The rugged, steep mountains of southwestern Vermont are a northern extension of the Taconic mountain range, which begins along the western border of Connecticut and the eastern border of lower New York.
Once known for its slate and marble production, the geology of this region produces white-rocked cliffs, limestone caves and deep, emerald green lakes and quarries (thus the name Emerald Lake).
In southern Vermont, the Taconics are paralleled on the east by the southern end of the Green Mountains. Running between these formidable ranges is the lovely “Valley of Vermont”, where Otter Creek flows north to Lake Champlain, and the Battenkill River, renown for its trout fishing and canoeing and kayaking opportunity, flows south. The vales of the Battenkill, Otter Creek, and Mettawee River and the adjoining corridors of Routes 11, 30 and 7 make for some world class bike routes as well. These routes have spectacular scenery but are best suited for intermediate to advanced riders.
Emerald Lake State Park has tent and lean-to camping, a large beach, swimming, fishing, boat rentals, concession stand and hiking trails. The Green Mountain National Forest with its extensive network of trails and remote camping opportunities, the Appalachian Trial, the Battenkill River, the village of Manchester, and Equinox Mountain are all local attractions.