Leaf Peeping in Southern Vermont

October 14, 2010 Updated: September 29, 2015

[xtypo_dropcap]B[/xtypo_dropcap]rilliant hues of red and gold, amber tree-tipped green,
Whirlwind artist’s pallet poised to paint a gusty scene.
Autumn cycling toward a wintry sleep;
With multi-colored leaves to peep.

How the colorful scene inspired me!

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Leaf Peeping!

I’d never heard of leaf peeping until last fall, too late to arrange a time to experience it. I didn’t know it was a significant event with its own Top 10 Best Places to Peep! This formidable list included various routes in New England, to include Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

When the opportunity presented itself, I decided to experience this fall foliage feast of fanciful color for myself. Time being a very limiting factor, I chose the route that just happened to fit into my New England adventure plans, Route 7A in southern Vermont around historic Bennington and beyond.


Making Your Way up 7A

Breathtaking! Fiery! Awe-inspiring! At first “peep” it was easy to see that no words could possibly describe the beauty of fall in southern Vermont. The trees wore bright colors—many hues of green, gold, red, yellow, and orange. This fancy scene was interspersed with flowing creeks and rivulets, and rock-scapes that caught the eye or tickled the ear.

The best way to experience this beauty is as a passenger which, unfortunately, I was not. Trying to take it all in while driving interferes with the flow of traffic. Fortunately there are scenic stop-offs to make camera time or to just enjoy the scenery.


The Robert Frost Stone House Museum

In traveling from Bennington to Dorset, there is the “new highway,” Route 7, which is by far faster and more efficient. But the reason to take historic 7A was best summed up 94 years ago by the man whose home still stands in Shaftsbury, Robert Frost:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

While the divergence of Route 7 and 7A is no longer in a wood, leaf peeping on 7A and plucking apples from trees once tended by Robert Frost can certainly make all the difference on a short fall trip through southern Vermont.