vermont fun facts
vermont fun facts

50 Vermont Fun Facts – The Green Mountain State’s Best Hidden Gems and Curiosities to Discover Now

Introduction

Let’s uncover some of the most fascinating vermont fun facts that make the Green Mountain State so special. As one of the smallest states in the country with just over 623,000 residents, Vermont may seem ordinary at first glance. But beyond its quaint covered bridges and picturesque autumn mountains lies a rich history and vibrant culture we can’t wait to explore.

Vermont dazzles as the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States, generating over 2 million gallons per year. That’s enough to cover a football field in 10 feet of sweet amber nectar! Vermonters also consume more ice cream per capita than anywhere in the country. With artisanal brands like Ben & Jerry’s crafting inventive flavors in the state, we can see why.

From Revolutionary War heroes like Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys to America’s 30th president Calvin Coolidge hailing from Plymouth, Vermont has cultivated leaders that shaped our nation. As the first state to ban slavery and allow same-sex civil unions, Vermont embodies the independent spirit and equality its first governor, Thomas Chittenden, instilled as a founder in 1777.

Let’s explore some of the state’s most curious attractions, from the Mad River Rocket – the world’s only underground coal-fired steam-powered rocket sled – to the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium’s collection of over 175,000 artifacts and specimens. The Green Mountains offer unmatched scenic vistas, with breathtaking waterfalls like Quechee Gorge to the towering 4,393 ft summit of Mount Mansfield. Whether it’s indulging in Cheddar Ale soup and fresh goat cheese at a local farm, or meandering down the historic Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont surprises at every corner.

So come along on this journey through the backroads and byways of America’s beguiling northeast corner. We have only scratched the surface of what makes Vermont wonderfully unique. Let’s dig deeper together!

History

Vermont’s early history is one of resilience and independence that has shaped the state’s character today.

Early History and Settlement

The first Europeans to explore Vermont were French explorers and fur traders in the 17th century. Native American tribes like the Abenaki and Mohawk inhabited the region at the time.

Permanent British settlement began in the 1720s, with land grants from King George II and Governor Benning Wentworth. Settlers were drawn by the Connecticut River Valley and lush forests. Most were farmers, laborers, and craftsmen seeking economic opportunity and freedom from rigid class systems in Europe.

Early Vermont settlement was marked by violent clashes as the French, British, and Native Americans vied for control of the territory. However, the region remained relatively isolated from the colonies to the south.

Revolutionary War and the Green Mountain Boys

Vermont played a crucial role in the American Revolution. Militias known as the Green Mountain Boys conducted guerrilla campaigns against British forces. Their leaders Ethan Allen and Seth Warner seized Fort Ticonderoga in 1775 alongside Benedict Arnold.

The Green Mountain Boys exemplified the fierce independence and resistance to tyranny that defined the early Vermont frontier. Their actions were essential to securing Vermont’s autonomy.

Path to Statehood

After the Revolution, Vermont existed as an independent republic from 1777 to 1791. Vermonters adamantly resisted joining the United States until the issue of slavery was resolved. On March 4, 1791, Vermont entered the union as the first state to constitutionally ban slavery and establish religious freedom.

Vermont’s early pioneers created a lasting foundation of freedom and self-reliance that characterizes the state to this day. The Green Mountain Boys’ motto “Freedom and Unity” remains the state motto.

Geography

Vermont’s unique geography has shaped its identity and offers spectacular scenery unlike anywhere else. Let’s explore the Green Mountain State’s location, climate, major features, and scenic landscapes.

Location and Climate

Vermont lies in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north.

Though small in size, Vermont’s terrain is highly varied. The state’s climate is characterized by warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The average annual snowfall ranges from 60 inches in the valleys to over 200 inches in the higher elevations.

Major Geographic Features

Green Mountains

The Green Mountains form the backbone of Vermont, stretching 150 miles north to south. The range contains eight peaks over 4,000 feet, including Vermont’s highest point, Mount Mansfield, at 4,393 feet.

The Green Mountains were formed over 100 million years ago and contain some of the oldest rocks on earth. Today they are renowned for their emerald forests, rugged ridges, and scenic hiking trails including the famous Long Trail.

Lake Champlain

At 435 square miles, Lake Champlain is the sixth largest freshwater lake in the United States. It forms 120 miles of Vermont’s western boundary with New York State.

Lake Champlain contains over 70 islands and is a popular recreation destination for boating, fishing, and swimming. It holds great historical significance as the site of naval battles during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.

Scenic Landscapes

Vermont’s natural beauty makes it a top destination for leaf peeping, skiing, camping, and outdoor recreation. From the rolling hills of the Northeast Kingdom to the dramatic Quechee Gorge and thundering falls at Kent Falls State Park, Vermont’s landscapes astound year-round.

The state’s unique geography, climate, and ecosystems make it a true natural gem waiting to be explored.

Culture

Vermont’s unique culture and heritage shine through in its iconic traditions, vibrant arts, and local flair. Let’s explore some highlights.

Maple Syrup

With over 2 million tapped maple trees, Vermont produces 40% of all pure maple syrup in the United States. Maple sugaring has occurred for centuries and remains a beloved rite of spring. Visitors can tour sugar shacks and sample syrup grades from Golden to Dark Amber.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

This world-famous ice cream brand was founded in Burlington, Vermont in 1978. Eccentric flavors like Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey put Ben & Jerry’s on the map. Their fun, quirky ethos and commitment to community endure. The original “Scoop Shop” offers guided factory tours daily.

Skiing and Winter Sports

With an average of 30 feet of snow per year, Vermont is a winter sports hub. Top ski resorts including Stowe, Killington, and Okemo offer prime downhill terrain. Nordic skiing is also hugely popular, with over 200 miles of cross-country trails statewide.

Fall Foliage

Vermont’s autumn foliage dazzles with fiery red, orange, and yellow hues. The colorful maple, birch, and ash tree leaves draw legions of “leaf peepers”. Prime leaf-viewing occurs around the Green Mountains and Champlain Valley in September and October.

Covered Bridges

Vermont has over 100 scenic covered bridges, more than any other state. Many were built in the 19th century and remain treasured landmarks today. The Middlebury Bridge, built in 1839, is the state’s longest at 151 feet.

Morgan Horses

The first Morgan horse was bred in West Springfield, Vermont in 1789. This versatile breed remains the state animal today. Visitors can see Morgans competing and on display at the annual Vermont Morgan Horse Show in Tunbridge.

Vermont’s alluring landscapes and proud traditions beckon visitors to immerse in its singular charm.

Cities and Towns

Let’s explore some of Vermont’s top destinations to uncover the unique character of each place.

Burlington

The largest city in Vermont, Burlington boasts a vibrant arts scene, exciting nightlife, and the stunning Lake Champlain waterfront. The Church Street Marketplace buzzes with street performers, cafes, boutiques, and festivals.

The city hosts the University of Vermont and has a funky, youthful vibe. Don’t miss Burlington’s delicious craft breweries and farm-to-table eateries. Outdoor activities like biking, sailing, and hiking in nearby Mount Mansfield State Forest abound.

Montpelier

Montpelier is the smallest capital city in the United States, with only about 8,000 residents. But it brims with small-town charm and historical architecture.

The centerpiece is the gold-domed Vermont State House, set before a dramatic mountain backdrop. Montpelier offers unique museums, galleries, cafes, and boutiques to explore.

Stowe

Stowe is Vermont’s adventure capital, renowned for outstanding skiing and snowboarding at Stowe Mountain Resort. Its picturesque New England main street is lined with shops, restaurants, and inns.

Beyond winter sports, Stowe offers pristine hiking trails, kayaking, fishing, and cycling with stunning Alpine views. Don’t miss seeing the impressive Stowe Recreation Path and hiking to Stimson Mountain for panoramic vistas.

Brattleboro

The artsy southern Vermont town of Brattleboro hosts thriving arts, music, and film scenes. Eclectic galleries, bookstores, and breweries line historic Main Street.

Nearby outdoor activities include kayaking the West River and hiking Mount Wantastiquet. The Brattleboro Farmers Market is a top local attraction.

Middlebury

Middlebury charms with its small-town ambiance and elite liberal arts college. Downtown offers boutiques, bookstores, cafes, and the renowned Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont.

Outdoors enthusiasts relish the nearby Green Mountain National Forest and Branbury State Park. Don’t miss a factory tour and tasting at Lake Champlain Chocolates.

Vermont’s lively cities and towns each have their own charisma and flavor waiting to be savored.

Vermont Fun Facts

Let’s unearth some of the wackiest vermont fun facts and hidden gems that make the state so endearing.

Miscellaneous Facts

  • Vermont has more craft breweries per capita than any other state, with over 60 to sample.
  • The first tongue depressor was invented in Vermont in 1919 by Dr. Horace Wells.
  • Vermont produces over 1.2 million gallons of pure maple syrup annually – more than any other U.S. state.
  • At 8,018 feet long, the Quechee Gorge Bridge is the second highest bridge east of the Mississippi River.
  • Over 70% of Vermont towns have fewer than 2,500 residents, epitomizing small town charm.

Weird and Quirky Destinations

  • At the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, you can see live exotic animals and a collection of over 175,000 artifacts and specimens.
  • The “Republic of Indian Stream” was an independent micro-nation along the Canada border from 1832 to 1835. A historical marker commemorates it.
  • The quirky Mad River Rocket propels riders in a sled at nearly 50 mph through a dark water-filled tunnel in Waitsfield.

Unique Attractions

  • The Vermont Country Store in Weston sells nostalgic candies, toys, and household goods in a historic village setting.
  • At the Shelburne Museum, view over 150,000 Americana artifacts and artworks showcased in 39 exhibition buildings.
  • The Hildene Estate in Manchester contains Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln’s preserved mansion with gardens, nature trails, and farm animals to visit.

From the peculiar to the old-fashioned, Vermont offers hidden surprises for inquisitive travelers seeking adventure. The Green Mountain State’s endless charms await. Let’s keep exploring!

Conclusion

Our journey through the backroads of Vermont has illuminated some of the state’s most fascinating fun facts and hidden wonders. Let’s recap the highlights.

Summary of Main Points

We uncovered Vermont’s early roots as an independent frontier settled by hardy pioneers. The state’s spirited history and stunning natural landscapes inspire and astound.

Vermont wows as America’s leading maple syrup producer and home of iconic Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It endures as a winter sports haven with outstanding skiing and snowboarding terrain.

Vibrant cultural traditions from maple sugaring to covered bridges offer immersive heritage. Lively cities like Burlington and Montpelier fuse urban energy with small town charm.

From quirky attractions like the Mad River Rocket to scenic covered bridges, Vermont brims with unexpected surprises. The Green Mountain State reveals its magic to those who take the time to venture off the beaten path.

Closing Thoughts on Why Vermont is an Interesting Place

More than postcard-perfect scenery, Vermont has an adventurous soul and lively communities that make it a distinctive destination. A sense of wonder and possibility permeates the crisp mountain air here.

While small in size, Vermont thinks big in terms of creativity, inclusiveness, and joie de vivre. The state proudly carries forward the independent, pioneering spirit of its early settlers.

Whether sampling maple creemees on a sleepy village green or exploring windswept ridges with spectacular vistas, Vermont has awakened our senses on this journey. The Green Mountain State’s indelible charms will draw us back again and again.

Vermont Fun Facts – Frequently Asked Question

Discover answers to some frequently asked questions about fun facts on the captivating state of Vermont. This FAQ delves deeper into the Green Mountain State’s allure.

Q: Why is Vermont called the Green Mountain State?

A: Vermont is named the Green Mountain State because of the Green Mountains, which run north-south through the center of the state. The mountains get their name from the green forests covering their slopes.

Q: What is Vermont best known for producing?

A: Vermont is best known for producing maple syrup and dairy products. It leads the United States in maple syrup production, generating over 2 million gallons annually. The state also has a thriving dairy industry renowned for its cheeses like cheddar and goat cheese.

Q: Does Vermont have any famous historical figures?

A: Yes, Vermont has several famous historical figures. Ethan Allen led the Green Mountain Boys during the Revolutionary War. Calvin Coolidge became America’s 30th president after getting his start in Vermont politics.

Q: What are some quintessential Vermont foods?

A: Iconic Vermont foods include maple syrup, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Cabot cheddar cheese, and apple cider donuts. Local specialties also include maple creemees (soft serve), chicken pot pie, and flavored goat cheese.

Q: What are the main cities and towns to visit in Vermont?

A: Top Vermont cities and towns to visit include Burlington, Montpelier, Stowe, Brattleboro, and Middlebury. Each has great restaurants, shops, arts, and outdoor activities to enjoy.

Q: Does Vermont have ski resorts?

A: Yes, Vermont is renowned for its excellent skiing and snowboarding. Top ski resorts include Stowe, Killington, Sugarbush, Smugglers Notch, and Okemo.

Q: Where are the best places to see fall foliage in Vermont?

A: Prime fall foliage can be seen across the Green Mountains as well as the Champlain Valley and Northeast Kingdom. The state’s forests dazzle with autumn colors.

Q: What is there to do in Vermont besides winter sports?

A: Vermont offers tons of warm weather activities like hiking, boating, fishing, cycling, farm tours, brewery tours, artisan shopping, and exploring quirky attractions like the Vermont Country Store.

We’ve only scratched the surface of Vermont’s curiosities and wonders. Let the exploring continue by browsing this blog for more fascinating Green Mountain State fun facts and travel inspiration!

About Kimberly J West

Kimberly J. West is a passionate fact aficionado and lead writer and curator for FactNight. As an experienced SEO content writer and researcher, Kimberly leverages her expertise to discover fascinating trivia and create engaging fact articles. You can reach Kimberly at kimberly@factnight.com.

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