Vermont is spliced down the middle by the Green Mountains, which run through two-thirds of the state in the north-south direction. Their highest peak is Mount Mansfield at 4235 feet.
The 370,000-acre Green Mountain National Forest that gives Vermont most of its outdoor pleasures has nearly 500 miles of trails riveting through the mountains, affording hikers spectacular views and a passageway to the Appalachian Trail.
With the mountains as its spine, Vermont is laterally divided into east and west sections, and further partitioned into north-south portions by the Green Mountain National Forest. The northern part extends from Rutland to Bristol, and the southern half from the Massachusetts border to Wallingford.
Tourists travel for many miles to play in this area rich with recreational resources. They come to ski the mountains, hike the trails, paddle the waterways, and relax with country-style comforts. Quaint villages dot the region, blessed with New England charm ? white steepled churches, covered bridges, and Colonial homes puffing smoke from their chimneys on crisp autumn evenings.
In the southeastern corner of the state lies Bennington, home to poet Robert Frost and the greatest number of folk art by "Grandma" Moses. In the little town of Jeffersonville at the foot of Mount Mansfield, Smuggler's Notch plays host to many tourists. During the 1800s, smugglers ran through this town en route to Canada, carrying contraband goods ( thus the name ? Smuggler's Notch).
Stowe and Killington are ski heavens. But, skiing is not the only game in town. Gifford Woods State Park has excellent hiking trails, one which serves as a passageway to the Appalachian Trail. Warren and Waitsfield, in the Mad River Valley, offer a full gamut of outdoor activities from kayaking to skiing. And Manchester, a busy retail center, is home to the Orvis store (beloved by fly fishermen) and The American Museum of Fly Fishing.
The Green Mountain Range and National Forest are at the heart of Vermont and are the very foundation of it's adventurous spirit.