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Spring: As winter releases its grip on Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, locals and visitors’ alike welcome the arrival of spring. The sugarers are hard at work boiling sap and the aroma of wood smoke and hot, sweet maple syrup, wafts through the valleys as the world begins to thaw and fine green lace bedecks the trees. In the spring the average daytime temperature is 61 degrees.
Summer: Long, bright summer days that smell of fresh cut hay are perfect for rambling around back roads, picking berries, or dangling toes in mountain brooks and streams. Join the residents for town parades, county fairs and outdoor concerts. Lap up creamies at the country store or sip tall tumblers of iced tea on shady porches. There are beaches to sun on, lakes to sail, trails to hike, and perfect picnic spots throughout the Kingdom. In the summer the average daytime temperature is a perfect 80 degrees.
Fall: In Autumn, brilliant fall foliage sets the entire Kingdom ablaze with color that beckons hikers, bicyclists, paddlers and “leaf peepers” to bear witness to the artistic capabilities of nature. The fresh, crisp days of fall foliage are filled with adventures to harvest festivals, pumpkin patches and church suppers. In the fall the average daytime temperature is a crisp 66 degrees.
Winter: Sparkling holiday lights adorn quiet village streets. A team of horses pulls the sleigh atop a field blanketed in freshly fallen snow. With its startling beauty and promise of pure playfulness, winter entices us to venture out with skis, sleds, snowboards, sleighs, and snowshoes. Winter festivals, community ski races, resort activities, and indoor entertainment venues of all kinds provide plenty of excitement and warmth during the snowiest months. In the winter the average temperature is a brisk 32 degrees.
Dress in the Northeast Kingdom is decidedly informal and practical clothing prevails. Shoes should be low-heeled and designed to navigate unpaved parking lots, the norm in the Kingdom. The weather, like that throughout New England, can be changeable. A good rule of thumb is that the farther north or higher in altitude you go, the cooler the temperature.
Fall brings a welcome airy crispness to the Kingdom. During September and October, temperature in the daytime range from 50-70 F (10-21 C) and at night can sink to a frosty 30 F (-1 C).
Bring a mix of comfortable, casual clothes: trousers or skirts for women with long-sleeve, breathable fabric shirts or blouses along with a jacket or sweater. It is also a good idea to bring a light-weight coat or vest to ward off brisk breezes. Neat, casual attire is recommended for dinner. Jacket and tie are not required for dinner.
If you plan on hiking, include sturdy, rubber soled shoes as leather soles will be too slippery. Blaze orange is recommended when walking in remote areas during hunting season.
Snow is in abundance in the NEK and temperatures sink to below freezing for December through to March where daily averages range from 3-28 F (-16 to -2 C). Dressing in multiple, light-weight layers is the key to keeping warm in the rugged NEK winters. For skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating, ice climbing, or any other outdoor enthusiast, the goal is to stay warm and dry. Layering allows you to shed and add clothing as conditions or your exertion levels change. Start with long underwear that can wick moisture from the skin and move it away. A waterproof outdoor shell over fleece, with fleece weight varying depending on temperature, will help insulate you from the cold.
Frostbite happens when skin is exposed to temperatures below the freezing point. Guard vunerable extremities like fingers, toes and your nose with adequate coverage. Mittens are warmer than gloves, a full- face balaclava protects the sensitive face and warm boots are a must for extreme winter weather.
Weather is fickle here in the spring and can range from snow showers to balmy warm days. Water-proof fabics will keep you dry during the wet spring months of April and May. A good raincoat with hood, preferable made with Gore-Tex, will give you degrees of waterproofing and breathability.
Insect repellant is recommended.
The lazy, hazy days of summer in the kingdom offer locals and visitor alike the opportunity to bask in the sun. Temps on average fall between 55 and 79 F (13 to 26 C). The Green Mountains help keep humidity low so days are balmy and evening cool down. For instance, while summer days can be warm, bring additional warm clothing to layer on as needed in higher elevations.