The Upper Valley’s Prettiest Scenic Overlooks
A common mid-day activity for visiting nature enthusiasts here in the Upper Valley is the unending search for the prettiest scenic overlook. Depending on where you live, you might call it a “vista point,” “scenic lookout,” or “scenic point.” Regardless, the Upper Valley is home to dozens of majestic mountaintop overlooks, most of which require a mile or two of hiking (or snowshoeing in the wintertime). The majority of folks who plan a stay at historic Norwich Inn explore the region’s craft beer trail with stops at several picturesque covered bridges and spectacular Artisans Park. But the adventurer inside us all calls us into the wild where curious animals roam through dense forestry and alongside rushing rivers.
The Top 5 Scenic Overlooks Near Norwich, VT
Locating a hiking trail in this peaceful land is as easy as throwing a dart a map while blindfolded. However, only five such trails feature a genuinely jaw-dropping scenic overlook. Even in today’s modern world, one cannot simply search for a “scenic lookout near me” and find an overabundance of useful results. Therefore, we’ve pieced together this handy list of scenic overlooks that are within 45 minutes of Dartmouth College.
Gile Mountain, like all five of these scenic overlooks, is particularly stunning during autumn’s peak as the forestry transforms from dark green to vibrant hues of marigold, kelly green, crimson, and amber. This 1.4-mile, out-and-back trail is perfect for all ages as there’s less than 400 feet of elevation gain. Climb the fire tower at the summit to obtain a bird’s-eye view of the sprawling Upper Valley.
We have mixed feelings about divulging insider information about Holt’s Ledge, one of the Upper Valley’s last-remaining hidden gems. The trail features dramatic cliffs, long-forgotten log shelters, and occasionally curious woodland critters to go along with a heart-stopping overlook of the dense mountain range.
It’s unlikely that Quechee Gorge would show up in a search for a “scenic lookout near me” as it’s more of a roadside attraction than a dramatic overlook. That being said, the gorge itself is known as “Vermont’s Grand Canyon” because of the 165-foot drop from the Quechee George Bridge down to the rushing Ottauquechee River.
It’s not often that you discover a scenic overlook that features a covered barn-like structure at the peak. The faraway mountains at this sequestered yet incredibly gorgeous destination aren’t as jagged as other nearby lookouts. In fact, the mountains resemble the rolling hills that you might find in New York or Pennsylvania.
Cardigan Mountain State Park remains one of the best adult playgrounds in New Hampshire, thanks to 5,655 acres of preserved glory. The Mount Cardigan loop, in particular, is our favorite place (in the Upper Valley) to unplug and reflect. Pack a picnic for this journey as the peak features ample rock space to lay down a blanket.
Historic Boutique Hotels in Vermont
Instead of searching aimlessly for a “scenic lookout near me” this spring, simply favorite this article for further usage. You can also ask a member of our team, upon arrival, about our personal favorites. The Norwich Inn itself, which was established in 1797, is equal parts boutique hotel, craft brewery, fine restaurant, and historical landmark. We’re a short drive or bicycle ride from King Arthur Flour, Dartmouth College, and the beautiful Connecticut River. To learn more about our particularly elegant slice of the Upper Valley, please give us a call today at 802-649-1143 (or check availability online).