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years ago, the second mountain building period created Green Mountain peaks that were 15,000–20,000 feet (4,600–6,100 m) tall, three to four times their current height and comparable to the Himalayas.The geological pressures that created those peaks remain evident as the Champlain Thrust, running north–south to the west of the mountains (now the eastern shore of Lake Champlain).
For thousands of years indigenous peoples, including the Mohawk and the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki, occupied much of the territory that is now Vermont and was later claimed by France's colony of New France.
say that the mountains were called green because they were more forested than the higher White Mountains of New Hampshire and Adirondacks of New York; others say that the predominance of mica-quartz-chlorite schist, a green-hued metamorphosed shale, is the reason.
The Green Mountain range forms a north–south spine running most of the length of the state, slightly west of its center.
Vermont has a humid continental climate, with muddy springs, in general a mild early summer, hot Augusts; it has colorful autumns: Vermont's hills reveal red, orange, and (on sugar maples) gold foliage as cold weather approaches.
The rural northeastern section known as the "Northeast Kingdom" often averages 10 °F (5.6 °C) colder than the southern areas of the state during winter.