The woods of Vermont have a special sort of allure to them. You cannot help but notice the strength and force of life when walking the endless trails through the deep forests of the Green Mountain State.

I’m convinced that it’s a combination of ingredients that makes their draw so compelling.

vermont-nature-3The first ingredient is the wonderfully undisturbed nature of the land. With so few people around, even in the tourist season, you will not be overrun or put off by other travelers and tourists while wandering along your chosen path through the woods. There are simply too many choices and too few people drawn to them to clog the rural veins of Vermont’s wooded landscapes.

The second ingredient is the sheer abundance of land. Vermont is not a big state but what land it has is like 99.9% green. Seriously. There is next to no urban buildup, with Burlington being the only notable exception, and even Burlington and surrounding communities total about 100,000 people. Throw it Montpelier, Rutland, and a couple other decent sized cities, and what remains is countless small towns, vast rolling hills of farmland, and miles of forests. Vermont is called the Green Mountain State for good reason!

The great thing about Vermont is that most people who live here have a natural inclination for the outdoors. It just comes with the territory; there are certain practical necessities to living in a state where temperatures routinely swing 50°F and people start talking about winter coming soon in late July (FML).

A third and wonderful ingredient in the allure of Vermont’s forests is the almost complete lack of pollution. You just don’t really see it here. It seems that the land is so clean and pure, and the tradition of living close to the land so strong, that littering simply does not occur to people, much like breakdancing does not occur to people spending time inside a museum. It’s simply too out of place. Of course, there are exceptions. You do see evidence of pollution. But it’s just barely there.

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Yet another draw of the Vermont forest, and land in general, is a more subtle one: the abundance of granite in the ground. Ask anyone who has lived in areas that contain high levels of granite and they will tell you that it is a calming, grounding stone. Vermont lends its propensity for granite from its slightly more boisterous and equally charming neighbor to the East, New Hampshire, otherwise known as the Granite State.

Finally, and perhaps most compelling, is the fact that Vermont’s forests experience an explosive growth cycle each and every year. The short summer season, combined with completely unppredictable weather, seem to have toughened and strengthened the resolve of the plants that grow here. They seem to just know that when the snow and ice start to melt then its time to get growing ASAP because the time for growing doesn’t last long.

vermont-nature-1There’s no dilly-dallying in Vermont’s plant world: the first spring bulbs often pop through the ground, even as piles or snow surround their beddings. In a matter of quitel literally two weeks, trees will go from the first signs of budding to full-blown leaves waving from their every branch. The growth in spring is so sudden and so explosive that it can fool a person who is not used to such aggressive growth into believing that time is speeding up.

With such an abundance of mountains, trails, hikes, climbs, and walks to enjoy, you might never exhaust the possibilities for exploring the Vermont woods. If you’re looking for some great places to explore, this list will get you started.

 

Do you know a great woods walk or a fun forest in Vermont that you can recommend to others? Write it in the comments below and let people know where to experience the wonderful woods of Vermont.

See you in the woods!