Green Mountain National Forest Scenic Driving Overview

Route 125, Green Mountains National Forest
Route 125, Green Mountains National Forest (James P. Blair/Photodisc/Getty)

Green Mountain National Forest Highlights

  • Route 7 is the backbone of the Green Mountains and runs the length of the state. From here, you can branch off to visit most of the Green Mountain's ski areas, including Mount Snow, Stratton, Bromley, Okemo, Killington, Pico, and Sugarbush.
  • Make a loop from Brattleboro (route 30 north) to Manchester (south on 7a) to Bennington (east on 9) to Bratttleboro. Take two days or more, depending on how many stops you make to explore southern Vermont's picturesque villages and trails or to shop in Manchester's famed outlets.
  • Route 4, near Rutland, runs past Killington and the Long Trail Inn, a place famous in hiking circles for its soups and stews as well as its Long Trail Ale. Return on a leisurely loop, going north on 100, west on 73, and south on 7.
  • The Long Trail crosses all the east-west roads in the forest. Most road crossings have trailheads, making it convenient to park and walk into the woods to get up close and personal with the colors and smells of Vermont's unmatched autumn foliage.

Pleasure driving is a popular outdoor activity in the Forest. People just like to get out on a winding country road and enjoy the scenery. The Green Mountain National Forest has several roads well suited for this type of adventure. Routes popular on the north half of the Forest include:

1. Brandon Gap is an east-west excursion along State Route 73 from Rochester to Brandon. Located just east of Brandon Gap is Mt. Horrid Observation Site. This site, at the base of 800 foot Mt. Horrid Cliff, overlooks a large beaver pond.

2. Bingo Road (Forest Road 42) is 4.5 miles west of Rochester off Route 73. This road meanders along a mountain stream and offers a variety of opportunities to stop and enjoy nature.

3. Robert Frost Memorial Drive extends from East Middlebury to Hancock, via Middlebury Gap, on State Route 125. This route allows the motorist to savor the unique natural beauty that was the inspiration for some of Robert Frost's poetry. On the west side of Middlebury Gap is the Robert Frost Wayside and Interpretive trail.

4. Texas Falls Recreation Area is on the east side of Middlebury Gap.

5. White River Road (Forest Road 55) is in Granville, off State Route 100. This road wanders along the White River headwaters. Old fields offer scenic views and picnic sites.

6. Kelley Stand Road runs east and west from Arlington to West Wardsboro. There are several vistas of beaver ponds and mountains. Other attractions accessed from this road include Roaring Brook, Branch Pond, Beebe Pond, Appalachian Trail/Long Trail, Daniel Webster Site, and Grout Pond.

7. Danby Road (Forest Road 10) goes east from Mt. Tabor over the Green Mountains to the Peru/Londonderry area. There are several vistas and picnic sites along this road built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

8. State Route 9 is a scenic drive between Bennington and Wilmington, bordered on both sides by the National Forest. Red Mill Campground, Woodford State Park, and Somerset Reservoir are easily accessed from this road.

9. Somerset Road (Forest Road 77) provides access to Somerset Reservoir from State Route 9. It meanders along the Deerfield River passing a primitive camping area. Several side roads lead to good fishing and wading streams. This road connects with Forest Road 71 leading north to Kelley Stand Road.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 6 Jan 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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