Geography of Caledonia County, Vermont

Geography of Caledonia County, Vermont

Caledonia County, nestled in the northeastern corner of Vermont, is characterized by its picturesque landscapes, rolling hills, pristine rivers, and quaint villages. From its lush forests and scenic mountains to its tranquil lakes and meandering streams, Caledonia County offers a diverse natural environment that attracts outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and visitors seeking a peaceful retreat.

Geographical Overview:

According to Searchforpublicschools, Caledonia County is located in the northeastern part of Vermont, bordered by Essex County to the east, Orleans County to the north, Washington County to the west, and Orange County to the south. It covers an area of approximately 656 square miles (1,700 square kilometers) and is home to several municipalities, including St. Johnsbury, the county seat, and Lyndonville.


Caledonia County experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by four distinct seasons with cold, snowy winters and warm, humid summers. Winters are cold, with average low temperatures dropping below freezing from December through February, and average high temperatures ranging from the 20s to the 30s Fahrenheit (-6 to -1 degrees Celsius). Snowfall is common during the winter months, contributing to the region’s scenic winter landscapes and providing opportunities for outdoor recreation such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Summers in Caledonia County are warm and humid, with average high temperatures reaching the 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 21-28 degrees Celsius). The region experiences moderate precipitation throughout the year, with the highest amounts occurring during the summer months due to afternoon thunderstorms and frontal systems. Spring and fall are characterized by mild temperatures and vibrant foliage, making them popular seasons for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and leaf-peeping.

Green Mountains:

Caledonia County is part of the Green Mountains, a prominent mountain range that extends from the northern to the southern part of Vermont. The Green Mountains are known for their scenic beauty, rugged terrain, and diverse ecosystems, including hardwood forests, alpine meadows, and montane bogs.

The highest peak in Caledonia County is Burke Mountain, which rises to an elevation of 3,267 feet (996 meters) above sea level. Burke Mountain is a popular destination for outdoor recreation, with opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and skiing at the Burke Mountain Resort.

Connecticut River:

The Connecticut River forms the western boundary of Caledonia County, separating Vermont from the neighboring state of New Hampshire. The Connecticut River is the longest river in New England, flowing for approximately 410 miles (660 kilometers) from its headwaters in New Hampshire to Long Island Sound in Connecticut.

The Connecticut River serves as a vital waterway for transportation, recreation, and wildlife habitat in Caledonia County, providing opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking. The river is home to a variety of fish species, including trout, bass, and salmon, as well as numerous bird species such as bald eagles, osprey, and waterfowl.

Lakes and Ponds:

Caledonia County is home to several lakes and ponds that offer opportunities for water-based recreation and relaxation. Lake Willoughby, located in the town of Westmore, is one of the most scenic lakes in Vermont, known for its crystal-clear waters, towering cliffs, and pristine beaches. The lake is a popular destination for swimming, fishing, and boating, as well as hiking along the adjacent Mount Pisgah trails.

Other notable lakes in Caledonia County include Joe’s Pond, Harvey’s Lake, and Shadow Lake, each offering its own unique attractions and recreational opportunities. These bodies of water provide habitat for fish and wildlife, as well as opportunities for picnicking, birdwatching, and nature photography.

Rivers and Streams:

In addition to the Connecticut River, Caledonia County is intersected by several other rivers and streams that flow through the region’s scenic landscapes. The Passumpsic River, a tributary of the Connecticut River, flows through the heart of the county, providing habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species.

Other notable rivers and streams in Caledonia County include the Moose River, the Wells River, and the Nulhegan River, each of which contributes to the county’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities. These waterways are popular destinations for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking, allowing visitors to explore the serene beauty of Vermont’s countryside.

Parks and Natural Areas:

Caledonia County is home to several parks and natural areas that showcase the region’s diverse landscapes and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Groton State Forest, located in the southwestern part of the county, offers miles of hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and camping facilities, as well as opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming at several ponds and lakes within the forest.

Other natural areas in Caledonia County include the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, the Dog Mountain Trail, and the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center. These attractions provide opportunities for education, relaxation, and cultural enrichment, allowing visitors to experience the beauty and charm of Vermont’s countryside.

Caledonia County, Vermont, offers a diverse and scenic landscape characterized by its rolling hills, pristine rivers, and picturesque lakes. Its humid continental climate provides four distinct seasons with cold winters and warm summers, making it an ideal destination for outdoor recreation and relaxation. Whether exploring the trails of Groton State Forest, fishing in Lake Willoughby, or kayaking on the Connecticut River, Caledonia County invites residents and visitors alike to experience the natural beauty and rural charm of northeastern Vermont.

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