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Escape to the Northeast Kingdom in East Burke, VT

SmarterTravel

The Northeast Kingdom is a bit off the tourism map of Vermont, removed from the hubbub of Burlington and the well-trodden trails of the Green Mountains. Now that National Geographic has named nearby St. Johnsbury its number-one small town for adventure, more folks will probably be heading this way, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t join them.

East Burke is the focus here, thanks to the Kingdom Trails, a network of pathways supported and maintained by those who use it. Seasonal memberships go for about $40, but visitors can purchase a day-use pass for $10. The trails pass through some 42 privately owned parcels of land, giving hikers and bikers a glimpse of the local community along with the beautiful scenery.

SmarterTravel.com Managing Editor Josh Roberts went snowshoeing on the Kingdom Trails last February, and recommends the Wildflower Inn, which offers mountain-biking packages from $74 per night. Many other B&Bs in the area sell similar packages as well.

If you want to throw a little culture into your getaway, drive down to St. Johnsbury and spend some time at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium and the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum . While you’re there, stroll around the downtown shops and restaurants or shop the Saturday farmers’ market to support local agriculture and pack a great picnic for a day on the trails.

The Kingdom Trails website is a good place to plan an outdoorsy getaway. The Northeast Kingdom Travel & Tourism Association and St. Johnsbury Works! sites also have a lot of info for visitors.

Read more of the 50 Affordable Stateside Escapes.

Have a recommendation for East Burke, or another great getaway in Vermont? Post your comment below!

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