Northeast Kingdom GeoTourism MapGuide
Nomination Guidelines
 

The National Geographic Society has selected Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom as the location for a pilot geotourism program. The primary focus will be on developing a Geotourism MapGuide to enhance the NEK as a sustainable-tourism destination and act as a tool for education and community development.

National Geographic defines geotourism as, “tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.” The Northeast Kingdom will be a pioneer in the National Geographic’s geotourism programs.

Your help is needed to identify points of interest for inclusion on the map. The MapGuide will have numerous “map notes” briefly describing authentic places and visitor experiences in or next to Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties. The National Geographic Society will select some 40 of these nominations for the map. Your input is vital to help shape the features of the Northeast Kingdom Geotourism MapGuide. With these factors in mind, we encourage you to nominate a Northeast Kingdom site.

All MapGuide entries should reflect and support the Northeast Kingdom’s character of place. Examples of the content for the map might include: historic town centers, distinctive wildlife, or a family-owned restaurant serving traditional regional cuisine made from local ingredients, a farmer’s market, or a distinctive seasonal event. All entries should reflect tourism that is respectful of our environment, of our towns and landscapes, and of the people who live here.

We have included a checklist of Northeast Kingdom map site possibilities to help you nominate suitable candidates:

Culture and Traditions

 :
  • Food and drink, including local agricultural products and methods, restaurants serving local dishes, sugar houses that accept visitors, auction houses
  • Agritourism, including traditional farming or farmers’ markets and farm stands
  • Performing arts: music, dance, theater, including public and bar/restaurant performances
  • Arts and crafts, including artisan centers, workshops, or nonfranchised local shopping
  • Festivals and distinctive ways of celebrating national holidays
 : Nature and Environment
 
  • Distinctive wildlife habitat, on land or in the water; great birding sites
  • Notable birds, trees, and flowers; forests, rivers, waterfalls
  • Links between local nature and local culture—history, cuisine, events
  • Canoeing, hiking, horseback tours, and other outdoor activities, especially those where visitors learn about what they’re seeing
 : Historic and Archaeological Sites
 :
  • Historic main streets or districts
  • Homesteads or mill sites, especially those offering guided tours or other forms of interpretation
  • Battlegrounds, forts, churches, museums, libraries
  • Traditional architecture
 : Also
 
  • Aesthetics: What areas have nice scenery or an appealing ambiance? What areas are most pleasing to be in? Are there businesses deserving of support there?
  • Short, marked itineraries or driving trails that take in a variety of minor but appropriate businesses and attractions.
 : Once you have identified a spot, attraction, business, or activity distinctive to the Northeast Kingdom, print and fill out a nomination form.

Mail your completed Nomination Form to:
    NGA Geotourism Alliance
    c/o Northeast Kingdom Travel and Tourism
    P.O. Box 212
    East Burke, VT 05832

Include any supporting material such as digital photos, maps of the site, brochures, or other information. Note that no private site will be included without the consent of the owner. After a site is nominated, final selections will be made by Nulhegan Gateway Association in consultation with the NEK Geotourism Alliance. For questions about the program, contact Ann Nygard at NEKTTA info@travelthekingdom.com or John Watson at Northeast Kingdom Collaborative nekgeotourism@gmail.org.