A Photographer’s Paradise in the Green Mountain State
Grab your cameras and hit these 5 scenic spots in Vermont
Vermont is famous for its majestic mountain views and gorgeous fall colors. You can find beautiful scenery throughout the state and in any season. Here are some of the best spots that will make you grab the camera to get a beautiful shot of the Vermont landscape.
The most famous mountain range is known as the Green Mountains. They run from the northern to the southern part of the state. These mountains also continue through Massachusetts, where they are called the Berkshires. The Green Mountains are how Vermont got its nickname as well. You can travel on foot along the Long Trail, which will take you throughout the state. If you are in a car, many scenic roads will give you a better view of the mountain’s natural beauty. Towns like Montgomery and Stowe take visitors back in time with their covered bridges, apple valleys, and charming stores.
Since the Green Mountains are vast in size, there are some places that you will not want to miss. One of the most distinct peaks is known as Camel’s Hump, and the profile is so famous that it was featured on the Vermont state quarter. In the summertime, you can see the Alpine tundra grasses in full color at the summit of the mountain. The peak of Camel’s Hump features some delicate plants, including crowberry, alpine bilberry, and Labrador tea. If you want a trek up to the top for a panoramic shot, you can view other mountain summits in New York and New Hampshire on a clear day. For the less adventurous, photographers can get that iconic shot of the Camel Hump’s mountain profile from the lower valley.
Mount Abraham is another spot for a beautiful view of the Champlain Valley and the Green Mountains. This peak is the fifth tallest in the state, and it was once called Potato Hill. In 1978, the mountain was renamed to honor Abraham Lincoln. The mountain range is a popular spot with hikers since you can reach the summit from both the Battell Trail and Long Trail. If you travel there in the summer, you will see some beautiful alpine flowers that dot the landscape. At the top of Mount Abraham, there are also excellent views of the Adirondack Mountains in the west. The autumn season brings a change of colors in the valley, and you can catch a few memorable shots of the foliage from the top of the mount.
Smugglers’ Notch State Park – Stowe
Smugglers’ Notch is another popular spot and resort area in Vermont. In addition to the ski lodges, you can also see some magnificent scenery throughout the year. The famous Smugglers’ Notch is a narrow pass that cuts into the Green Mountains. The pass gets its name from the local people who would use the area to trade with Canada illegally.
During Prohibition, the pass was used to smuggle liquor from Canada into the state. Today, it is a perfect spot to bring out the camera. As you travel through the pass, the winding road will take you past the 1,000-foot cliffs. The area is one of the best places to see the beauty of a Vermont spring or autumn season. While you can still get a view of the snow-capped mountains in the winter, there are times when the roads will be closed due to the weather.
Ricker Pond State Park – Groton
Located in Groton State Forest, Ricker Pond State Park has a variety of landscapes for photographers to capture. The Civilian Conservation Corps developed this area in the 1930s, and it provides many recreational activities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and paddling.
You can camp in the park, but there will be a daily fee. Ricker Pond is one of the less-traveled parks in the area, and it provides ample opportunities to line up that perfect shot. Many photographers come here to capture the glass-like water of the pond as the sun settles down for the night. If you want to document some of the native birds in the area, this is one of the best spots. You can see everything from osprey and herring gulls to rose-breasted grosbeak and pileated woodpeckers flying throughout the park.
Sylvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge – Brunswick
If you are looking for a bit of everything, you will not want to miss a visit to the Sylvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is so massive that it encompasses over four different states. Vermont is the home of the Putney Mountain Unit and the Nulhegan Basin Division.
The Nulhegan features more than 25,000 acres of wetlands, forests, and swamps. You can see the basin’s vegetation that bears a similarity to that found in the Appalachian Mountains. Landscape photographers will be in heaven as the area is covered with deciduous and conifer forests providing a spectacular backdrop in the autumn months. This location is another fantastic spot for bird watchers. It was dubbed an “Important Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society. The popular photography spot is perfect for taking a picture of the boreal warblers in the area.
Lake Champlain is one of the most visited and beautiful places in the state. This freshwater lake is mostly in Vermont, but it extends into New York and Canada. There are many activities to enjoy on the lake, including fishing and boating. The lake even provides drinking water to over 200,000 residents in the state.
According to local legends, there is a reported lake monster in the waters. But for the photographers, you can find many secluded places to capture the beauty of the lake. Several islands are part of the Lake Champlain area, including Grand Isle, North Hero, and South Hero. Each one of them makes a great spot to line up the viewfinder and snap a gorgeous picture.
No matter the time of the year, Vermont is an excellent spot to break out the camera and add a few more pieces to your photo collection. With these spots, you are bound to head home with some great pictures.