Fall Foliage Near I-91: Exit And Explore Saint-Gaudens NHS And Mt Ascutney
It’s that time of the year, time to go leaf peeping along the Connecticut River, and there’s plenty of fall foliage near I-91 in the Upper Valley VT-NH. Spend a budget-friendly day enjoying the bright colors, on foot and in the car, over a veeeery loooong covered bridge, up a mountain, in a diner, and at a National Historic Site.
Here we go….
Your tote-ables. You’ll need your NPS Senior Pass, binoculars, camera, trekking poles, snacks, water, and, yes, the proverbial muddy boots.
If you don’t have an NPS pass yet, and you’re 62+ (or disabled), you will get one en route (if they’re still available). Information at: 62+? Get Yours….A National Park Senior Pass…and Don’t Apply By Mail: Get Your Senior Pass In Person.
Vermonters, bring along your lifetime Green Mountain Passport or visit your Town Clerk’s office, spend $2, and get one: Great Find For Vermont Seniors: Green Mountain Passport.
If you need goodies or a pack lunch, perhaps stop in at Mike’s Store and Deli in Hartland VT, driving west at Exit 9, I-91, to get your lunch, snack, and coffee hour fixings. The homemade donuts have a reputation….
Alternately, get something fresh and homey (or a full breakfast), also in Hartland: Pie And More: Stop And Eat At Hartland VT Diner Near I-91. Check it out for cuteness:
Next, you’re heading to
Mt. Ascutney VT, one stop south at Exit 8. And, in keeping with Muddy Boots tradition, the active day starts with exercise.
Locate Mt. Ascutney State Park on the map, ‘cos that’s where you’re going. Pay a limited-budget-affordable toll to drive somewhat dizzily to the top. Don’t leave your binoculars in the car, because you’ll almost certainly need them.
After parking at the summit
Be sure to get some exercise. Short trails will take you to scenic views, with the Connecticut Valley spread out before you below. If you need a handy dandy map for the mountain, the State of Vermont very helpfully provides it.
Mt. Ascutney is also a favorite spot for hang gliding. Get your fill. Have a little sit and keep working on the Mike’s muffin or the homemade slice of pie.
Did I say “remind yourself how to work the emergency brake”?
I mean it. Your brakes may acquire the consistency of molasses by the time your reach the bottom of the mountain. Especially problematic if the emergency brake is forgotten in the nether recesses of senioritis or buried under yesterday’s coffee cups. 😉
By the way, Mt. Ascutney State Park has a campground.
Advisory: Mt. Ascutney State Park is closed on some days in September. Call for dates: 802-674-2060.
And drive back down to Windsor. And, if you haven’t squeezed in a lunch, squeeze in the Windsor diner on the main drag. Their specialty is tripe. They do liver and onions, too.
Otherwise, go east onto the covered bridge across the Connecticut River.
Being mindful of the sign that says to walk your horses or pay a fine, mosey over to NH.
So far, not too shabby for your little adventure leaf peeping fall foliage near I-91, don’t you think?
Along the Connecticut to Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. You remembered your NPS pass, right? This one’s a gem.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (wife: Augusta) was an American sculptor of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and founder of the Cornish colony, a community of artists in this area.
Saint-Gaudens NHS has extensive lawns, sculptures in outdoor settings, cutting flower gardens, museum, and tree-lined boulevards: many places to wander and enjoy, whatever the season.
Have your picnic there, unless your lunch has found its final resting place already.
Related posts for the Upper Valley or fall foliage near I-91:
Another Saint-Gaudens adventure…
Photo credits for fall foliage near I-91. Featured image and top…Pan Garden looking towards Mt Ascutney: Public Domain by NPS. Temple at Saint-Gaudens NHS: Public Domain by NPS. View from top, Mount Ascutney – Vermont: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Doug Kerr via Flickr. All others: ©DustyCarMuddyBoots.com, All Rights Reserved.