Cheddar. Gouda. Curds. Vermont is a cheese lover’s dream. Small-batch mountain cheeses? No problem. Truffle-infused goat cheese? You bet your rind there is! In fact, the state is home to over 45 dairy farms producing more than 150 varieties of cheese – and you can sample them all on the Vermont Cheese Trail.
Are you ready to taste your way across the state? Check out this guide for some of the best stops.
Sage Farm Goat Dairy (Stowe)
It’s all about the goat cheese at this tiny sister-run farm in Stowe. Here, you can sample a variety of flavors of their seasonal, small-batch cheeses made from the farm’s herd of Alpine goats. At the self-serve farm store, savor the flavor of the maple banon, which is wrapped in sugar maple and grape leaves. Or, try the decadent Spuce, a bloomy rind cheese aged in tree bark. The farm also makes elegant chevre, morse camembert and feta. If you’re interested in learning more about the cheesemaking process, paid tours are scheduled throughout the year.
Boucher Family Farm (Highgate)
The 14th-generation, aptly named Boucher Family Farm produces a whopping 300 pounds of washed-rind, blue, and aged tomme-style (lower fat) cheese weekly. Bordering Canada in the rural town of Highgate, this farm specializes in unpasteurized cheese aged for at least sixty days. You can watch the magic on the family’s weekly cheesemaking tour before tasting the delectable raw-milk cheeses they’re known for, like the tangy Vermont blue cheese and smokey yet mild muenster.
Boston Post Dairy (Enosburg Falls)
Located in Enosburg Falls, Boston Post Dairy derives its name from the road that weaves through its property. Take a peek into the artistry behind the family-run farm’s cherished goat cheese in the on-site viewing room and watch the cheesemakers at work. In the farm’s retail shop, you can buy a variety of goat cheeses to take home, as well as other handcrafted cheeses, such as feta, brie and cheddar. Pick up some goat milk soap and maple syrup, too!
Billings Farm & Museum (Woodstock)
This farm and museum in the heart of rural Vermont is the perfect place to spend the day with the kids. Not only does this farm sell some of its delicious cheeses (the smoked cheddar is award-winning), but you can tour the farm, museum and meet the herds. Explore the pastures and check out the Farm Life Exhibits, where you’ll learn about life on the farm in the 1890s. You can even tour a restored farm manager’s house. In season, stop by the Farmhouse Scoop Shop for a delicious cone of house-made ice cream. Take a moment to shop at the Museum Gift Shop featuring locally made Vermont products and Billing’s delicious cheddar cheeses, such as the mild Butter Cheddar to the full-flavored Woodstock Reserve.
Plymouth Artisan Cheese Co. (Plymouth Notch)
Established by President Calvin Coolidge’s family, Plymouth Artisan Cheese Co. got its start in 1890 as the Plymouth Cheese Factory and, to this day, still uses the original curd cheddar recipe. Specializing in a wide variety of cheddar cheeses, the shop sells everything from black truffle cheddar to garlic peppercorn cheddar and – of course – the curds that started it all. If you want to extend your time in Plymouth, you can take a 15-minute drive to Camp Plymouth State Park for epic scenery and outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and horseback riding.
Norwich Farm Creamery (Norwich)
Norwich Farm Creamery is a grade-A creamery that makes all its products with full-fat milk from the award-winning Jersey cows at Billings Farm. Stop by the charming farm store – just look for the red barn-style building with no windows – and sample the creamery’s top items. From the sweet and creamy rice pudding to their chocolate milk made with only cocoa and sugar. The star of the show is the Norwich family specialty – ricotta cheese. And this isn’t your typical lasagna ricotta – it’s thick, rich and the perfect replacement for cream cheese or sour cream.
Blue Ledge Farm (Salisbury)
Specializing in goat’s milk cheese, the family-owned Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury produces eleven types of cheese – from fresh and creamy chevre to semi-aged and hard cheeses. The husband and wife duo behind the farm are passionate about sustainability, powering the property with solar panels. Stop by the farmstand and indulge in chevre flavors such as honey with orange, maple and fresh herb. After grabbing your goodies, enjoy a sun-soaked picnic at the nearby Branbury State Park.
Bridport Creamery (Bridport)
Tucked on the shores of Lake Champlain, Bridport Creamery is a family operation with a unique claim to fame: its very own cheese style. They call it ‘Swisserella,’ a mildly nutty cheese with a flavor profile similar to Swiss and a texture like creamy mozzarella. In addition to Swisserella, Bridport specializes in farm-fresh cheese curds in flavors such as garlic and dill. You can find a good selection at the on-site farm stand, but the owners recommend calling ahead if you want a specific flavor.
Far more than your average cheesemaking farm, Shelburne Farms is a 1,400-acre campus with eye-catching gardens, a charming inn for overnight visits, cheesemaking tours, and more than ten miles of walking trails. Shelburne Farms transforms the milk of its Brown Swiss cows into its signature cheddar cheese, which you’ll sample after embarking on a cheesemaking tour (available mid-May to mid-October). If you’re traveling with children, stop by the Children’s Farmyard to immerse your kids in farm life through fun guided activities like milking cows and feeding goats.
Vermont Shepherd (Putney)
Set in the picturesque countryside amidst lush sheep pastures, Vermont Shepherd is a 250-acre farm that’s home to 700 sheep throughout the year. While the farm doesn’t allow visitors, the store is open seven days a week, featuring soap, maple syrup, gelato (made from sheep’s milk), lamb meat, and a drool-worthy selection of small-batch mountain cheeses. In the summer, try the Verano – it’s sweet and earthy with notes of mint, thyme and clover. In the winter, the Invierno is a highlight with a spicy tang. You can even grab wedges smoked with wood from the farm’s apple trees.
Grafton Village Cheese Co.
The award-winning cheeses at Grafton Village Cheese Co. are made with raw milk, which infuses them with smooth and creamy qualities you won’t find in mass-produced cheese. You’re bound to taste the difference whether you opt for a cheddar variety (truffle cheddar, anyone?) or one of the cave-aged sheep cheeses. You can find these cheeses available for purchase at their Grafton Village storefront. Afterward, stroll the tree-lined streets of historic Grafton to check out the locally owned shops, restaurants, and pubs throughout the village.