time to visit Vermont, especially during peak foliage, but we didn’t find the crowds to be too horrific during our visit. Besides the foliage, the weather during the fall is really nice, with cooler temperatures and a mix of sunny days and some foggier days.

Note: Peak foliage can vary year to year and timing also varies depending on the region. When we visited in late September, we were a bit too early for Stowe, but managed to see some great colors in the Northeast Kingdom. Based on our experience visiting in fall 2021, the first week of October would be a safer bet to find some bright colors, but for real time updates, we found this website to be helpful.

Where to stay during your Vermont road trip

Stowe | Vermont Road Trip Itinerary

Since this road trip itinerary covers quite a bit of ground, we’d suggest staying in different places throughout the trip to limit how much time you spend driving each day. We will include suggestions of places to stay under each day of the itinerary!

However, if you want to stay in one place the entire time and do not mind some driving, Waterbury or Stowe will be the best spots, as they are under 2 hours (one way) from each destination, so you could do day trips to every spot on this guide. We will list some options of places to stay in Waterbury or Stowe on day 3 of this guide!

Want to find campsites all over the US? Try the Dyrt PRO for FREE for one month!

The Dyrt is the #1 camping app in the US! Sign up for a FREE 30 day trial of their PRO version using our code AplusK!

The Dyrt PRO offers many incredible features to make finding campsites even easier (+ cheaper). Some of our favorite features are:

-Offline maps, so you can find campsites without cell service
-Map layers to find free camping areas (+ cell phone service map layers)
-Discounts from PRO partners and on campground bookings (up to 40%!)

Things to know before your Vermont Road Trip

Before you go, here are a few important things to know before hitting the road on your Vermont road trip!

Book in advance

Because Vermont isn’t super populated, there can be limited options when it comes to lodging in some areas. We suggest booking in advance to ensure that you can find a spot that fits your needs and budget, especially during peak seasons.

Download offline maps

There were a few areas where we didn’t have the best cell phone service, which can be tricky if you’re trying to figure out where to go, both on the road or on the trail. We highly recommend downloading offline AllTrails Maps and offline Google Maps so you can navigate without cell phone service and don’t get lost!

Almost everything is dog friendly

One of the many great things about Vermont is that it is very dog friendly! Since there are no national parks, which usually prohibit dogs, your furry friend can join you for many activities on this guide! However, there will be times that your pup will need to stay behind, such as visiting restaurants, tours, and other indoor activities, so make sure you have a safe place to leave them.

Learn how we travel with a dog and what we do with Kona when she cannot join us on our adventures.

Start early

Our #1 tip anywhere we go is to start early! While Vermont may not be as crazy busy as some national parks and other destinations we have visited, it can get crowded with tour buses (we got stuck behind a few huge bus groups). We tried to start our days early and hit the trails around sunrise and it paid off every time!

Harvest Host Vermont

Harvest Hosts are a lifesaver for RVs!

Since we travel in a van, we typically sleep in our van at night, instead of hotels or Airbnbs. While we did stay in one hotel in Vermont, the rest of the time we tried to boondock in the area. However, boondocking out east can be pretty tricky, with very limited free public land, but thankfully there are many Harvest Hosts in the area!

Harvest Hosts is a paid membership that lets you stay at farms, breweries, wineries, golf courses, and other spots for FREE, with the expectation that you will support the business. While this means you do need to spend some money and it’s not totally free, it’s usually a unique experience and you get to support a local business. 

We slept at a total of 4 Harvest Hosts while in Vermont, including a cider mill, farm, golf course, and maple syrup farm. If you’re also traveling in a van or RV, we highly recommend Harvest Hosts while in the area. You can use our link to get 15% off a membership!

Mount Mansfield Vermont

Be flexible!

During our time in Vermont we had two things impact our plans a bit: foggy weather and less foliage than we hoped. 

We had tried hard to plan our trip so we’d hit peak foliage, but were a bit too early for most areas. It is super hard to predict foliage, as it varies year to year due to weather conditions, so if you plan to visit in the fall, prepare to be a bit flexible if the colors are not at the level you hoped. During the fall, you can likely always find an area with more vivid colors if you’re willing to drive a bit further or change plans a bit.

As for the foggy weather, despite being full time travelers, we had a set amount of time in Vermont and couldn’t adjust, so we just decided to roll with the punches and embrace it, even with zero views. We still had a blast and made some fun memories!

What to bring on your Vermont Road Trip

Burlington Island Line Trail

A common question we get when sharing our adventures is what we bring with us. We have almost all of our gear listed here, but here are some items we especially recommend bringing to Vermont!

Hiking Gear

Since most of the best things to do in Vermont include outdoor activities, you’ll want to bring plenty of outdoor gear and clothing. To see everything we take hiking, as well as our favorite clothing, check out our hiking gear

Layers

The weather can vary in Vermont, so layers are good to have! During our trip we experienced warm sun and cold fog within days of each other, so having layers was key to staying comfortable.

Bike (if you have one)

If you have a bike and are driving to Vermont, we suggest bringing it with you! There will be multiple opportunities to ride your bike while on your road trip and while you can rent one (like we did), it would be cheaper and easier to have your own.

7 Day Vermont Road Trip Itinerary

Now that you know a bit more about Vermont, how to get there, and other tips, it’s time to plan out your road trip! Below is our 7 day Vermont itinerary, which can of course be adjusted to what you want to do, how much you want to do in a day, and how much time you have.

We have included a variety of activity options for some days, that way you can adjust it to your preferences and abilities. We have also included some add-on options if you have more time and are looking for more things to do!

Day 1: Travel to Vermont

For the first day of your Vermont road trip, head to Vermont! We suggest making it near Woodstock, Vermont, which is a cute town and is also close to Day 2 of the itinerary.

If you arrive early enough, spend as much of the day as you have to explore the Woodstock area. We were unable to squeeze Woodstock into our road trip, but we had originally planned to stop there and here are some spots we had hoped to visit! 

Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano

Things do in and near Woodstock, VT

  • Quechee State Park: This state park, which is just 15 minutes to the east of Woodstock, is home to Vermont’s deepest gorge, which you can experience on the 2.7 mile Quechee Gorge Trail.
  • VINS Nature Center: This nature center is right by Quechee State Park and is home to a variety of birds and a very cool looking forest canopy walk!
  • To see a covered bridge, visit either the Middle Covered Bridge (right in Woodstock) or Taftsville Covered Bridge!
  • Sleepy Hollow Farm: This is a very popular spot to snap a photo during fall foliage. It overlooks someone’s farm, which is extremely picturesque! Make sure to be respectful, as this is someone’s property.
  • Billings Farm & Museum: This dairy farm gives visitors a glimpse of what farm life is like, both in the past and the present, through different exhibits.
  • Hike The Pogue and Mount Tom trail (4.2 miles, 643 feet of elevation gain) for views of Woodstock, a small lake, as well as the surrounding area.

Places to eat in Woodstock, VT

Where to stay

For your first night, we suggest staying close to Woodstock or a bit closer to tomorrow’s activities in Rutland. Since you’re only going to be staying for a night, a hotel would be easiest, as most Airbnbs in the area require 2+ night stays.

In Woodstock, there are no major hotel options, just local inns, which can be pricey. But a little bit east in White River Junction there is a Fairfield Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, and Hampton Inn.

In Rutland, there is a Hampton Inn and Best Western Inn & Suites. This will be about a 20 minute drive to tomorrow’s major activity.

Optional Add on: Day in Boston
If you’re traveling by plane and landing in Boston, you could spend a day exploring a bit of Boston before heading to Vermont, which is a city we have yet to visit, but REALLY want to. 

Day 2: Tour a Maple Syrup Farm!

Watch part of our tour at Baird Farm to get a better idea of what to expect and learn some maple syrup facts!

For today’s big activity you’ll tour a maple syrup farm! Vermont is the largest maple syrup producer in the United States, with 2.22 million gallons produced last year, over half of the total production for the US.

Every year, starting in late January or early February, sugaring season occurs, which is when sap is collected from trees and maple syrup is actually made. This process lasts for 4-6 weeks! Although our suggested time to visit Vermont is not during sugaring season, it’s still worth visiting a farm to learn about the process and of course try maple syrup!

There are many farms to tour, but we highly recommend visiting Baird Farm, which is in Chittenden, Vermont. This is a 4th generation family farm, which originally started with cows and now makes maple syrup. And unlike most maple syrup producers in Vermont, who offer self guided tours where you can watch videos and see some equipment, Baird Farm actually takes you on a tour themselves! 

Baird Farm Maple Syrup Vermont

The tours are FREE and you’ll get to see their maple trees, hear the process of how sap is collected, see their equipment and learn how sap is turned into syrup, and do a tasting at the end! Our guide, Jacob, who is one of the owners, was extremely nice, passionate, and took the time to get to know our group so he could customize the tour. Plus the syrup was so delicious, both their pure maple syrup and their infused varieties! 

NOTE: Baird Farm only offers tours certain days of the week at only one time slot, so make sure to book in advance. If Baird Farm is not offering tours the day of your trip, you can visit Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock and do a self guided tour. If you decide to do this, we’d suggest staying in Woodstock the night before.

What to do after your maple syrup farm tour

Assuming you go on the Baird Farm tour, we suggest heading to Middlebury (40 minutes north) for a bit on your way to Burlington for the night. While there:

  • Grab lunch at either The Mad Taco or Haymaker Bun Company & the Arcadian.
  • Walk around Middlebury and see the falls in town!
  • Grab a maple creemee at Vermont Maple Market! A creemee is basically an extra creamy soft serve ice cream, and while you can get creemees in a variety of flavors, maple creemees are all the rage in Vermont. They have a delicious sweet, maple (but not overpowering) taste. We LOVED them!

After exploring a little bit, drive to Burlington, which is 1 hour north of Middlebury. If you’re looking for somewhere to grab dinner, we suggest Taco Gordo, Bluebird Barbecue, Pho Hong, or Honey Road.

Where to stay

After day 2, we suggest staying the night in Burlington, which will put you right in the heart of tomorrow’s activities! Here are some suggestions of where to stay.

Hotels: Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Hotel Vermont, Courtyard Burlington Harbor, and Homewood Suites.
Airbnbs: Beautiful Suite, The Garden Studio, Modern Rustic Backyard Cottage, Josie’s Secret Downtown Gem, and Deluxe Cute Apartment.
Campgrounds: North Beach Campground

Day 3: Burlington

Burlington Island Line Trail | Vermont Road Trip Itinerary

Watch us spend a day in Burlington, where we biked around and ate some tasty BBQ!

About Burlington

Burlington is a vibrant, welcoming, and beautiful city that is located on the shore of Lake Champlain. It is the most populous city in Vermont and is home to the University of Vermont, many local restaurants and shops, parks, and gorgeous views. 

Itinerary

  1. Start your day with coffee at Perky Planet, which is more than just a coffee shop. They have an incredible mission to break down barriers to employment for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some of the things we read that they have done is insulated the ceilings to reduce the echos for their employees with hearing impairments and have implemented different technologies to make tasks more accessible.

    Another great option is Kru Coffee. Regardless of which you choose, we suggest taking your coffee down to the Waterfront Park to enjoy it with a view of Lake Champlain, which is 490 square miles and is the largest lake in Vermont. This lake also borders New York and Quebec in Canada and from Burlington you can even see the Adirondacks in New York across the water!
  2. Have breakfast at August First or Penny Cluse, which are both very popular spots for breakfast and lunch items.
  3. Ride bikes on the Island Line Trail, which is a 14 mile (one way) trail that goes from just south of downtown Burlington and across Lake Champlain via a causeway and bike ferry, to South Hero, Vermont.

    Along the trail you’ll go by different beaches and parks, see many views of Lake Champlain, and go through a residential area, before making it to the causeway, which is a narrow pathway that takes you three miles across Lake Champlain. This section of the ride is amazing, with water all around you, plus mountain views.

    Towards the end of the causeway there is a 200 foot gap that requires you to take a ferry to get across and continue the causeway. The ferry is seasonal and runs daily in the summer, but after Labor Day, it only runs Fridays-Sundays, until mid October. It costs a suggested $10 donation (round trip) to ride.

    If you do not have a bike and need a rental, we rented eBikes from Local Motion and it was a blast! Since it was a lot of miles, having the assistance of a motor was helpful.

    We also suggest bringing snacks or a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way!
  4. Head over to Shy Guy Gelato, a local, homemade gelato spot that makes some delicious flavors! They do sell out, so make sure to check their Instagram in advance!
  5. Walk around Church Street Marketplace, which is a 4 block outdoor pedestrian mall with shops and restaurants, cute buildings, trees, cobblestone walkways, and colorful flags hanging, all ending at a picturesque church.
  6. For dinner, head to either Taco Gordo, Bluebird Barbecue, Pho Hong, or Honey Road! And if you’re a beer drinker, Zero Gravity Brewery, Switchback Brewing Co, and Foam Brewers are popular spots to check out.
Bluebird BBQ Burlington | Vermont Road Trip Itinerary

Where to stay

For day 3, you could either stay another night in Burlington, using one of the suggestions above, or you could stay in the Waterbury and Stowe areas, which is where the next two days of your road trip will be. Here are some suggestions of where you can stay there!

Hotels: Best Western Plus Waterbury-Stowe, Fairfield Inn & Suites Waterbury Stowe, Trapp Family Lodge, Green Mountain Inn, and Timberholm Inn.
Airbnbs: The Coffee Roost, True Vermont Cabin, Bright & Airy Guest House, Cozy Bungalow Home, and Classic Stowe Ski Chalet.
Campgrounds: Smuggler’s Notch State Park Campground, Gold Brook Campground

Optional Add on: Camel’s Hump State Park

If you have an extra half day or so, we suggest visiting Camel’s Hump State Park, which is a FREE state park (with no facilities) that is named after a distinctive hump on top of the mountain that you can see from miles away. While in the park, hike the 6 mile Camel’s Hump Trail to the top! 

Day 4: Waterbury + Stowe

Stowe | Vermont Road Trip Itinerary

Watch us explore Waterbury and Stowe, including apple cider donuts, a corn maze, and a covered bridge!

About Waterbury & Stowe

Waterbury and Stowe are likely some of the most popular areas to visit in Vermont and it’s no secret why! Nestled in the Green Mountains, the towns are quaint and charming, the views are amazing, there are great local businesses, both small and large, and plenty of activities year round. The two towns are located about 15 minutes apart and connected by the Green Mountain Byway, with Waterbury more south and Stowe more north, making them easy to visit together.

There are many things to do and places to eat or drink in the area, so we’re providing many options in this day’s itinerary so you can choose what you’re most interested in.

Itinerary

  1. Have a sweet start to the day with apple cider and apple cider donuts at Cold Hollow Cider Mill! This place is so amazing and makes some insanely fresh tasting cider and donuts, both of which you can watch them make! They have a room in the back where you can learn a bit about the apple cider process and watch them work and in the front, you can see them frying up fresh donuts. 

    If you want something savory as well, they have a restaurant next door that serves breakfast, lunch, and hard cider.

    For the coffee lovers, some good coffee shops in the area are Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea (Waterbury), Black Cap Coffee & Beer (Stowe), Woodland Baking and Coffee (Stowe), and PK Coffee (Stowe).
  2. Spend the morning and afternoon exploring Waterbury and Stowe! Here are some options, listed in order from Waterbury up to Stowe, which you can mix and match to plan your perfect day.

    Kayak on the Waterbury Reservoir: The Waterbury Reservoir is the 9th largest body of water in Vermont and was created in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservations Corps as a way to protect nearby towns from floods. There is a state park on the reservoir called Waterbury Center State Park, where you can rent kayaks and enjoy the mountain views from the water. Note: dogs are not allowed here.

    Visit Ben & Jerry’s: Ben & Jerry’s started in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont in 1978 and today its factory and headquarters are located in Waterbury. They offer factory tours (currently closed until sometime in 2022), ice cream by the scoop, and even a flavor graveyard where you can see flavors from the past, with headstones.

    See the Gold Brook Covered Bridge: There are 104 covered bridges in Vermont, the highest density of covered bridges in the US, which were originally created to protect bridges from the harsh New England weather. Today they make for beautiful photo opps and a popular covered bridge between Waterbury and Stowe is the Gold Brook Covered Bridge, also known as Emily’s Bridge because of a very sad story of a girl named Emily who hung herself from the bridge after her lover that she was supposed to elope with never showed up.

    Hike up to the Stowe Pinnacle Overlook: Just down the road from the Gold Brook Covered Bridge is the Stowe Pinnacle Trail, which is 3.7 miles and 1,604 feet of gain (so it’s pretty steep!) and takes you to an overlook with views of the Green Mountains.

    Walk around Stowe: When we think of a classic New England town, we think of Stowe. The town is tucked in the mountains, has beautiful Colonial style buildings, and an iconic New England church steeple. It’s a great place to walk around, shop a bit, and has some good spots if you need lunch, a sweet treat, or beer. Here are some spots to check out:

    Grab a sweet treat at Laughing Moon Chocolates.
    Grab lunch or beer at Idletyme Brewing Company.
    Tour The Alchemist Brewery, which is currently only offering daily tours at 5 PM.

    Bike the Stowe Path: A popular thing to do in Stowe is to go on the Stowe Recreation Path. This is a 5.5 mile (one way) path that takes you through Stowe and by farms and restaurants. This pathway is best on a bike, but we enjoyed walking Kona on part of the path as well!

    Get lost in a corn maze: If you visit in the fall, make sure to check out the Percy Farm Corn Maze. Every year Paul Percy mows a unique maze in his farm’s corn field, which costs $8 per adult (cash or check only), for visitors to try to conquer. We found it to be trickier than expected and it took almost an hour to get out!

    Chase some waterfalls: The Stowe area is home to a handful of beautiful waterfalls. We hiked to Moss Glen Falls, which is only about 0.25 miles from the trailhead (parking is pretty limited) and takes you to a gorgeous, multi-tiered waterfall. Another popular option in the area is Bingham Falls, which is a 0.5 mile round trip hike!
  3. Have dinner at Piecasso, which is a delicious pizza spot in Stowe (we loved it!). A couple other options are Idletyme Brewing Company, von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall (the family from the Sound of Music!), or Trattoria La Festa, an authentic Italian spot.
Piecasso | Vermont Road Trip Itinerary

Where to stay

We suggest staying in Waterbury or Stowe again for this night!

Day 5: Mount Mansfield

Mount Mansfield Vermont

Watch us hike to the top of Mount Mansfield on a foggy day!

About Mount Mansfield

Mount Mansfield is the tallest point in the state of Vermont at 4,393 feet. The mountain is known for looking like someone laying down and different portions of the mountain are named after different features, including the forehead, nose, upper and lower lips, and the chin, which is the summit. 

Mount Mansfield Vermont

How to get to the top of Mount Mansfield

There are three main ways to get to the top of Mount Mansfield: hiking, driving, or a gondola.

Hiking (our top pick!): If you choose to hike to the top of Mount Mansfield (which is what we did), there are tons of trail options, but we suggest the Mount Mansfield Loop, which is 7.3 miles and gains 2,880 feet. This trail starts at Underhill State Park ($4 per adult fee), which is about 45 minutes to 1 hour from Waterbury and Stowe.

If you go this route, we suggest taking the Maple Ridge Trail up and Sunset Ridge Trail down, as the Maple Ridge Trail has two trickier spots, including a gap to jump and a rock wall you have to climb up, which is easier going up than down. We show these spots in better detail in this video and these spots can be tricky with a dog, but we were able to get Kona through them safely. You can also hike up and down the Sunset Ridge trail, which is still steep and rocky, but has less tricky spots.

Despite us having ZERO views at the top, we had a blast hiking this trail, as it offered some challenges along the way to keep things interesting! We suggest arriving early, as parking can get full on a busy day, as can the summit, since there are many ways to get to the top.

Driving: To drive up Mount Mansfield you’ll take the Auto Toll Road, which costs $29 per car + $11 per passenger. The road takes you to 3,850 feet, where you can either enjoy the views from there, or continue on the Long Trail for about 1.25 miles each way.

Note: RVs and campers, bicycles, motorcycles, or dually trucks are NOT allowed on this road.

Gondola: The final way to the top is to ride the Stowe Mountain Resort Gondola, which costs $37 per adult and $26 per child for the ride up and down the mountain. Once off the gondola, you can take the Cliff Trail to the Long Trail to the summit for under 1 mile each way. 

What to do after Mount Mansfield

After making it to the top of Mount Mansfield, we suggest driving the Smugglers Notch Scenic Drive (Route 108) back towards Stowe, which goes through the forest and has unique rock outcroppings.

Once back in Stowe, grab food at one of the spots we shared on day 4 and if you have more time, do any other activities listed on day 4 that you didn’t have a chance to check out!

Where to stay

For day 5 you could either stay in Waterbury or Stowe one more night or head towards your final destination in Vermont, the Northeast Kingdom, which is under 1.5 hours from Stowe. This will give you an early start for your final day!

If you choose to stay closer to the Northeast Kingdom, here are some options:

Hotels: Comfort Inn & Suites Near Burke Mountain
Airbnbs: Cozy Cottage in the Northeast Kingdom, Waterfront Lake House on Crystal Lake, and Remodeled 2 bedroom + loft lakefront cottage
Campgrounds: Whitecaps Campground, Will-O Wood Campground, Belview Campground, and Kingdom Campground

Optional Add on: Montpelier

If you have an extra day or afternoon, head to Montpelier, which is the capital of Vermont! Montpelier is a charming town and we suggest walking around the historic downtown area, seeing the state capitol building, which is beautiful, and grabbing a maple creemee at Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks!

Day 6: Northeast Kingdom

Lake Willoughby Vermont

Watch us explore the Northeast Kingdom, including two epic hikes! And to learn more about our favorite hikes in the area, read our Mount Pisgah and Bald Mountain guides!

About the Northeast Kingdom

The Northeast Kingdom (abbreviated NEK) is an area in northeast Vermont, which got its nickname from a former US Senator and governor, George Aiken, who loved the area and thought it should be a kingdom. And we couldn’t agree more…it is magical!

The Northeast Kingdom is home to small towns, forests, farmland, mountains, and beautiful Iakes, including Lake Willoughby, which is the second largest lake in the state and looks like a mini Norwegian fjord. This region of Vermont was our absolute favorite and we highly recommend the trek up there, especially if visiting during fall foliage.

Itinerary

  1. Get an early start and hike up Mount Pisgah (4.1 miles round trip, 1,653 feet of elevation gain), which has phenomenal views of Lake Willoughby from a few different viewpoints. It is relatively short, but steep, and it can get busy, so we recommend starting around sunrise if you can.

    You can learn more about the hike, including what to expect and photos from the different viewpoints in this guide.
  2. Spend the rest of the morning hanging out at Lake Willoughby! Lake Willoughby has two beaches, with the North Beach being much larger and more of a “lay out” kind of beach, while the South Beach is more of a cove for boats, but in our opinion has the better view. There is also a clothing optional cove near South Beach.

    If you want to kayak on the lake, White Caps Campground offers rentals to the public, as does Clyde River Recreation, which is located north of the lake, but they can drop off the kayaks for you!
  3. Grab lunch at The Parker Pie Company, which is about 25 minutes away from Lake Willoughby.
  4. End the day with a late afternoon or sunset hike up Bald Mountain (4.2 miles round trip, 1,463 feet of elevation gain), which takes you to an old fire tower, with incredible 360º views at the top.

    We share more about the hike, including more information about the fire tower in our Bald Mountain guide!

Where to stay

For your final night, you can either stay in the Northeast Kingdom to make the trek closer to Boston for your flight, or continue on to wherever your adventures take you next! 

Mount Pisgah Vermont

Day 7: Travel back home

And now for the worst part of the trip…leaving Vermont. 🙁 For your final day, either head back home or continue your adventures. We highly recommend squeezing in some time in New Hampshire’s White Mountains if you have time, which is close to the Northeast Kingdom. 

If you do head that way, check out these guides:

We hope you enjoy visiting Vermont as much as we did! We went into the state with pretty high expectations after years of anticipation and it truly exceeded them all. If you do make it to Vermont and use this guide to help with your trip, let us know! We’d love to hear about the memories you make in Vermont too!

Ready to experience the beauty of Vermont?

Pin or save this Vermont road trip itinerary to help your planning!

about us

Hi y’all! We’re Adam, Kathryn, and Kona, an adventurous married couple (+ pup!) living on the road in our self-converted sprinter van! You can often find us driving all around the US and Canada, scoping out the best coffee shops, eating tacos and ice cream (we’re a 5+ taco and 2+ scoop household), and enjoying nature.

search

affilliate disclosure

This website contains affiliate links from websites such as Amazon.com, Booking.com, and Rentalcars.com. If you use the links provided and make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!

instagram

Never miss an adventure

Sign up to get travel updates, guides, vlogs, and other resources delivered straight to your inbox once a month!

4 Comments

  1. Paula

    Great post! I appreciate that you are moving at a fast pace here. Most Vermont itineraries are too slow for my liking 😉

    Reply
    • Kathryn Frazer

      Thank you Paula! We are glad you like the pace. We try to cater to those who have limited time, but want to see as much as they can!

      Reply
  2. Christine

    I’m so excited that we are heading to Vermont next month! I’m usually the “itinerary maker” so I very much appreciate the helpful information in your videos and blog. We are a little older than the two of you so it is wonderful to get an idea of the terrain of the hikes as we can be best prepared! We would have missed out on Black Elk Peak in South Dakota had we not watched your video so a big “thank you” for that!

    Reply
    • Kathryn Frazer

      We are so glad to help you plan your own trip easier! Black Elk Peak is still one of our favorites!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

© 2021 Adventures of A+K. All Rights Reserved. Website built with love by Dreamworthy Design.