Leaf-Peeping at Lake Willoughby and other NEK Locations

Early fall is one of our favorite times of the year and you’ll quickly learn what makes it so special as our landscape transforms into the fiery colors of autumn. Explore the Northeast Kingdom’s fjord-like valleys, rolling hills, and steep mountain slopes for a leaf-peeping adventure that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Lace up your sneakers and hit the trails with our guide below to find the best fall foliage views and seasonal events in the area. 

  1. Lake Willoughby: The two peaks that cradle the edges of Lake Willoughby, Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor, are signature landmarks on the horizon of the Northeast Kingdom’s natural landscape. Blanketed in the Willoughby State Forest, both mountains are great for hiking and offer numerous vistas and overlooks with panoramic views. Take the North Trail on Mount Pisgah for the best views from the cliffs or the South Trail for the easiest, most gradual incline and an open, clifftop ledge vista along the way. Visit the North Trail on Mount Pisgah website for directions and more information on the area.

  2. Burke Fall Foliage Festival, Sept 28th: Enjoy the day-long celebration of fall foliage in East Burke with numerous activities and entertainment including a barbecue, live musical performances, a silent auction, and a market featuring local artisans and vendors. Purchase some homemade cider and enjoy the tiki bar located at the green of Burke Mountain Clubhouse. Visit the Ski Burke website for more information.

  3. Northeast Kingdom Fall Foliage Festival: Started in 1956, this celebration keeps the fall foliage fun going for a full week and it hops from town to town. From parades and live music, to church suppers and craft sales, towns involved in 2019 include Marshfield, Walden, Cabot, Plainfield, Peacham, Barnet, and Groton. Visit the Northeast Kingdom Fall Foliage Festival website for more information. 

  4. Prospect Hill Observatory: At the summit of a hilltop near Brownington, the elevated Prospect Hill Observatory is the perfect place to get a panoramic view of the Northeast Kingdom’s countryside during fall foliage. From this vantage point, you can see from Lake Memphremagog in the north all the way to Lake Willoughby. On your way in or out, explore Brownington’s Historic District. 

  5. Lake Caspian: Probably one of the best parts of your visit is not having to go anywhere! Soak in the fall colors from the middle of Lake Caspian on one of Highland Lodge's kayaks, pedal boats, or canoes, and taste the best seasonal flavors at our House Bar & Kitchen.