11 Most Beautiful Vermont Churches To Photograph This Fall

Stowe Congressional Church in Stowe, Vermont surrounded by fall foliage
"Stowe VT Community Church" by Shiva Shenoy is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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When it comes to photographing fall foliage in Vermont, few things can top a picture of a beautiful white church sitting among the foliage. Vermont is often considered one of the best states to see the leaves changing from green to stunning shades of red, orange, and yellow. The leaves typically begin to change color in mid-September and these colors stay around until late October. When it comes to photographing the foliage, there are many different locations to choose from. Vermont is home to tall mountains, quaint Main Streets, roaring waterfalls, and spectacular farms. But some of the most picturesque locations in the state are the churches and chapels.

Anyone who has driven around Vermont has probably been drawn to the churches and chapels that are scattered throughout the state. These structures usually are situated at the center of towns in prime real estate and stand taller than all other buildings around. Although they are popular among churchgoers, they are also popular among photographers seeking great photos. Photographers flock to the churches of Vermont during the fall to capture awesome photos and this blog post covers the 11 of the best Vermont Churches/Chapels to photograph this fall!

Stowe Community Church (Stowe, Vermont)

Community Church, Stowe, Vermont during the fall with foliage all around it
Community Church, Stowe, Vermont” by Jim Liestman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Address: 137 Main St, Stowe, VT 05672
Location Directions: HERE

The Stowe Community Church needs no introduction. This stunning white church sits right on Stowe’s busy Main Street and has for over 100 years. The Methodist, Universalist, and Congregationalist congregations of Stowe merged to become the Stowe Community Church in 1920. The building itself was built in 1863.

One reason why this church has become so popular among photographers is the many different photo compositions that can be taken of the church. The church is beautiful to view up-close from the road, but it can also be seen from many other vantage points including the nearby Stowe Recreation Path. Many photographers like to pull over in a small parking lot off Mountain Road and photograph the church with the hills behind it. No matter what angle you decide to photograph the church from, you will love the result!

New Hope United Methodist Church (Waits River, Vermont)

New Hope United Methodist Church (Waits River, Vermont) during the fall with foliage surrounding the church
Found Kodachrome Slide — Waits River, Vermont” by Thomas Hawk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Address: 2 Gendron Rd, West Topsham, VT 05086
Location Directions: HERE

The New Hope United Methodist Church, also known as the Waits River Church, is becoming a must-photograph spot among New Englanders seeking an amazing fall photo. The church is located on Gendron Road (VT-25) in Topsham, Vermont right near Waits River. Many photographers opt to walk down Pike Hill Road to capture the road leading up to the church with barns and foliage covered trees included! Don’t miss out on this true Vermont gem.

Peacham Congregational Church (Peacham, Vermont)

Peacham Congregational Church (Peacham, Vermont) during the fall with foliage surrounding the church
Idyllic Autumn” by artditommaso is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Address: 56 Church St, Peacham, VT 05862
Location Directions: HERE

Peacham Vermont is a popular town for photographers during the fall season. The town boasts beautiful hills, trails, farms, state forests, and the iconic Peacham Congregational Church. For more than 226 years, the Peacham Congregational Church has served as a symbol of Peacham’s religious history. It is the focal point of Peacham and a hub for social interaction. All are invited to worship on Sundays in the beautiful church that overlooks the Northeast Kingdom’s rolling hills. Only 650 people reside in Peacham, but the number of visitors spikes during the fall when photographers visit to capture the beautiful sights in town.

The Old Round Church (Richmond, Vermont)

The Old Round Church (Richmond, Vermont) during the fall with foliage covered trees all around
Round Church” by CRA1977 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Address: 29 Round Church Rd, Richmond, VT 05477
Location Directions: HERE

The Old Round Church in Richmond, Vermont was constructed in 1812-13 under the direction of a local craftsman named William Rhodes. The church was built to be a Town Meeting Hall and a place of worship for five Protestant congregations. The Old Round Church’s unique sixteen-sided design is perhaps the only of its kind. There are many different theories as to why the church has 16 sides. Some claim that it is so the devil cannot hide in a corner. Others believe that one side was built for each of the men who built the church. Visit during the fall to enjoy some beautiful foliage on trees surrounding the church!

Old First Church of Bennington (Bennington, Vermont)

Old First Church of Bennington (Bennington, Vermont) during the fall when foliage is at peak
First Church” by skerijayne is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Address: 60 Monument Ave, Bennington, VT 05201
Location Directions: HERE

The Old First Church of Bennington was established in 1762 making it Vermont’s first Protestant Church. The old Meeting House, constructed in 1763, and the current church, erected in 1805 and consecrated on January 1, 1806 both played a significant role in the early history of Bennington and Vermont. The church was dubbed “Vermont’s Colonial Shrine” by the Vermont Legislature in 1935 as a result. In 1973, the Old First Church of Bennington was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is conveniently located a short distance from Main Street.

Newfane Congregational Church (Newfane, Vermont)

Newfane Congregational Church (Newfane, Vermont) with fall foliage surrounding it
Church in Newfane, Vermont fall 2009” by chensiyuan is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Address: 11 Church St, Newfane, VT 05345
Location Directions: HERE

The Southern Vermont section of the state includes the small town of Newfane Vermont. The town’s terrain is varied, with wide valleys and tall hills. On the intervals and on the uplands, farmers discovered fertile soil for farming. A big carriage factory, two flour mills, two lumber mills, and producers of both leather and linseed oil were among the industries in operation by 1859. Various streams provided the water power for the mills. As Newfane thrived in the 19th century, the town saw a rise in buildings, many with Federal, Greek Revival, and Victorian architecture. The Newfane Congregational Church, built in the Gothic Revival architectural style in 1839, is one of the town’s landmarks. It features striking characteristics such as the sizable lancet (pointed arch) windows, accompanying shutters, and spire. The church is located in the valley which makes it a joy to photograph thanks to the rising hills behind it!

Christ Episcopal Church (Island Pond, Vermont)

Address: South Street, Island Pond, VT 05846
Location Directions: HERE

Christ Episcopal Church is another must-photograph Vermont church, especially during the fall season. The church is located along South Street in the village of Island Pond within the town of Brighton, Vermont. Photographers often love capturing the church because they are able to compose a photo with the church and Bluff Mountain in the background which is stunning during foliage season. The church also overlooks Island Pond which is a wonderful 600 acre lake.

Built in 1874, this simplified Gothic Revival chapel was created by the architect W. C Hodge from Coaticook, Quebec. The board-and-batten siding and steeply pitched gable roof cover the wood frame building. The shape of the main body of the church is repeated by a gabled main entry shelter. A triptych window is centered in the south gable end, and the fenestration is made up of triangular-headed, thin vertical windows that are symmetrically aligned.

The church’s southeast corner features a square bell tower that rises from an exposed quoined foundation to a modified cornice. Above the cornice, gablets that are centered with the faces of the town clock (erected in 1915) verge into the base of the polygonal spire, which is covered in copper shingles and has an ornate metal cross atop its pyramidal peak. The church is included within the Island Pond Historic District.

Waitsfield United Church of Christ (Waitsfield, Vermont)

Address: 4355 Main St, Waitsfield, VT 05673
Location Directions: HERE

Waitsfield United Church of Christ is a stunning historic, white chapel located in Washington County. The founding of the church dates back to the establishment of Waitsfield, Vermont. Early worship services were performed in Benjamin Wait’s barn who is the town’s namesake. The original Waitsfield United Church of Christ was built in 1796 and it became the first Congregational Church in Washington County.

The original church was built on the Town Common, the second church was built in 1856 on Mill Hill, and the current church was built in 1875 in the heart of Waitsfield Village. Although the church is nearly 150 years old, it looks brand new thanks to its beautiful renovation and re-Christening in 2018. The church is conveniently located near downtown and stands in a valley which makes it an epic structure to capture during the fall season when foliage is peaking.

Ryegate Corner Presbyterian Church (Ryegate, Vermont)

Address: 48 South Bayley Hazen Road, Ryegate, VT 05042
Location Directions: HERE

Ryegate is one of the smallest towns in Vermont with a population of just over 1,000 people as of the 2020 census. The town borders New Hampshire and primarily consists of farm land among the villages of South Ryegate, East Ryegate, and Ryegate Corner. Ryegate Corner Presbyterian Church is a stunning church to visit in the town and especially during the fall when the leaves are changing. Many photographers pass by Ryegate without knowing about this beautiful hidden gem!

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Wells, Vermont)

Address: 61 East Wells Rd, Wells, VT 05774
Location Directions: HERE

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is a gorgeous, tiny church located on East Wells Road in Wells, Vermont. The Vermont Episcopalians’ love of Gothic Revival is distilled into St. Paul’s. From a number of similar churches John Cain constructed, it has been kept the best. John Cain and his brother William started a joinery business in 1832. Along with St. Paul’s, John is also credited with the construction of churches in Pittsford (1837; RU11), Rutland (1833), East Danby (1838), Danby Four Corners (1840), East Dorset (about 1845), and Bethel (1846). Don’t miss out on visiting this beautiful church and capturing its beauty!

Strafford Meetinghouse (Strafford, Vermont)

Strafford Meetinghouse (Strafford, Vermont)
Found Kodachrome Slide –Strafford Town House, Strafford, Vermont” by Thomas Hawk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Address: 12 Brook Rd, Strafford, VT 05072
Location Directions: HERE

The Strafford Meetinghouse is technically not a church or chapel, but it is a must-see structure during the fall season. The meetinghouse is located in the historic district of Strafford Village which is made up of about 30 houses, places of worship, and businesses that were built before the middle of the 19th century. The majority of the buildings in Strafford are of Greek Revival architectural styles. Wood is the most common building material, and frame structures are the most prevalent. The meetinghouse stands right off the town green and it has been a meetingplace for townspeople for over two hundred years.

The meeting house was built in 1779 thanks to pew subscriptions and a unique municipal tax levy. According to a decision made by the town electors, the Strafford meeting house would be a two story frame building with a steeple and tower projecting from the center of the main front. The meeting house is a rectangular-plan, frame building with clapboard siding that has a high pitch gable roof and a square tower attached to the main (south) facade’s center bay. Except for the third level of the steeple tower, whose windows are eight-over-eight light with twin sidelights, the fenestration is double-hung sash type throughout. The two-tier, hexagonal steeple with spire on top of the steeple tower extends around 10 feet over the roof peak.

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Tom Riley

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