Connecticut River Byway – VT

Details

  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2005)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
  • LocationMA, NH, VT
  • Length317.57 of 498.7 total miles
Statewide Byway Partners
Vermont Agency of Transportation
Vermont Vacation
A view of Mount Ascutney
Gregory Walsh Photo

Overview

The history, heritage, and culture of farming in the Connecticut River Valley is a prominent theme of the Connecticut River Scenic Byway that continues to play an important role in the current economy and provides visitors with the opportunity to experience and enjoy the bounties. The landscape of the Byway centers on the Connecticut River and includes the neighboring farmlands, floodplains, step-like terraces, and the slopes of the bordering uplands. The river and surrounding landscape provide rich recreational opportunities.

Local Byway Partners

Story of the Byway

The Connecticut River Byway gives visitors a chance to follow one of America’s most gorgeous rivers up the great state of Vermont. This road was designated as a National Scenic Byway for both its scenic and historic qualities that it has as it goes up the State. With the Green Mountains of Vermont on one side, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire on the other, this Byway is a natural beauty, and it is able to capture everything around it. This river played a huge in the creation and rise of all the towns and commerce located along the Byway, so there is plenty of rich history that can be found as well.

When it comes to scenery that can be found along the Connecticut River Byway, there is no shortage of breathtaking views. The Green Mountain National Forest and the Appalachian Trail can be found 20 minutes west of the Byway at most points, and those are some of the most iconic locations in the country. With recreation and outdoor activities galore, these areas offer visitors a wonderful experience if they want to take a stop while driving the Byway. Besides that, the Connecticut River itself offers plenty of opportunity for visitors to experience the sheer power and grace of this beautiful river. There are rafting, fishing, and many other activities available throughout the river and road. In the wintertime, there are ski resorts galore in this area which are some of the best in the entire nation. No matter the season, the views from your car alone are absolutely gorgeous and are hard to beat.

The history of this area is hard to avoid either, as it is located at just about every point along the Byway. This river has provided so many opportunities for farmers, traders, and many other people in the past and is a main reason for its success. Historical sites like Fort No. 4, the Rockingham Meeting House, Billings Farm and Museum, and much more can all be found along the Byway and are key to the history of the area. You don’t even need to stop at these sites (although you should) to experience the history of the area, as throughout the byway you can see some of the farms and the architecture that has lasted generations and is woven into the fabric of Vermont.

There are so many different activities and sites that can be experienced along the Byway, which makes this trip so worth it. The views from your car alone should be enough to entice anybody to take the trip, and all of the other excursions available are an added bonus. Come take the trip for a couple of days and enjoy everything that the Connecticut River has to offer!

Driving Directions

This Byway runs right through Vermont from top to bottom, starting right below the Canadian border by Stewartstown. The route then takes you down US 102 and then takes you over to Route 5 right along Interstate 91. From there it is a straight path and can take you down towards Massachusetts.

Points of Interest

  • Appalachian Trail

    Part of the Appalachian Trail runs right through this Byway in Norwich, VT.

  • St. Johnsbury

    A historic and walkable local town with a quaint town center. Perfect to stop by and unwind with beautiful architecture throughout.

  • Great Hall Gallery

    A beautiful building that was transformed from a factory to an art space. Visitors can see local artists' work in this wonderful area.

Itinerary

  • Travel with the Connecticut River

    Day 1
    Beginning on the border of Massachusetts and Vermont right along the Connecticut River, your journey along this Byway has officially begun. Right from the start, you are going to have the opportunity to see some of Vermont’s most beautiful locations. Molly State Park is located along the Byway right outside of Battleboro and provides beautiful views of the Green Mountains. As you continue on, you can experience so much of the culture in the area like the Vermont Jazz Center. Next up on your journey can be the Herricks Cove which is located right by Bellows Falls. From there, you can head north until you hit Fort No. 4, a true historic gem of the area that highlights the farming that built this area up. To wrap up your first day, head to White River Junction and grab a hotel room there, because there is still so much to experience.

    Day 2
    As you wake up, you have the opportunity to take a walk along the Appalachian Trail that is located right outside of White River Junction. From there, St. Johnsbury is a wonderful place to stop by and visit the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium. The next portion of the trip gives you a great chance to experience the natural beauty of the area in addition to the history. You will find plenty of local farms that have been around for generations and much more that will make you want to take this journey again in the near future!

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