Although Vermont’s polychrome fall foliage didn’t get that way by being tie-dyed, there was a time when you might have thought such was the case in Montgomery. Located a scant eight miles south of the Canadian border, the town was a magnet for counterculture types back when the counter around which local culture revolved was a long marble one in a ’70s watering hole named Kilgore’s, after the Vonnegut character Kilgore Trout.
The saloon is no more, although its former home, a big Victorian ark of a building, still dominates Montgomery Center’s lone business block. The hippie aura is likewise mostly a memory, and today Main Street is home to two elegant hostelries, The Inn and the Phineas Swann Bed & Breakfast. Either might well serve as a base for exploring this corner of Vermont, where Franklin County’s dairy lands meet the forests of the Northeast Kingdom, all in the shadow of one very big mountain, Jay Peak.
If there’s one thing that shouts “Vermont” more than fall foliage, it’s covered bridges. Montgomery reputedly boasts the most of any town in the nation—six in all. I headed out early from Montgomery Center to look in on my favorite, the West Hill Bridge on remote Creamery Bridge Road (the town office has a map of all six, handy even for us locals), and found that it had been spiffily restored since I last saw it. No longer looking neglected and almost spooky, it wore its new wooden sheathing in calm contrast to the riot of surrounding color. Continue To Yankee Magazine
Feature Image By Sara Grey