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Vermont Fall Foliage Train Rides (2024): A Complete Guide

Last revised: December 30, 2023

By: Adam Burns

Vermont is a nationally renowned part of New England for its breathtaking scenery, most notably the Green Mountains, which transfer each fall into incredible displays of red, yellow, vermillion, and brown.

One way to view the foliage is by train on the Vermont Rail System and Green Mountain Railroad.   The train takes passengers through some of the most beautiful scenery in Vermont, including quaint New England towns, historic covered bridges, and stunning views of the fall foliage. The tour is timed to coincide with the peak of the fall foliage season, making it the perfect way to experience Vermont's natural beauty.

If you are interested in this even be sure and get your tickets early as they sell out very quickly! In addition to its regular tours and excursions, the railroad also offers private charters and special events. It's a popular destination for weddings, corporate events, and other special occasions, offering a unique and memorable way to celebrate.

Overall, the Vermont Railway/Green Mountain Railroad is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Vermont. It's a unique and charming way to experience the beauty of the Green Mountains and Vermont's countryside, and its various tours and events offer something for everyone. Whether you're a train enthusiast or simply looking for a unique way to experience Vermont's natural beauty, be sure to add the Green Mountain Railroad to your itinerary.

205828048u748494002000399ij89003454.jpgRutland RS3 #205 passes the covered bridge at Bartonsville, Vermont, circa early 1950's. The original, 151-foot bridge, spanning the Williams River, was completed in 1870. It was destroyed by flooding as a result of Hurricane Irene's remnants on August 28, 2011. A new structure was completed on January 26, 2013. Jim Shaughnessy photo.

Other Fall Foliage Attractions

If you're interested in seeing other parts of Vermont during the fall, instead of just by train, these are some of the state's most popular locations.

  • Stowe, Vermont:  This picturesque town nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, and it's one of the most popular destinations for leaf peepers. The area is home to Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, and Smugglers' Notch State Park, both of which offer breathtaking views of the fall foliage. Stowe is also known for its charming covered bridges, which make for a great photo op.
  • Green Mountain Byway:  The byway is a scenic drive that takes you through the heart of Vermont's fall foliage. The 11-mile route winds through the town of Waterbury and Stowe, and offers stunning views of the Green Mountains, including Mount Mansfield and Camel's Hump. Along the way, you'll pass through quaint New England villages, historic farms, and charming country stores.
  • Lake Champlain:  This famous, and massive, freshwater lake that stretches over 120 miles, and it's a popular spot for leaf peeping. The lake offers stunning views of the Adirondack Mountains to the west and the Green Mountains to the east, and the foliage reflected in the water is truly breathtaking. You can take a boat tour of the lake, or simply relax on one of the many beaches and take in the view.
  • Route 100: This scenic highway runs the length of Vermont, and it's one of the best places to view the fall foliage. The route winds through charming New England villages, past historic farms and covered bridges, and offers stunning views of the Green Mountains. There are also plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way, including hiking trails, country stores, and artisanal cheese shops.
  • Montpelier:  Montpelier is Vermont's charming capital city, and it's a great place to view the fall foliage. The city is surrounded by hills and mountains, and there are plenty of parks and trails that offer stunning views of the foliage. The city is also home to the Vermont State House, a beautiful historic building that's surrounded by trees and makes for a great photo op.


Green Mountain Railroad/Vermont Rail System

(Burlington):  When one thinks of a New England autumn, Vermont often comes to mind.  A train ride is a fabulous way to experience the region's world-renowned fall colors. 

As it turns out, one of America's top heritage railroads can also be found here, the Green Mountain Railroad.  The company, a division of freight line Vermont Railway, operates over much of the old Rutland Railroad that shutdown in the 1960's. 

It has maintained valuable transportation services for its home state ever since that time.   

From mid-September through mid-October the railroad hosts popular Fall Foliage trips (including dinner trains) to allow patrons fabulous views of New England's vibrant autumn colors.  They even offer First Class accommodations for these trips. 


Wes Barris's SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource on the study of steam locomotives. 

It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website. 

It is quite staggering and a must visit!