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The Great Northern Route

Maple Grove Farms

Taking a scenic alternative to the I-93 freeway east from St. Johnsbury, US-2 passes over the Memorial Bridge (1943) spanning the Passumpsic River. One mile east of the bridge you’ll find the Maple Grove Farms complex. Highlights include the maple museum (free samples!) and the so-called “World’s Largest Maple Candy Factory.” Vermont is the heart of maple-sugaring territory, which runs all the way from Maine to Michigan and up into Canada. Maple Grove Farms has been in business here since 1915, and it is the largest packager of maple syrup in the United States.

Concord

Near the New Hampshire border, US-2 heads across rolling rocky hills covered with forests, largely pine and birch, with a few scattered farms. This corner of the state, a recreational paradise of hills and lakes and few year-round residents, is known as the Northeast Kingdom. The road drops down into the narrow, pastoral valley of the Moose River before reaching Concord, which features a country store and a small historical society.

Lunenburg

Fifteen miles east of Concord, along the banks of the broad Connecticut River, Lunenburg is a perfect New England village of white clapboard houses clustered around a church—Vermont specializes in this species of quaintness.

From Lunenburg, you can take a highly recommended detour across the Connecticut River on the 266-foot-long Mt. Orne covered bridge, then proceed north along Route 135, rejoining US-2 at Lancaster.

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