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Walk Back Through Time In Vermont’s National Parks

Few states personify their given nicknames better than the great state of Vermont. Whoever first coined the moniker “The Green Mountain State” for it — nestled nicely between Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York — surely hit the nail on the head.

Setting foot in this New England natural wonder feels like stepping back in time. Indigenous people inhabited this area over 12,000 years ago, and looking around at the thick forests and rolling, rugged mountains, it often feels like not very much has changed since then.

First settled by the French as a part of their New France colony in the 17th century, they ceded the area that would become Vermont to the British after their defeat in the Seven Years’ War. The land was disputed between the New Hampshire and New York provinces for decades and wasn’t officially designated an autonomous region until 1777.

Vermont became the first state to abolish slavery and became a wellspring of abolitionist thought and activism. Although owing to its increasing textile mill production, it maintained ties to the slave-powered cotton industry until the Civil War. 

Today, its deep green rolling hills and fields are fertile agricultural land, and the unspoiled natural terrain is an open-armed welcome to all nature lovers.

Check out a couple of the can’t-miss spots in the evergreen treasure that is Vermont:

Photo Courtesy NPS

North Country National Scenic Trail: No greater example of the natural wonder and stunning beauty that Vermont offers can be found than this n scenic trail that snakes right through the 14th state in the Union. Stretching west to North Dakota, this Vermont-anchored scenic trail offers magnificent 360-degree vistas, mountains, hills, and valleys. With every step, the traveler is also walking in the path of history. Thousands of years ago, ancient glaciers carved this land and settled and melted to form the rivers, streams, and lakes enjoyed today in their original glory. Walk in the same steps that prehistoric humans, Indigenous Tribes, and modern-day traveler’s trek. Along the way, historical markers tell the story of the land and how it was preserved for generations.

Photo Courtesy NPS

Appalachian National Scenic Trail: Speaking of famous historic trails, the granddaddy of them all snakes right through the Green Mountain State, leading some to call it “exactly what Vermont is all about!” The Appalachian National Scenic Trail stretches from the Great Smoky Mountains of North Georgia and Tennessee up and through New England and into Maine, making its over 2,000 miles one of the longest scenic trails in the U.S. The eastern part of Vermont is home to some 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail and, fittingly, some of its most dense and lush forests. Though at a lower elevation than other parts in surrounding areas, this Vermont tract still attracts hikers of all kinds for its stunning views and magnificent seasonal foliage. When walking along its many trails, bring a pair of binoculars for bird watching or pitch a tent under a kaleidoscopic canopy of autumn leaf cover. Vermont’s piece of the great Appalachian Trail has endless activities and possibilities.

Photo Courtesy NPS

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