Picture perfect foliage. Quintessential New England charm. Annual fall festivals. Tasty local bites & brews.
It’s hard to describe fall in the NEK – it’s more about looking around and soaking it all in. Vibrant hues of red, orange, yellow, and gold. Local folks selling pumpkins and apples on countryside roads. Breweries crafting up a taste of the season. And communities reveling in the opportunity to host a celebration under a cascade of color.
Peak foliage viewing is typically the first week of October. Follow Vermont’s Foliage Forecaster for weekly updates throughout the season or sign up for their Fall Foliage Report e-newsletter to get updates sent to your inbox.
Explore Season-Long Autumn Activities
Head to the Eastern Trek to meander a side of the Kingdom where recreation, arts, food, and history are thriving. While in this area, don’t forget to check out the Kingdom Corn Maze & PYO Pumpkin Patch in Sutton or one of the many live performances presented by Catamount Arts. Looking for the ultimate fall excursion along the Eastern Trek? Take a scenic drive:
St. Johnsbury – Spaulding Road Afternoon Trip, 5.6 miles
Start at the First Congregation Church in St. Johnsbury on Breezy Road, turn left on Lackey Hill Road and take a slight right onto Spaulding Road. Continue on Spaulding Rd to Sweet Seasons Farm & Artisans Confections in St. Johnsbury for apple picking and treats. Then head southeast on Spaulding Rd for a visit to Dog Mountain (hiking trails, Dog Chapel, scenic views) before stopping for lunch at Papa Tirozzi’s new location (2165 Portland Street). Stop at Maple Grove Farms of VT on your way back into town for a maple creemee and to learn the history of the industry that made St. Johnsbury the Maple Center of the World.
Upcoming Eastern Trek Events
Burke Fall Festival
Saturday, September 30, Beginning at 10am
This annual festival takes place in the East Burke Village and features fun for the whole family including a parade and craft show, children’s activities, horse-drawn carriage rides, a rubber duck race, food & drink, live music, and more.
Festival of Traditional Crafts, St. Johnsbury
Saturday, September 30, 10am – 4pm
Savor the lovely fall weather while learning about traditional crafts of the region at the St. Johnsbury History and Heritage Center. Watch demonstrations, enjoy hands-on experiences, and browse exhibits showcasing candle making and quilting.
Fall for St. Johnsbury
Saturday, October 7, 8am – 7pm
Enjoy a day filled with seasonal fun and Fall for St. Johnsbury! Start your day at the Pancake Breakfast or Fall Brunch before shopping sidewalk sales at businesses across town. Bring your old Halloween costumes for the Halloween Costume Swap, listen to live music at the bandstand, or catch a show at the Athenaeum. Find a full schedule of events here.
Fall Dog Party, St. Johnsbury
Saturday, October 7, Noon – 4pm
The perfect fall festival for your four-legged friends! Enjoy live music, delicious eats, sweet treats, special events, and contests for the pups including the Doggie Walk of Fame with Pup-arazzi. This event is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine.
Farm & Field Autumn Activities
Riddled with rolling hills and curving valleys, you’ll encounter quiet back roads with stunning views, farm stands stocked with fresh VT produce, and plenty of State Parks perfect for walking, biking, bird watching and sightseeing.This area is also home to the largest maze in New England thanks to the Great Vermont Corn Maze, which is now open six days a week. Plan out your own itinerary or spend a day soaking up the scenery on a ride from Hardwick to Craftsbury.
Hardwick to Craftsbury Scenic Route, 18 miles
Before starting your drive, stop in Connie’s Kitchen for a breakfast sandwich or pastry. Then head east on VT-15 East, take Center Rd to E Craftsbury Rd/Town Highway 1 continue straight through Greensboro where you can take in the views of Caspian Lake. Continue heading north and turn right onto S Craftsbury Rd. Continue straight onto Wylie Hill Rd and finish your route at Mill Village Pottery to check out some beautiful handcrafted pottery.
Upcoming Farm & Field Events
20th Annual Autumn on the Green, Danville
Sunday, October 1, 10am – 4pm
Over 200 vendors will be set up on the Danville Green offering a large array of specialty items during this award-winning showcase. Shop original artwork, pottery, antiques, knitwear, quilts, baskets, and much more or get a taste of the season with Vermont-made maple, cheese, pumpkin, cider, jams, jellies, and more. Food vendors, live music and stunning fall foliage round out this free event.
Fall Foliage Day, Peacham
Thursday, October 5, 10am – 6pm
Spend a day in historic Peacham! Shop local VT art and craft vendors, visit the Northern Sky Observatory, watch a blacksmith demonstration, or browse the historical displays at the Historical House. A Spaghetti Dinner at Peacham Congregational Church will conclude the festivities.
Fall Foliage Day, Groton
Saturday, October 7, 10am – 7pm
Fall Foliage Day has something for everyone. Visit Peter Paul Historical House to view artifacts and collections of Groton’s rich history. Visit the Library to check out the Book Sale, or stroll down Main Street and shop with local vendors.
At 10:30am, the Great Pumpkin Weigh-In will take place, followed by the Annual Parade. The celebration will end with a Chicken Pie Supper, with multiple serving times available.
Mountain & Lake Autumn Activities
Considered one of the most authentic and pristine areas of New England, the Mountain & Lake Getaway is the northernmost region of the NEK, offering vast open land, towering mountain peaks, and pristine waters that somehow turn even more gorgeous this time of year.
Take in the views during a fall cruise on the Northern Star or PYO apples at Rooty’s Apple Orchard. The Old Stone House Museum & Historic Site, which is well-known for its stunning autumn vistas, will remain open through mid-October; the route to get there is something in itself!
Old Stone House Scenic Drive to Newport, 9 miles
After visiting the Old Stone House Museum & Historic Village, take a scenic drive up to Newport for a late lunch or dinner in Newport. Head northwest on Old Stone House Rd and take a right onto Hinman Settler Rd. Turn left onto Schuler Rd and continue onto VT-191 N/Access Rd. Turn left onto Western Ave, then right onto Railroad Square crossing over Lake Memphremagog heading into downtown Newport.
Upcoming Mountain & Lake Getaway Events
Newport Fall Festival
Saturday, September 23, 11am – 2pm
Celebrate the turning of the leaves at the Newport Fall Festival! Taking place in downtown and throughout Main Street, this year’s festivities include a photo contest, scarecrow contest, Farmers’ Market, Quilt Show, and of course, the Chilifest Contest.
Alexander Twilight Day, Brownington
Sunday, September 24, 1 – 3pm
Celebrate the birthday of Alexander Lucius Twilight and his life of accomplishments at Old Stone House Museum & Historic Village. This year’s celebration features a Twilight Cake Bake-Off, ice cream singing and birthday songs, and plenty of seasonal festivities. This event is free to attend, donations are appreciated.
Fly to Pie Kingdom Marathon, Various Locations
Saturday, October 7
Lace up and head out on a fall foliage run, walk, or bike through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom. There’s a route for every type of athlete (26.2-mile, 17-mile, 13.5-mile, 10 km races), making this a great race for both individuals and families. Each route leads to Parker Pie in West Glover, where you’ll find great pizza, beer, and live music.
10th Annual Fall Festival at Vermont Reindeer Farm, Orleans
Saturday & Sunday, October 7 & 8, 10am – 3pm
Bring the family to Vermont Reindeer Farm for their 10th Annual Fall Festival, featuring a variety of activities for all ages and interests. Go on a tractor drawn hayride, walk through the nature trail, visit with reindeer, Highland Cows, goats, ponies and more. Sample pressed apple cider, maple cotton candy, and other tasty treats. Admission is $10 and proceeds from the event help care for the animals.
14th Annual Bean & Brew Festival, Jay Peak
Saturday, October 14, Noon – 6pm
Head to Stateside Base Lodge on Saturday, October 14 for Jay Peak’s 14th Annual Bean & Brew Festival. This event features locally-roasted coffees and some of New England’s finest beers, ciders, and more – it’s the perfect place to quench your thirst and savor the flavors of fall! Live music and lawn games will round out this afternoon of sampling. Tickets are $30 and you must be 21+.
Grateful 2023, Newport
Saturday, October 21, 8:30am – 4pm
This event combines the excitement and pace of cyclocross with the grueling slog of singletrack mountain bike racing. New this year, participants also have the option to run a 5k or 20k course. After the race, enjoy local vendors, live music, dancing, food and drink.
Enjoy More Scenic Drives
Craft the perfect playlist, gas up the car, charge your camera batteries, and head out on a scenic drive to experience the glorious colors. Take a ride along one of our suggested routes – or head out on a journey of your own.