The Green Mountain State of Vermont…
WORDS & IMAGES: DANA BENNER
If you visit the New England area of the United States, located in the northeastern corner of the country, one place you have to visit is the State of Vermont, nicknamed “The Green Mountain State”.
I have been blessed with the ability to travel throughout the United States over the years, but no place stands out like Vermont. This state, like no other, is truly “Green” in every sense of the word.
Green living is a way of life here. Recycling and repurposing is the norm. Windmills and solar panels are everywhere. The roads are clean and free of trash. During the warmer months bicycles are a major form of travel. During the winter it is not uncommon to see people moving from Point A to Point B using cross-country skis.
In Burlington, the state’s largest city, the city buses, which are powered by natural gas, move people from place to place. There is plenty of open land to hike, bike, hunt and fish. Above all, the people are friendly and welcoming.
Made up of mountains, forests and rolling farmland Vermont is a major draw to skiers in the winter and wildlife watchers and fisherman year round. In season farmer’s markets are everywhere; a place to find fresh produce picked that day. Do you like dairy products? If so, then Vermont is for you as dairy cattle seem to outnumber people and there is nothing better than Vermont sharp cheddar cheese. After a day of exploring sit down and have a cold beer at one of the numerous craft breweries that dot the state.
The Wildlife of Vermont
If you are looking for wildlife or perhaps interested in casting a fly to willing trout Vermont makes it possible. Unlike many states, Vermont not only encourages you to explore they make it pretty easy for you to do it. There are over 800,000 acres of federal and state public land in Vermont. 55 state parks offer camping. In the state wildlife management areas (WMA) there are designated pull offs and parking areas that give you access to trails that will lead you to some great fishing areas or the adventure of a lifetime.
Wildlife abounds in Vermont and you never know what you may see. White-tail deer and Black bear are very common, but don’t be surprised if you see a moose as well. You may share a fishing spot with a mink, like I did, or you may see a muskrat or a beaver. Balsam and hemlock forests are the home to Snowshoe hares and if you are really lucky you may see a coyote or a bobcat. The bird species found here are too numerous to name.
A Way of Life
For the angler there are rivers and streams full of Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout. The lakes hold Lake trout, salmon, bass, walleye and Northern pike. Vermont is a great place to introduce children to fishing. All you need is a rod, reel, hook, bobber and a worm. You’ll catch plenty of Yellow perch and sunfish.
Visit the Billings Farm where you can see a full-fledged dairy farm in action. How about a visit to the Trapp Family Lodge. If the name sounds familiar it is because this is the home of the Von Trapp family who were made famous in The Sound of Music. This is where the family settled after fleeing Austria and it is still owned by the family today. Here you can eat authentic Austria food, see maple sugaring done the old way, rent mountain bikes or just hike the trails.
Vermont is not just a place; it is a way of life. Here you can slow down and relax. You can do as much, or as little, as you want. There are no fancy rides, just fresh air and the outdoors. Just the way I like it.
Images: courtesy © Dana Benner
Dana Benner has been writing about the outdoors for over 30 years with his work appearing in both regional and national publications in the U.S. He has a particular interest in wildlife, culture and the environment, and Native American history. He holds a M.Ed. in Heritage Studies and teaches Sociology, History and Political Science at the university level. Dana is based in the USA and is a regular guest writer for Our Planet Travel.
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