The Shires of Vermont Byway

A Preview Tour

        The Shires of Vermont Byway


The Shires of Vermont Byway is named for the scenic region it passes through from Vermont’s southern border with Massachusetts to its northern point where it intersects with the Stone Valley Byway in the heart of Manchester. 

This ribbon of road, Route US7 from Pownal to Bennington, and Route VT 7A from Bennington to Manchester, is the historic stretch that has connected the communities of the north shire and south shire for centuries. Historically, a “shire town” was a county seat otherwise known as the governmental center of the county. 

Enriched by the waters of the famous Battenkill that runs through the “Great Valley”, The Shires is a popular four season destination for those seeking the authentic Vermont experience. 

Nestled between the Taconic and Green Mountains the region includes the historic towns of Bennington and Manchester and 15 quintessential New England towns and villages.  The Shires of Vermont Byway winds its way from south to north through the towns of Pownal, Bennington, North Bennington Village, Shaftsbury, Arlington, Sunderland, Manchester Village and Manchester Center for approximately 75 miles including side trips.

Already united by a common sense of place, history and culture, the people of The Shires of Vermont Byway’s region are grateful to live in and share with others the abundant recreational resources, proud agricultural heritage, rich arts and culture community and robust entrepreneurial spirit evident there. A wide range of culinary, lodging and shopping experiences await curious travelers on the byway and off as well. 

The same region that the likes of Green Mountain Boys leader, Ethan Allen;  presidential son, Robert Todd Lincoln; writer, Dorothy Canfield Fisher; illustrator, Norman Rockwell; poet,  Robert Frost, and Olympic Nordic sprinter, Andy Newell  called home, now beckons to byway travelers to discover for themselves why. 


For more information, please visit one of the Chambers of Commerce along the byway:

Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce

Manchester and the Mountains Regional Chamber of Commerce


Photos (top to bottom):

SILK ROAD COVERED BRIDGE, Bennington - There are five covered bridges along the Shires of Vermont Byway. Linking more than just the opposite banks of the river or stream, the bridges span time and progress.

THE ARLINGTON INN, Arlington - The Shires offer a wide range of lodging opportunities, from The Equinox Resort and Spa in Manchester, to numerous country inns, motels, hotels and tourist cabins. Visit the Chamber websites to learn more.

LAKE SHAFTSBURY STATE PARK, Shaftsbury - Enjoy this 84 acre property with a developed beach, nature trail, play area, and picnic area with rental canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats.