Traveling to Vermont? The Quechee Gorge is a beautiful must-see for your list of things to do.
When the kids and I visited Vermont in the Spring, I had the Quechee Gorge on my list, but man, Vermont is BIG and WIDE, and even though I feel like we traversed all over that fair state, we weren’t close enough to Quechee to make it happen.
But this past weekend?
We had plans to visit a farm about forty-five minutes from where we were staying over the weekend, so I quickly looked to see how far the Quechee Gorge was from that, and when I saw it was only about fifteen minutes away, it was as good as done.
And man, was it ever worth it.
As we drove over the bridge, we took a peek down and it was breathtaking. One hundred and sixty five feet down, to be exact.
We parked in the adjacent lot, and then made our way over to the trail. I wanted to walk down to the very bottom, but my friend needed a little convincing.
It was only about three-quarters of a mile down, but it was a steamy day, and while going down might have seemed like no big deal, coming back up would be a slightly different story. And also, none of us were wearing sneakers. Luckily the kids were on my side.
There is a well-defined, wide pathway leading down to the bottom of the gorge, with a few benches and viewing areas along the way.
See also #photoopps.
Once we got to the very bottom, the kids could hardly control their excitement. And I don’t blame them one bit.
Stunning. Just stunning.
Getting to the actual water area (where you could swim if you were brave enough given the water’s temperature) was a little bit of a challenge. It was a tiny embankment, but very steep, with little to no footholds.
The kids all, of course, quickly scampered down.
I kept debating.
It was kind of muddy. A sharp decline. And I didn’t want to fall.
But I didn’t want to miss out either.
YOLO and all that.
So fifteen minutes later, I went down too.
And, of course, I’m glad I did. I don’t want to live with regrets, and would have missed this photo with Madeline.
And the most beautiful views of the entire area.
There is a snack shack (with burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, and the like) and a gift shop in the parking lot. And, perhaps equally important, there is a Visitor’s Center right after the gorge, in a separate parking lot, where they have a smushed penny machine. If you’re a regular Sweetnicks’ reader, you know how much I love a smushed penny machine.
The Quechee Gorge is the largest gorge in Vermont, and has been there for over 13,000 years, originally thought to have been formed when the Laurentide ice sheet went across the area. During Hurricane Irene a few years ago, the water from the gorge rose up to 65 feet. Crazy!
A totally free activity for you and your family to enjoy, and well worth a stop if you’re in the area.
Quechee, Hartford, VT
Hungry for more things to do in Vermont?
We loved our visit to the Morse Farm Maple Sugar Works place in Montepelier. Because, maple syrup.
Our visit to the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury was a delicious way to start the day.
Also in Waterbury, the Cabot cheese shop is right down the street and worth checking out.
The Vermont Country Store was an awesome stop and the last thing we did before heading home.
Our trip kicked off with a stop at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.