Description - Known as one of America's loveliest states, Vermont is the epitome of New England flavor with rolling mountain scenery shadowing beautiful small towns. History abounds amidst the cold trout waters, acres of wilderness and miles of year-round trails. Vermont is also home to America's sixth largest lake, Lake Champlain.
- Vermont combines a small population, like that of the American West and interesting traditions of New England.
The Green Mountains dissect the state into eastern and western halves. Many of the recreation opportunities available in the state can be found in the Green Mountain National Forest that encompasses the range in southern and central Vermont. Lakes and rivers pervade the state and provide ample facilities for outdoor recreation throughout the year. Lake Champlain, which forms Vermont's northwestern border with New York, is ten miles wide in some areas. The Connecticut River forms the border between New Hampshire and Vermont.
Vermont can be split into several regions, that each have a distinct character. The Champlain Valley encompasses the region east of Lake Champlain from the Canadian border to Rutland, Vermont. This is sometimes called the banana belt of the state, due to the temperature moderating effects of the lake. This area contains numerous small communities with loads of New England charm as well as the two largest cities in the state: Burlington and Rutland. Killington Ski Area is one of the largest attractions in the region. It lies east of Rutland. The Grand Isle area, north of Burlington, supports a unique population of Abanaki, French-Canadian and American cultures.
The southern region of the state contains the ski areas of Haystack Mountain, Stratton Mountain and Mt. Snow. Many people come to this region of the state for skiing and never get beyond it. This area contains Brattleboro in the east and Bennington in the west. Both of these towns support several cultural institutions and hold a significant place in American, and Vermont, history.
The central region of the state contains the larger communities of White River Junction, on the New Hampshire border, and Montpelier, the capital city. Interstate 89 dissects this region and provides easy access to the ski areas of Stowe, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen. Several state forests and parks in this region provide ample facilities for outdoor enthusiasts of many interests.
The Northeast Kingdom is the least populated region of the state. Many residents will tell you, "life in the Northeast Kingdom is the way Vermont used to be." (The state has recently seen a significant rise in population.) This area lies east of the Cold Hollow Mountains, west of the Connecticut River and south of Quebec, Canada. More artists, musicians and writers live in this part of Vermont than the others combined. Natural areas are plentiful with the terrain including mountains, rivers, lakes and meadows.
Recreation - Visitors and residents can enjoy a myriad of recreation opportunities in this state's natural areas. The Green Mountains provide Easterners from many states with a plethora of skiable terrain. The Catamount Ski Trail contains 280 miles of cross-country trails. The mountains also harbor the Long and Appalachian Trails, two well-maintained long distance trails.
The numerous lakes and rivers of the state provide water-oriented recreation opportunities throughout the year. Ice fishing on Lake Champlain is a long standing tradition for many Vermonters. Fly fishing, swimming and sailing are very popular pursuits during the warmer months.
Climate - Vermont's climate varies somewhat depending on region. Generally, the state experiences mild summers with temperatures rarely reaching 90 degrees F. Often summer lows will dip to 50 degrees and by late August temperatures begin to cool. Signs of spring are evident in the Champlain Valley by late March, although the high country begins mud season at this time and doesn't get a full thaw until late April. The mountainous regions of the state have seen snow fall in every month, so be prepared for cooler temperatures if staying in those areas.
Winters can be harsh and long in this northern state. Snow is likely to fall anytime between September and April. Humidity makes winter weather seem bitter and usually a few weeks during the winter see night time temperature below zero. The average winter temperature is 20 degrees F with highs reaching into the forties on warm days.
Vermont is located in the northeastern are of the United States nestled between New York on the west, Canada on the north, New Hampshire on the east and Massachusetts on the south.