Why is New England not a state

Vermont: New England's rebellious idyll

Vermont is different. For example, if you cross the state border from New York, you quickly notice that something is missing. The roadsides appear strangely bare, but they are just not plastered with advertising. Because billboards are banned in Vermont.

This is not only beneficial in autumn, when the leaves of the trees change color and Vermont's forests shine in particularly intense red and orange tones, even by New England standards. Vermont is famous for its vistas, mountains, and green meadows that stretch across the landscape. Here, like nowhere else, nature and agriculture belong together and have always been linked organically.

Vermont is the only one of the six states in New England that has no access to the sea. Instead, like the back shield of a lizard, the Green Mountains extend centrally from south to north. It was they who gave the state its name as "les monts verts", many of them are well over a thousand meters high. Tiny villages cling to their slopes, cows graze peacefully on flowering pastures.

Rural idyll
Vermont is not wrong to describe it as a rural idyll. You can go hiking, cycling or canoeing to explore the rivers and lakes. In the cold winters you can go skiing in the Green Mountains, for example around the small town of Stowe. In the 190 kilometer long Lake Champlain in the west of the state there are around 70 islands, you can dive down to shipwrecks and sandbanks in its clear water. A ferry crosses the lake to New York.

One curiosity is Vermont's capital, Montpelier: just 8,000 people live here. Vermont's big politics is made in a tiny village with neatly manicured front gardens and white wooden houses. Only the State Capitol, with its granite facade, golden dome and ancient columns, indicates that the governor and parliament have their seat here.

Speaking of politics: Vermont, as I said, is different. Vermont was the first state to outlaw slavery and the last to have a Wal-Mart. It was the first state in the USA to introduce a bottle deposit - like many a sign that ecology is valued higher here than in other parts of the country.

The stubborn spirit of Vermont is still in the tradition of Ethan Allen, in a sense the forefather of all free-thinking hotspurs from the northeastern corner of the USA. With the "Green Mountain Boys" he founded a militia that taught the English to fear during the War of Independence. Vermont was the first state to break away from England in 1777.

Culinary arts
In the 1960s and 70s, members of the hippie movement flocked here and the long-established farmers welcomed them with open arms. The newcomers were looking for a simpler, more natural life and found it here. They founded communities, raised sheep and grew vegetables. The farmers here have always been committed to organic farming, and a Vermont label on food is still a seal of quality today.

There are 30 historic covered bridges in nearby Windham County. The writer Rudyard Kipling wrote "The Jungle Book" in a dull little tone. Mount Vermont is considered the most important site in the state during the Revolutionary War. The fort that was once here was destroyed by British troops in 1777. Today you can explore the grounds with outstanding views over Lake Champlain on footpaths - another outstanding testimony to the independent spirit of the Vermonters.

location and size
Vermont borders New Hampshire to the east, where the Connecticut River forms the border. It is bordered by New York to the west, Massachusetts to the south, and Canada to the north. Almost 80% of the 24,900 kmĀ² state area is covered by deciduous forests, the majority of which are maple trees.