- Where to Go
- The Best of Vermont
- Rumblings of Revolution
- New, New England Dining
- Boston’s Artistic Expression
- Vermont Leaf Peeping
- Into the Wild
- Vermont Skiing at Its Best
- Visit Vermont’s Maple Sugar Shacks
- Connecticut for Kids
- Vermont’s Covered Bridges
- A Shore Thing
- Vermont with Kids
- Portland Maine Art Galleries
- Small-Town Flavor
- Connecticut’s Wine Trails
- New Hampshire’s Farmers Markets
- A Weekend of Vermont Art
- Family Matters
- Maine Wilderness Camps
- Vermont Cheddar Houses
- Connecticut Spas
A triangular chunk carved out of the upper-right part of the state, the so-called “Northeast Kingdom” is a world unto itself. Its name stems from a memorable utterance of U.S. Senator George Aiken, who said in 1949 that the area “is such beautiful country up here—it should be called the Northeast Kingdom.”
Something about the name stuck, and residents began proudly thinking of themselves as belonging to a somewhat mythical principality, with brilliant red foliage for raiment and golden maple syrup stored up for treasure. Those who live here love it for its sense of isolation from the madding crowds, its independent spirit, and its quirky population—which can include anyone from political artists and dropout lawyers to fourth-generation farmers.
As for the visitors, they similarly come to experience Vermont the way it used to be, but they also come to get out into nature. Blessed with some of the finest mountain biking trails on the planet and upwards of 200 secluded and unspoiled lakes and ponds, the Kingdom is known as a haven for outdoor adventure-seekers.
Getting to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom
The remoteness of the Northeast Kingdom virtually demands you bring your own transportation. To drive to St. Johnsbury from the south, take I-93 north (100 mi., 2 hrs.) from Concord, New Hampshire, or I-91 north (60 mi., 1 hr.) from White River Junction. From Montpelier, you are better off leaving the interstate highways and cutting across the Kingdom on U.S. Route 2 to Cabot (20 mi., 40 min.) and Johnsbury (35 mi., 1 hr.).
From St. Johnsbury, much of the rest of the Kingdom is accessible from I-91. For Lyndonville, take exit 23 (8 mi., 10 min.), for Glover, exit 25 (30 mi., 30 min.), for Newport, exit 27 (45 mi., 40 min.), and for Derby Line, exit 29 (50 mi., 1 hr.). To travel to Jay, take I-89 to exit 26, then north along U.S. Route 5, and state routes 14, 100, 101, and 242 (55 mi., 1 hr. 10 min.) from St. Johnsbury. From Central Vermont, Jay is also accessible along Route 100 north (40 mi., 1 hr. 15 min.) from Stowe.
If you need to rely on public transportation, Rural Community Transportation (802/748-8170, www.riderct.org) runs limited shuttle bus service on two routes, one between St. Johnsbury and Lyndonville (leaving from the Vermont Welcome Center) and the other between Newport and Derby Line.
© Michael Blanding and Alexandra Hall from Moon New England, 2nd Edition