Vermont - Geography

Geography

See also: List of counties in Vermont, List of towns in Vermont, and List of mountains in Vermont

Vermont is located in the New England region in the eastern United States and comprises 9,614 square miles (24,900 km2), making it the 45th-largest state. It is the only state that doesn't have any buildings taller than 150 feet (46 m). Land comprises 9,250 square miles (24,000 km2) and water comprises 365 square miles (950 km2), 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). 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 state's geographic center is Washington, three miles (5 km) east of Roxbury. 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; Camel's Hump, the state's 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 swampy wetlands.

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.

Read more about this topic:  Vermont

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