9,620 sq mi
| University of Vermont
Burlington, Montpelier, Woodstock, Manchester, Bennington
Lake Champlain, Billings Farm & Museum, Montshire Museum of Science, Sugarbush Resort, Hildene
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Vermont is the 6th smallest in area and the 2nd least populous of the 50 United States. It is the only New England state not bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Champlain forms half of Vermonts western border, which it shares with the state of New York. The Green Mountains are within the state. Vermont is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east across the Connecticut River, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north.
Originally inhabited by two major Native American tribes (the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki and the Iroquois), much of the territory that is now Vermont was claimed by France during its early colonial period. France ceded the territory to the Kingdom of Great Britain after being defeated in 1763 in the Seven Years War (in the United States, referred to as the French and Indian War). For many years, the nearby colonies, especially New Hampshire and New York, disputed control of the area (then called the New Hampshire Grants).
Settlers who held land titles granted by these colonies were opposed by the Green Mountain Boys militia, which eventually prevailed in creating an independent state, the Vermont Republic. Founded in 1777 during the Revolutionary War, the republic lasted for fourteen years. Aside from the Thirteen Colonies, Vermont is one of only four U.S. states (along with Texas, Hawaii, and California) to have been a sovereign state in its past. In 1791, Vermont joined the United States as the 14th state, the first in addition to the original 13 colonies. Vermont was the first state to partially abolish slavery while still independent.
Vermont is the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States. The state capital is Montpelier with a population of 7,855, making it the least populous state capital in the country. Vermonts most populous city is Burlington, with a 2013 population of 42,284, which makes it the least populous city in the United States to be the largest city within a state. Burlingtons metropolitan area has a population of 214,796. Vermont is one of the most racially homogeneous states; 94.3% of its population identified as white in 2010.
Vermont is located in the New England region in the eastern United States and comprises 9,614 square miles (24,900 km
2), making it the 45th-largest state. It is the only state that does not have any buildings taller than 124 feet (38 m). Land comprises 9,250 square miles (24,000 km
2) and water comprises 365 square miles (950 km
2), making it the 43rd-largest in land area and the 47th in water area. In total area, it is larger than El Salvador and smaller than Haiti.
The west bank of the Connecticut River marks the eastern (New Hampshire) border of the state (the river is part of New Hampshire). 41% of Vermonts land area is part of the Connecticut Rivers watershed.
Lake Champlain, the major lake in Vermont, is the sixth-largest body of fresh water in the United States and separates Vermont from New York in the northwest portion of the state. From north to south, Vermont is 159 miles (256 km) long. Its greatest width, from east to west, is 89 miles (143 km) at the Canadian border; the narrowest width is 37 miles (60 km) at the Massachusetts line. The width averages 60.5 miles (97.4 km). The states geographic center is approximately three miles (5 km) east of Roxbury, in Washington County. There are fifteen US federal border crossings between Vermont and Canada.
The origin of the name "Vermont" is uncertain, but likely comes from the French les Verts Monts, meaning "the Green Mountains". Thomas Young introduced it in 1777. Some authorities say that the mountains were called green because they were more forested than the higher White Mountains of New Hampshire and Adirondacks of New York; others say that the predominance of mica-quartz-chlorite schist, a green-hued metamorphosed shale, is the reason. The Green Mountain range forms a north–south spine running most of the length of the state, slightly west of its center. In the southwest portion of the state are the Taconic Mountains; the Granitic Mountains are in the northeast. In the northwest, near Lake Champlain, is the fertile Champlain Valley. In the south of the valley is Lake Bomoseen.
Several mountains have timberlines with delicate year-round alpine ecosystems, including Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in the state; Killington Peak, the second-highest; Camels Hump, the states third-highest; and Mount Abraham, the fifth-highest peak. About 77% of the state is covered by forest; the rest is covered in meadow, uplands, lakes, ponds, and marshes.
Areas in Vermont administered by the National Park Service include the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (in Woodstock) and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
Between 8500 and 7000 BCE, at the time of the Champlain Sea, Native Americans inhabited and hunted in present-day Vermont. During the Archaic period, from the 8th millennium BCE to 1000 BCE, Native Americans migrated year-round. During the Woodland period, from 1000 BCE to 1600 CE, villages and trade networks were established, and ceramic and bow and arrow technology was developed. In the western part of the state there lived a small population of Algonquian-speaking tribes, including the Mohican and Abenaki peoples. Sometime between 1500 and 1600 CE, the Iroquois, based in present-day New York, drove many of the smaller native tribes out of Vermont, later using the area as a hunting ground and warring with the remaining Abenaki. The population in 1500 CE was estimated to be around 10,000 people.
In 2007, Vermont was ranked by Forbes magazine as 32nd best among states in which to do business. It was 30th the previous year. In 2008, an economist said that the state had "a really stagnant economy, which is what we are forecasting for Vermont for the next 30 years." In May 2010, Vermonts 6.2 percent unemployment rate was the fourth lowest in the nation. This rate reflects the second sharpest decline among the 50 states since the prior May.
Vermont festivals include the Vermont Maple Festival, Festival on the Green, The Vermont Dairy Festival in Enosburg Falls, the Apple Festival (held each Columbus Day Weekend), the Marlboro Music Festival, and the Vermont Brewers Festival. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra is supported by the state and performs throughout the area.
Since 1973 the Sage City Symphony, formed by composer Louis Calabro, has performed in the Bennington area. In 1988 a number of Vermont-based composers including Gwyneth Walker formed the Vermont Composers Consortium, which was recognized by the governor proclaiming 2011 as The Year of the Composer.
The Brattleboro-based Vermont Theatre Company presents an annual summer Shakespeare festival. Brattleboro also hosts the summertime Strolling of the Heifers parade which celebrates Vermonts unique dairy culture. The annual Green Mountain Film Festival is held in Montpelier.
In the Northeast Kingdom, the Bread and Puppet Theatre holds weekly shows in Glover in a natural outdoor amphitheater.
Vermonts most recent best known musical talent was the group Phish, whose members met while attending school in Vermont and spent much of their early years playing at venues across the state.
The Vermont-based House of LeMay performs several shows a year, hosts the annual "Winter is a Drag Ball," and performs for fundraisers.
Examples of folk art found in Vermont include the Vermontasaurus in Post Mills, a community in Thetford.
The rate of volunteerism in Vermont was eighth in the nation with 37% in 2007. The state stood first in New England. In 2011, Vermont residents were ranked as the healthiest in the country. Also in 2011, Vermont was ranked as the fourth most peaceful state in the United States. In 2011, Vermont residents were ranked as the sixth most fit/leanest in the country. Vermonters were the second most active citizens of state with 55.9% meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions physical activity requirements. Vermont was ranked as the twelfth happiest state in the country.
There are a number of museums in the state.