Who needs faraway statues, temples and pyramids when there are 7 Great Wonders right here at home in Vermont?! Most are naturally occurring, a few are man-made, but they’ll all save you big bucks on travel expenses. If it’s been a while since you explored the beauty of the Green Mountain State, plan a road trip to these 7 can’t-miss attractions.
1. Quechee Gorge
As the Ice Age gave way to the world as we know it some 13,000 years ago, the incredible Quechee Gorge was formed. Beautiful vistas descend into the steeply sloping walls of the gorge, 168 feet down to the Ottaquechee River below. The surrounding state park is a lovely spot for hiking, camping and fishing.
2. The Brookfield Floating Bridge
Originally built in 1820, the Brookfield Bridge in central Vermont is unique because of its timber planks laid out across the water’s surface. The current bridge is the eighth version of the original log passageway, but the experience of driving across it is just as authentic. The 321-foot-long, single-lane bridge carries Vermont Route 65 over the expanse of Sunset Lake.
3. Camel’s Hump
Originally dubbed Saddle Mountain by the Waubanaukee Indians, the name Camel’s Hump finally stuck to the distinctive peak in 1830. The state park is undeveloped and can be treacherous unless you are an experienced adventurer.
4. Hildene Gardens
The gorgeous, sprawling estate of Robert Todd Lincoln features a Georgian Revival mansion set in the scenic village of Manchester. From the time of its construction in 1905 until 1975, the property was home to Lincoln family descendents. Now it stands as a beautiful reminder of one of America’s greatest families.
The stunning Hoyt Formal Garden was designed to resemble a Romanesque stained glass window in 1907 by Jessie Lincoln as a gift to her mother, Mary. The panes of the “glass” are outlined by hedges and filled in with rich, exquisitely colored flowers.
5. The Burlington Burled Forest
Sadly, the Burled Forest permanently closed after being pillaged for its valuable wood. Just three trees remain as a reminder of the area’s former glory. In its heyday the forest featured box elder trees with areas of enlarged growths called burls along their trunks. The whimsical growths were formed by the southwest winds from the Champlain Valley. A walk through the Burled Forest sparked the imagination and gave one the feeling of stepping into a fantasy world. Its destruction by humans is an incredibly tragic loss for Vermont.
6. Smuggler’s Cave
Just within the confines of the famous Smuggler’s Notch State Park lies a small cave. Named for the smuggled goods historically stashed there, the natural shelter is easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. Explore at your own risk. The rocks can be slippery and the cave quite claustrophobic.
7. Moss Glenn Falls
This photogenic waterfall lies off of Route 100 in Addison County. It may not be the tallest or most voluminous in the state, but it has a grace and flow that is unmatched. Deer Hollow Brook flows through a narrow rocky gap and down a rough wall of schist. The texture of the rock wall directs the waters in many graceful streams creating a majestic natural landmark. Beware! The area is quite steep and several accidents and fatalities have occurred there.