Destination Bennington VT

If a Vermont fall foliage trip is on your bucket list, you are in good company. Thousands of visitors come to Vermont every fall to witness nature’s majestic transition from summer to winter.  Luckily, our tiny state has a full-time population of only 626,299, leaving ample space for us to welcome our leaf-peeping visitors.

Visitors to Bennington Vermont come from all corners of the United States and across the globe to wander our winding back roads that are all aglow in foliage reds, yellows and auburns.

Ask any innkeeper, museum docent or shopkeeper: the most common question raised is undoubtedly “when is peak foliage in Vermont?”  The fact is, that it varies from the north to the south. It also varies by elevation. The perfect thing about making Bennington VT your foliage destination is that a short drive in any direction will surely reveal amazing color.  And let’s face it, one of the coolest things to do during foliage is to wander the back roads and breathe in the beautiful color.

fall foliage leaf peeping old first church bennington vermont
Old First Church Bennington Vermont in fall foliage color. Photo Credit: Tara Schatz

Bennington is nestled in a valley carved out of the Green Mountains. With an elevation of only 815 feet above sea level, we tend to get our color later than the higher elevations. A ten-minute drive up the mountain to Woodford (elevation 2,165 ft) or fifteen-minute drive to Mount Equinox (3,855 ft) and the picture can change significantly. Likewise, color tends to change earlier in the north and make its way down to Southern Vermont. Any way you look at it, Bennington is situated perfectly to be your home base for your October foliage expedition.

bennington fall foliage vista red orange leaves
Bennington early fall foliage. Photo Credit Tara Schatz

Vermont Fall Foliage Drive for Sure-Fire Color

The Route 7A – Route 100 Loop

  • Start in Bennington. (We recommend fueling up on a great breakfast at a delicious Bennington diner or café‘ first.)
    – Take 7A – Scenic Byway North to Manchester, Vermont.
  • Take Route 30 up the mountain past Bromley to Londonderry, Vermont.
  • From there, take Route 100 North 4 miles to the Vermont Country Store. Eat fudge and cheese. 
  • Turn around and head back down Route 100 South to Wilmington, Vermont.
  • Turn right (West) on Vermont Route 9 back to Bennington just in time for dinner at one of our great Bennington restaurants or micro brew pubs.

The whole trip takes about 1 ½ hours assuming no stops for apples, cider donuts, or Instagram photo sessions. So on second thought, you might want to make a day of it.

More Backroad Fall Foliage Drives

For even more adventuresome leaf-peeping rides, ask a local to mark your Bennington guide with the following drives:

  • Mount Anthony Road to Pownal – a winding road through farms and orchards
  • The North Bennington rambling roads through farm fields and mountain vistas – west of Route 7A  between Bennington and into Shaftsbury.
  • Kelley Stand Road from Arlington to Mount Snow. Please note that a portion of this scenic road is two-track.
  • Route 313 from Arlington around a covered bridge to the home of Norman Rockwell’s former studio, now a bed and breakfast.

Portions of the above rides are truly on the backroads, so please note to carry a paper map. The prettier the backroad, the more likely your GPS will misbehave.

Take a look at more scenic drives with the Shires of Vermont Byways map.

Hope to see you this fall!