National Forest Foundation

Green Mountain National Forest: A Weeks Act Profile

The National Forest System

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Around this time each fall, “leaf peepers” flock to the woods of Vermont to enjoy the rustle of the dry leaves, frost-tinged mornings and the wash of gold, red and orange that covers the hills and mountainsides. And all of the ruckus is for good reason: there really is nothing like Vermont in during peak foliage season.

Located within a day’s drive for more than 70 million Americans and boasting more than 400,000 acres of prime leaf peeping territory, Green Mountain National Forest highlights some of the best fall color around. Hike rugged mountains, take a stroll along gently rolling hills and visit quaint country hamlets, all while marveling at the brilliant colors spreading across the landscape around you. Not only does the forest stretch nearly two-thirds of the length of the state, but it also is home to 900 miles of trail, including portions of three nationally designated trails: The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Long National Recreation Trail and the Robert Frost National Recreation Trail.

Located within a day’s drive for more than 70 million Americans and boasting more than 400,000 acres of prime leaf peeping territory, Green Mountain National Forest highlights some of the best fall color around. Hike rugged mountains, take a stroll along gently rolling hills and visit quaint country hamlets, all while marveling at the brilliant colors spreading across the landscape around you. Not only does the forest stretch nearly two-thirds of the length of the state, but it also is home to 900 miles of trail, including portions of three nationally designated trails: The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Long National Recreation Trail and the Robert Frost National Recreation Trail.

After more than a century of damage from unregulated logging, the Green Mountain National Forest was established in 1932 under the Weeks Act. Today the landscape has recovered greatly, and the forest has more to show for it than just the impressive showings of fall color. The woods are alive with animals big and small, and the streams and rivers are known for their fine trout fishing, especially around the Middlebury area.

It’s hard to stray far from history during your visit to the Green Mountain. With more than 2,000 archeological sites on the forest that range from Native American villages to colonial farmsteads, you’re bound to come across some piece of the past! Looking for a unique cycling experience? On the Green Mountain National Forest you can take your bike out for a spin on what were once 19th century carriage routes!

If you can’t make it to the forest until later in the year, the Green Mountain still has a wealth of adventures awaiting you. Route 7, which runs the length of the state is dotted with ski areas; the forest is known for its three alpine and seven Nordic destinations. Snowshoeing and snowmobiling are also ever-popular winter recreation options. The snow-covered hills and dales are just as charming. Just pick your favorite season and get outside!


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