Vermont is quintessential New England: picturesque villages still served by cluttered country stores; small farms nestled among the granite ridges of the Green Mountains; and needle-sharp white church spires rising above forests ablaze with autumn colors.

Precocious from birth—its constitution was the first in the United States to prohibit slavery and establish public schools—Vermont is known for its independent-minded politicians like Jim Jeffords and Bernie Saunders and for its strong liberal traditions (think Howard Dean).

From the Connecticut River, this route across Vermont follows the contours of the land, tagging along fast-running mountain streams or keeping to the valleys between the steep surrounding ridges that carry the Appalachian Trail ever southward.

Map of Appalachian Trail through Vermont.
Map of Appalachian Trail through Vermont.