On our most recent visit to Vermont, we went hiking at scenic Quechee Gorge within Quechee State Park along Route 4. This hikeaneally easy way to enjoy the colorful autumn foliage and get outdoors on a warmer-than-normal day. I will preface this post by saying that the hike should not be done during or after heavy rains because of the flash flood risk. No special equipment is needed for this hike as it’s etty straightforward 1.3-mile path to the dam at the end of the hike. Round trip, we spent about an hour only because I stopped so often to take photos. It could easily be done faster, or you could dally and spend time admiring the scenery.
During our hike, we saw more than one person who was painting or sketching the unreal scenery, and it made me that I had more artistic talents outside of photography. Alas, my painting isn’t the most excellent, but it’s something I’d like to do on our next visit to the gorge. At peak color, the trail is moderately busy, and it’s clearly demarcated, so you needn’t fret about getting lost. We saw all ages making this trek, and while parts of it are uphill at a somewhat steep incline and one portion of the path was covered in copious quantities of sand due to recent flooding from heavy rainfall, nothing was dangerous or more dangerous than a beginner-level hike.
A quick little history lesson for you, Quechee Gorge was formed more than 13,000 years ago when the Laurentide Ice Sheet scraped across the continent. Now, the Ottauquechee River runs through it. The gorge is around 165 feet deep, and the bridge that crosses it was built in 1911 and meant to help trains cross the gorge. Around World War II, it was converted into a bridge for vehicles. The name Quechee is derived from the Natick Indigenous Tribe who live in the area and have called the region home for thousands of years before colonizers arrived. The name means “swift mountain stream,” which is very appropriate for such a beautiful, raging river. If you go hiking along scenic Quechee Gorge, please always be respectful, take everything out with you, and don’t take anything you shouldn’t. Hiking etiquette is simple stuff!