Each fall, the Green and White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire take on a blazing mantle belying their names, as vast hardwood forests turn scarlet, vermilion, crimson and gold. Lakes rest in valleys between their summits, and woodland trails invite wandering, as leaves float to the forest floor—but look up, too, to see birds on the wing, migrating south, spurred on by autumn’s encroaching chill. White steeples rise from picture-postcard villages in misty vales, while covered bridges span brooks that flow through orchards heavy with ripe apples. Following backroads through landscapes straight from a Robert Frost poem, discover the bucolic beauty of New England in its most resplendent season. On a circuit from Lake Champlain to Mount Washington and back, our itinerary is crafted to elude crowds, with flexibility to follow the changing colors through a wide range of habitats.
Rural Vermont Less TraveledExplore Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, a lightly visited corner of the state featuring lakes, mountains, forest hikes and scenic foliage drives
Train to the Top of New HampshireRide the cog railway to the granite summit of Mount Washington and survey the Appalachian wilderness from the highest point in the northeast U.S.
Inspiring Conservation EncountersLearn about conservation of habitats and wildlife, visit the Birds of Vermont Museum, and tour sustainable farms committed to artisan agriculture
"Leaf-peeping" season in New England is big business for bus tours. And that’s the way most travelers see Vermont and New Hampshire—from a motorcoach, covering lots of ground in a short time, jockeying for views with scores of others…assuredly not the best way for nature travelers to experience the beauty and serenity of a New England autumn. We’ve gone to great lengths to create an intimate and far more special experience, with Nat Hab’s signature nature focus. Read on:
A Leisurely Full-Week Immersion
If you compare New England trips, you’ll often see an itinerary that swings hurriedly through four or five states, skimming the surface of the same few destinations. In contrast, we provide an immersive encounter with a more compact slice of northern Vermont and western New Hampshire. Our itinerary offers all the glories of a New England fall you dream of, at a pace that allows you to explore mindfully.
Discover Less-Traveled Corners on a Unique Itinerary
We’ve tailored our itinerary to reveal areas well off the standard tourist track, for a more peaceful fall foliage encounter. We spend three nights based at a lakeside inn in Vermont’s “Northeast Kingdom,” its most rural region, with access to quiet trails in less-visited state forests and small artisan farms that aren’t on the bus tour circuit. But we don’t omit can’t-miss highlights, such as the cog railway ride to the top of Mount Washington. It’s the optimal balance, and you won’t find our itinerary anywhere else.
The Smallest Groups—No More Than 7 Guests Per Vehicle
Our group is capped at 14, but you’ll mostly travel with no more than seven: that’s the maximum we take per vehicle, and each is accompanied by an Expedition Leader, for the best guide-to-guest ratio you’ll find! You can also Make It Private: select a departure just for you and your personally selected traveling companions.
Two Naturalist Expedition Leaders for the Utmost in Flexibility
Not only do two Expedition Leaders ensure the ultimate in personal service and attention, but it gives us the ability to split our group up to pursue varied activities, accommodating different interests and physical ability levels. One group can canoe while the other hikes, one group can return to the hotel early to relax while the other embarks on a longer hike…two guides means more choices for you!
An In-Depth Nature Focus While the beauty of the changing leaves is the main draw of any New England fall foliage trip, we take the nature focus even deeper. Visit Green Mountain Audubon Center to wander through varied wildlife habitats and look for a host of birds. At Shelburne Farms, learn about the advantages of small-scale, sustainable agriculture with regard to conservation of native landscapes. At every turn, our professional naturalist guides share their deep knowledge of New England’s natural history, enhancing your encounters with nature.
Farm-to-Table Food Experiences
Vermont in particular is widely heralded for its many organic and artisan food producers, from maple syrup to cheese to heirloom apples and cider. We visit a selection of small farms to meet the producers and sample their products. We also enjoy fine farm-to-table fare on local menus, with an exclusive chance to enjoy dinner at Shelburne Farms.
Intimate Inns & Boutique Hotels
In keeping with our commitment to a comfortable pace, our itinerary includes two- or three-nights stays at just three distinctive properties, selected for their locations, ambience and quality. In Burlington, step out the door to the Church Street pedestrian mall and Lake Champlain; at Lake Willoughby in Vermont, stay in a historic inn on a farm where Robert Frost was once a guest; and in New Hampshire, enjoy lodgings surrounded by the autumn glory of the White Mountains.
Expert Naturalist Guides Enhance Your Experience
Our Expedition Leaders are professional naturalists with a deep passion for New England. They know where and when to be in order to maximize your experience of nature over crowds. They have their own "secret" spots, too, to share, which are off the most heavily touristed tracks. And they are intimately familiar with the geology, flora, wildlife and history of the Green and White Mountains. We can't emphasize enough how much difference their expertise makes to your overall experience. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
Our Quality-Value Guarantee Stands Behind Your New England Adventure
With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, stating clearly that we will meet the lofty expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. We think this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund—the world's leading environmental conservation organization—has named Natural Habitat Adventures as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!