About the Northeast Kingdom

The Northeast Kingdom comprises the three counties at the northeast corner of Vermont. The region earned its name from a 1949 speech from the beloved Vermont governor George D. Aiken, who praised the region for its beauty and unique culture. Today, the Northeast Kingdom remains the most undeveloped region of Vermont, known for its rugged mountains and dozens of picturesque lakes. Traveling around the Northeast Kingdom with its natural beauty and tranquility, it is easy to imagine oneself transported to Middle-earth.

For this reason, we felt like the Northeast Kingdom was the perfect region to host our Mereth Aderthad. As most of us are creators or consumers of fanworks inspired by Middle-earth, we hope that steeping ourselves for a week in the breathtaking beauty of "Vermont's Middle-earth" will inspire us.

Natural Attractions

Mount Pisgah and Lake Willoughby in early autumn
Mount Pisgah and Lake Willoughby, a twelve-minute drive from our home base in Coventry.

Selected as a location for the National Geographic Geotourism MapGuide program, the Northeast Kingdom is renowned for its natural beauty. Traversed by the Green Mountains and known as the lake country for its dozens of glacial lakes and ponds, the Kingdom is like a journey to Middle-earth. The Northeast Kingdom has the lowest human population of any region in Vermont (itself the second least populated state in the U.S) and is more than 80 percent forest.

During the Mereth Aderthad, we will explore and enjoy this natural beauty with outings for all interests and ability levels. For the adventurous, we will climb mountains and paddle rivers, find hidden swimming holes and waterfalls--but we will also enjoy the lakes and mountains from the comfortable vantage point of the area's beaches and accessible trails.

Local Food and Drink

The local foods movement was born in the Northeast Kingdom town of Hardwick, Vermont, and continues to go strong throughout the state and especially the Northeast Kingdom. Our region is known for its cheeses and, of course, its maple syrup, and Kingdom restaurants are proud to serve locally produced foods. Some of these restaurants, like the famous Parker Pie, are destinations in themselves for many visitors.

With more breweries per capita than any other U.S. state, Vermont is renowned not just for its breweries but for its cideries and distilleries as well. The world-renowned Hill Farmstead brewery--four-time winner of Best Brewery in the World according to RateBeer--does business right here in the Kingdom, along with several other breweries and cideries.

Arts and Culture

Although rural here in the Kingdom, we value the arts, with local art galleries common in many of our towns and most weekends with a play or concert going on nearby.

As we begin to plan the Mereth Aderthad, we can plan outings to enjoy any of our local treasures!