Enjoy Fall with the Family

Fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy Vermont with the family. From corn mazes to delicious seasonal snacks to the classic splendor of the fall foliage, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. As Vermont continues to respond to COVID-19, we checked in with KidsVT managing editor Alison Novak for her top tips to enjoy a family-friendly fall this year.

Kids in the whitcombs corn maze

Photo courtesy of KidsVT/Alison Novak

What makes Vermont such a great place for families to visit in the fall?

The changing leaves are spectacular and the air is crisp and bug-free, making it perfect for activities like hiking and biking. Take a look at these suggestions for fall family hikes and mountain biking trails from the Kids VT archives. For a flatter ride, try the Stowe Recreation Path, the Burlington Greenway or the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. At the Cambridge Junction trail head of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail you’ll even find a train-themed playground!

Picking apples at the Shelburne Orchard

Photo courtesy of KidsVT/Alison Novak

What are some classic fall activities for families that are open and available this year?

Apple picking, corn mazes and pumpkin patches are all great autumn activities that are operating this year, albeit with heightened safety protocols due to COVID-19. Some of my favorite spots for apple picking are Allenholm Farm in South Hero and Shelburne Orchards in Shelburne. Sam Mazza’s Farm Market in Colchester has both a corn maze and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch with hay rides. Whitcomb’s Land of Pumpkins in Williston is also a special spot with a huge array of pumpkins and gourds, and a four-acre corn maze with checkpoints along the way.

Another fun place to visit is the forest canopy walk at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) in Quechee. The wooden walkway, which is stroller- and wheelchair-accessible, ascends into the tree canopy, up to 65 feet above the forest floor. It’s a great place to view the gorgeous foliage. 

Mother and son at the VINS Canopy Walk

Photo courtesy of KidsVT/Alison Novak

If a family could only partake in one Vermont fall activity while they were here, which would you recommend and why?

Pick up a bag of delicious, sugar-coated cider donuts. Some of my favorites come from Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury and the Mill Market & Deli in South Burlington. Then go for a short family hike — you can try Wheeler Nature Park in South Burlington or Weissner Woods in Stowe — stopping for a snack break along the way.