Vermont’s Route 100, One of America’s top ten road trips.

Rolling Farmland at the top of Route 100.

This is the second of three installments featuring Vermont’s beautiful highway byway system. Last time I wrote about Route 17 which runs through western central Vermont and terminates at

Vermont’s Route 100, One of America’s top ten road trips. In this installment I will feature one of America’s top ten scenic byways, Vermont’s fabulous and fabled Route 100.
 
Route 100 runs from North to South, Canada to Massachusetts. It cuts through the spiny backbone of Vermont,with some of the most spectacular mountains and valley views in New England.
 
It is considered by many the best fall foliage route in Vermont. The route runs through the classic old villages of Stowe, Weston, Warren and Wilmington.

Old rustic working Dairy in Hancock.

 
Ski areas and tall church steeples are everywhere and there is always a grassy old country lane to be explored along the route. Its length is 216 miles.
 
The road is a main thoroughfare for some of Vermont’s most well-known resort towns, including Wilmington, Ludlow, Killington, Warren, and Stowe. As such, many of Vermont’s ski resorts are located either directly on, or not far from, Route 100;  these include Mount Snow, Killington, Sugarbush, Mad River Glen, Stowe Mountain Resort and Jay Peak.
 
Photographing the route’s beauty was my aim, but I found many other things to do as well:
 
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, Waterbury–Are you an ice cream lover?   Then the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory on Route 100 is the place for you. Take a tour of this quirky place, then taste
some of the best ice cream in New England from one of their picnic tables.
 
Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Waterbury Center–A charming, old-fashioned cider mill and gift shop in quaint Waterbury Center, Cold Hollow is often packed during the fall, and for good reason; it is an institution of sorts in this part of Vermont.
 

This beautiful waterfall is located about four miles north of Granville.

• Moss Glen Falls, Granville–A large and sometimes overpowering waterfall just south of Warren, Moss Glen Falls is particularly impressive after heavy rains. This falls is right on Route 100, so you can’t miss it.

Stowe Recreation Path, Stowe–This paved path is a beautiful, mostly level, 6-mile trail that goes from Stowe to just below Mount Mansfield.
 
Vermont Country Store, Weston–Known throughout the country, the Vermont Country Store is just off the village green in beautiful Weston, and is a place that you can easily spend hours in.
I started my journey in the Northern terminus of the route near Darby, and finished just south of Killington, a famous Vermont ski resort.
 
The northern part of the trip consisted of rolling farms, big sky and lowlands.
The mountains are not as high here as the rest of the trip.  You can see miles and miles of in service farmland which is a mix of dairy-farming and corn farming.   This section of the route changes to mountain suddenly as you enter the Stowe ski area which features Vermont’s tallest mountain, Mt Mansfield.  Stowe is a ski resort town full of shops, fine restaurants and some of the best skiing in New England.
 
After leaving the Stowe area I crossed US Route 2 and began the Central Vermont part of the trip, finding some of the most scenic landscapes I have ever seen.  The mountains rise sharply, and the roads begins to wind

Hancock Hotel. One of the finest eateries in Vermont.

through beautiful valleys with rivers. near vertical forests and rich valley fields and farmland.

After stopping at Moss Glen Falls for some pictures I came upon the towns of Granville and Hancock.
 
I spent an hour there capturing many photos, and stopped for clams and pie and the famous Hancock Hotel in Hancock.  Granville Gulf Reservation is a wilderness that runs along Route 100 north of Granville.
 
I took the narrow two-lane winding road  through the reservation along the Mad River. I quickly found one of the  highlights of this route is Moss Glen Falls (on the left hand side as you head north).   The falls are particularly spectacular in the winter when they freeze over, but black ice along this stretch of Route 100 is common, and care should be taken while driving it.
 
I stopped and took several photos of Moss Glenn Falls,  and then drove down into Granville where I took a walk on the reserve land.  It is a scenic vista complete with the Mad River running through it, old mossy fences and wild roses.  A sight to behold.
 

Dairy Farm south of Rochester.

Although a good part of the route hugs the eastern slopes of the Green Mountain National Forest, much of it steps away for farms and quaint villages ideal for browsing and meal breaks, and overnight or  weekend lodging.

You’ll find everything from Farm Stands & Farmers’ Markets to Hay Rides, Pumpkin Patches, Cider Mills and Wineries along the way during the warmer months.
 
There’s also no shortage of craft shows during the fall foliage season. In winter you’ll find everything from ice-fishermen to Horse-drawn Sleigh Rides and Snowmobile Rentals.
 
Needless to say, the entire route is a photographer’s dream come true… especially during the Fall Foliage Season.

Reb Barn looking South at Granville Gulf Reservation.

Take note that if you are going to need Lodging during the  Foliage Season, you had best make your reservations far in advance or your  choices may be limited!
 
My favorite places along the route were the farms, barns, and villages.  I could spend days there.  Every Shutterbug will want to take this adventure.  It is a four seasons adventure with many opportunities for great photographs.
Reid Albee
 
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3 Comments

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