Mount Mansfield Toll Road
Rte. 108 (the Mountain Road), Stowe, VT
Mount Equinox, VT: Southwestern Vermont’s most prominent peak is in the Taconics, not the Green Mountains — and it’s the property of a Carthusian monastery. The 5.2-mile Sky Line Drive traverses the monks’ mountain fastness, climbing to a 3,835-foot elevation that commands views of the Battenkill valley, the Massachusetts Berkshires, the Green Mountains, and — under superlative conditions — the White Mountains in New Hampshire and the Adirondacks to the west. Up top, there’s a skein of hiking trails and, occasionally, hang gliders are spotted overhead.
Sky Line Drive
Rte. 7A, just south of Manchester Village, VT
Burke Mountain Toll Road, VT: Tucked away in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is the most remote — and one of the most rewarding — of our summit drives. Burke Mountain, at 3,267 feet, is the training ground for many American Olympic skiers. It also offers a route to the top, replete with hair-raising switchbacks, knockout foliage (the yellows of birches dominate in these parts), and views that take in virtually the entire northern portion of the Green Mountain State. That’s Lake Willoughby over there to the west, nestled between mounts Pisgah and Hor; farther south is the profile of Mount Mansfield. Over to the east is Mount Washington; up north, it actually looks as if winter is about to come lumbering over that nameless jumble of Canadian hills.
Burke Mountain Ski Area,
Off Rte. 114 in East Burke, VT; follow signs, use the second (mid-Burke) entrance to the resort, summit road is the first left.