The Vermont 100

Posted on 19 March 2013

For a scenic road trip in Vermont, eschew the big I-91 and try Vermont's state route 100 to take you from Newport in the north to Wilmington in the south. This trip will give a glimpse into quintessential New England villages and countryside.

Newport is on Lake Memphremagog, not far from Canada's Montreal. There is a boardwalk on the waterfront and plenty of shops and cafes with beautiful scenery surrounding the city. Head out of town on VT105 to get to the beginning of VT 100 and head south!

Lake Memphremagog
by John Jewell Flickr Creative Commons

Wide open spaces abound between Newport and the small town of Lowell, after which the mountains come into view. More small towns are strung out along the road, as well as several small lakes and rivers.  Just outside of Morrisville are the pretty Cadys Falls waterfall and swimming hole, and not long after that you will find Stowe, a particularly quaint village and four-season resort town. The white church and spire are the centerpiece of Stowe.

Stowe Town Hall
by Peter Broster Flickr Creative Commons

Continuing south, cross the Winooski River at Waterbury and after passing through Waitsfield the road runs along next to the Green Mountains. With a backdrop of peaks, the road runs through pasture and cornfields in a river valley. Pretty towns with british- sounding names are dotted along the route- Hancock, Rochester, Stockbridge, Pittsfield and Killington to name a few.

Green Mountains
by dvs Flickr Creative Commons

The Green Mountain forests are a great place to stop for the night if you want to break up your trip. They are home to a number of campsites such as Chittendon Brook near Rochester, where you can get a bit closer to nature and enjoy the trails in the mountains. For something more civilised, try one of the townships.

Further down the New England feel continues as the road passes through West Bridgewater and Plymouth Notch and also skirts the Coolidge State Forest (named for Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the USA), which has plenty of hiking trails, campsites and mountain views. Further south are a number of tranquil lakes- Amherst Lake, Echo Lake and Lake Rescue, of which the latter is the largest and used extensively for watersports and recreation.

Birthplace of Calvin Coolidge, in Plymouth Notch
by Shannon Flickr Creative Commons

The rest of the drive is through green hills between Ludlow and Weston. Weston is a classic Vermont village with a great historical society and playhouse, as well as a bandstand on the green and the mandatory church steeple!

Winter in Weston
by redjar Flickr Creative Commons

Londonderry and South Londonderry straddle the West River further south, and then the road enters dense greenery once again in the southern part of the Green Mountan National Forest, and passes the imposing Haystack Mountain.

View from Haystack Mountain
by Chris Oakley Flickr Creative Commons

The route ends in Wilmington, a town not far above the border with Massachussets.

Great big-city pick up points at either end of this route are Boston and Montreal, both excellent starting points for road tripping in Vermont and the surrounding states!

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