The Northeast Kingdom: Vermont’s Transcendental Northeast Expanse

The Northeast Kingdom sounds like it should be populated by elves, a benevolent fairy queen, or perhaps a brave warrior. Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is one of the most remote and beautiful stretches of the Northeast. The Kingdom—as the area is sometimes called by people who live in the region—features lush forests, shining lakes, quaint towns that appear untouched by the passage of time, and a series of fascinating galleries and museums.

The Northeast Kingdom is the ultimate New England escape. THOMAS H. MITCHELL/GETTY IMAGES

The Northeast Kingdom is the ultimate New England escape. THOMAS H. MITCHELL/GETTY IMAGES

Nature enthusiasts can explore the Northeast Kingdom’s many hiking and mountain bike trails. Mount Pisgah offers a stunning view of placid Lake Willoughby. Nearby Mount Hor is visible in the distance. The area features rare alpine plants, including vibrant violets that bloom in the spring. If you’re lucky, you may spot a peregrine falcon nest near the top of Mount Pisgah.

The Northeast Kingdom is home to several galleries and museums, including The Museum of Everyday Life. The Museum of Everyday Life features exhibits that showcase seemingly banal items like lists, locks and keys, and bells and whistles. The museum is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating that which we take for granted and pass over.

The Northeast Kingdom Byway is the ideal way to experience all that Vermont’s splendid Kingdom has to offer. The Northeast Kingdom Byway is a 51-mile road that passes by lakes, farms, covered bridges, quaint Vermont towns, and restaurants and galleries galore. Travelers can expect to encounter a reindeer farm, seasonal farmers markets that sell fresh produce, and breathtaking Lake Memphremagog.

If you’re an animal lover, no trip to the Northeast Kingdom is complete without a visit to artist Stephen Huneck’s Dog Chapel which is located on Dog Mountain. In the wake of a prolonged coma. Stephen Huneck was revived by regular visits from his beloved pet dogs. Huneck was inspired to construct a chapel for grieving dog owners to honor their beloved fur companions, The Dog Chapel features doggie pews, doggie stained glass, and doggie statutes. Dog owners are welcome to leave a photo of their dearly departed canines on the remembrance wall.

Stephen Huneck's Dog Chapel

Photo by Eric/Flickr

Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom has a transcendental name because it is a truly transcendental place. The rugged forests, crystal clear water, and timeless, quaint towns of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom will transport you to another realm. If you’re searching for a great escape that doesn’t require an international flight or a time machine, consider driving to one of the northernmost reaches of the United States.

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