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Our Favorite Vermont Books to Explore Like a Local

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I can’t be the only one that still loves to devour travel books and guides when I’m planning a trip. Don’t get me wrong, I use websites and apps all the time, but sometimes I want to dig just a little deeper, and I want to be able to delve into a topic without having to worry about whether my batteries will run out of juice!

As I’m sure you’ve realized by now, I do a lot of wandering around Vermont, which means that I’ve got a stash of awesome Vermont books by my bedside at all times! The following books about Vermont are the ones that I use over and over again, and the ones that I bring with me on Vermont adventures.

Whether you live in Vermont or are planning a trip in the future, you need to be ready! Of course, you can find out lots of stuff online these days, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate the comfort of a dog-eared book to accompany you on your travels.

Planning a trip to Vermont? First, browse through the articles here on Vermont Explored, and then head to your favorite bookstore to pick up some of these awesome books about Vermont!

Vermont Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff

Vermont Curiosities, published in 2009, is full of delightful information — historical, whimsical, and useful. It is definitely my favorite book for discovering Vermont attractions.

The great Vermont book is divided into chapters based on location, and it will have you laughing to yourself and inspiring you to read out loud to your travel companions. Read about the first canal in the United States, the one and only covered bridge museum (in my hometown!), and a graveyard that memorializes ice-cream flavors.

To sweeten the pot, if you bring Vermont Curiosities along on your next road trip and stop by the author’s house in Saxtons River, he will sign your copy and provide you with milk and cookies.


Garmin Delorme Atlas & Gazetteer Paper Maps – NH/VT

You may think that maps are totally obsolete and that GPS will always save day, but you’re wrong. If you want to road trip like a local, this DeLorme Atlas is the only way to go.

Our family has trusted our road trip adventures to DeLorme for years, and we rarely get lost unless we truly want to. Every road in the state is included, along with trails, mountains, lakes, and rivers. It’s topographical too, which is handy for hikers, hunters, and photographers. In short, we don’t leave home without it, and you shouldn’t either.


Vermont Waterfalls

Vermont Waterfalls is a gem of a book, covering the most popular and beautiful waterfalls in Vermont, as well as more obscure and hidden cascades.

The book is divided into sections based on region, and each waterfall entry includes detailed directions, a bit about the history, and a good description.

Use this book in conjunction with the DeLorme Vermont Atlas and Gazetteer and you’ll never get lost. Vermont Waterfalls doesn’t include information about swimming, but I’d advise packing swimsuits and towels if you’re traveling in the summer. Swimming holes are an institution here, part of Vermont’s landlocked heritage.


Wetland, Woodland, Wildland: A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont

Wetland, Woodland, Wildland explores all the geological wonders of Vermont, along with the plants, animals, and natural communities that make it so special. It’s divided into sections based on location, with each section delving pretty deeply into geological processes, plants, animals, and unique natural areas of the region. The line drawings and photographs are gorgeous as well.

I’m a sucker for unique natural areas, and now I know where Vermont’s largest peat bog is located, where to see the most moose and the tallest trees. I learned about hiking trails and quiet ponds that I never knew existed, and I can’t wait to explore them all this summer!


The Walker’s Guide to Vermont

Put out by the Green Mountain Club, The Walker’s Guide to Vermont is subtitled Ramblers for a Half an Hour or Half a Day. The walks in this book are not exactly hikes. For the most part, they are lovely strolls — around ponds, through meadows, and along rivers. There are a few mountain trails, but even these are relatively short and easy.

We picked up this book many years ago because we wanted to be able to stop and explore with our kids during long road trips around Vermont.  Just about every Vermont State Park is covered, along with many town forest trails and conservation areas. This paperback can live in the glove compartment of your Vermont rental car so you’ll always be able to find the perfect spot to connect with the natural world.


Scenic Driving Vermont: Exploring the State’s Most Spectacular Byways and Back Roads

The author of Scenic Driving Vermont chose some of my favorite road trips to highlight, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any one of them to you. If you’re visiting from away, these eight trips will give you plenty to do and see in Vermont, and the beginning of each chapter details campgrounds and services so you can plan ahead.

Scenic Driving Vermont is also a great starting point for photographers hoping to capture some of Vermont’s hidden magic, but you’ll learn a good deal of history, as well as some great ideas for hiking and picnicking.


Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont

Subtitled 75 of the Best Hiking, Camping, and Paddling Trips, this book wasn’t around when my kids were little, but I wish it was. It’s the details that make it special — you can plan ahead and find trails, swimming holes, and adventures perfect for your family.

Each entry includes information about restrooms, safety, parking, etc., plus tips for maximizing your fun as you explore not just Vermont, but all of New England.


How do you plan trips while traveling? Apps? Blog posts? Or real paper books? Do you have any recommendations for guides that you just can’t travel without? We hope you’ll love our suggestions for our favorite Vermont books, but we want to hear about yours too!