Vermont is the second smallest state in terms of population (it has 609,000 residents) and the sixth smallest in geographic area. Lake Champlain, the nation's sixth-largest freshwater body, lies at the northwest border with New York State and Canada. The state is split east-west by the Green Mountains, which are popular for recreational activities. The eastern border with New Hampshire is defined by the Connecticut River. Vermont is the only landlocked state in New England, which leads to its often being short-changed in guides to the region.
The state is extremely rural, its valleys littered with farms. Its largest city is Burlington, pop. 38,889. Among the state's major exports are cheese, maple syrup, marble, slate, and granite.
Tourism is also a very large industry in Vermont, as skiers travel from Boston, New York, Canada, and elsewhere to ski resorts up and down the Green Mountain spine during the winter. In summer, the many bed and breakfasts fill up with couples and families wanting to visit the state's small towns and wild areas. Vermont's autumn foliage is known for being the most spectacular in the country, and possibly the world. It occurs quite early -- usually mid-September to mid-October.