Vermont state parks and forests are ideal for a fun family vacationVermont state and local parks, along with the Green Mountain National Forest, have land, facilities, and equipment for every imaginable outdoor adventure for a fun family vacation or weekend getaway. Activities on state and local parks may include water play like swimming, boating, and fishing; hiking and biking; nature centers and wildlife viewing; family tent or RV camping; snowmobiling; and historic sites. Enjoy all the outdoor beauty and activity the parks have to offer, then bed down at a mountain resort, inn, or family lodging.
34 Gifford Woods Road Killington, VT, 05751 Phone: 888-409-7579
Good for hiking; access to Appalachian Trail; pets permitted, but not in cabins
Gifford Woods has 4 cabins, 22 tent or trailer sites, and 20 lean-to sites. Two bathrooms with plumbing and hot showers (for a fee). There is a trailer sanitary station for recreational vehicles, but no RV hookups. Ice and firewood for sale. A wooded picnic area and play area are near the ranger's quarters. Access to lots of short hikes.
Season: May 17-October 20
Located on the Crossroad of Vermont Byway
3570 Lake Dunmore Road (Route 53) Brandon, VT, 05733 Phone: 888-409-7579
Popular for hiking and swimming; pets allowed in day use area and campsites
Pets are allowed in the day use area and campsite, but not on beach or swimming area. Lots of popular nearby hiking trails and mountain biking trails. There is fishing and boating (Canoe, kayak, rowboat, and pedal boat rentals are available at the park) on Lake Dunmore. Season and Hours: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
Learn about Hiking at this park.
142 State Park Road Bennington, VT, 05201 Phone: 802-447-7169
Good for camping, walking and hiking; lakes with boat rentals; pets permitted
The wooded campground has 103 sites. Flush toilets, hot showers for a fee, and a dump station are provided. A small beach and picnic area are located near the dam. Rowboats, canoes, and kayaks are available for rent. There are several hiking trails, including a three-mile walking trail around the lake. Season & Hours: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
262 Shaftsbury State Park Road (Route 7A) Shaftsbury, VT, 05262 Phone: 802-375-9978
Furnished lakeside cottage; group camping; boat rentals; swimming; pets allowed
Healing Springs walking trail.
3034 VT Route 30 South Poultney, VT, 05764 Phone: 802-287-9158
Lakeside camping; beach; boating, fishing; boat rentals; pets allowed except in day use area
Campground map and guide.
Monument Hill Rd Hubbardton, VT Phone: 802-786-0060
Walking, wildlife viewing
Season and Hours: Open year round, 10 a.m. to sunset.
2008 Scout Camp Road Ludlow, VT, 05149 Phone: 802-228-2025
One of VT’s top parks for paddling; beach; boat rentals; horse camping; walking trails
On the north side of the brook there are a large picnic area, play area, sandy beach, horseshoe pits, concession, and boat rentals. Four furnished rental cottages are available. There is a large enclosed picnic shelter with a kitchen for large groups and two smaller pavilion-style picnic shelters, Fernwood and Wedding Grove. Season & Hours: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
Activities guide at Camp Plymouth State Park.
352 Mountain Road Underhill, VT, 05490 Phone: 888-409-7579
Best for hiking, rustic camping; no trailers or RVs; pets permitted
The park has a small campground with flush toilet and cold running water (no showers); picnic grounds; and a group camping area, and a log picnic shelter. The group camping area is on a level field and it has seven rustic shelters, two tent sites, and a pit toilet. The road into park is steep and unpaved. Not recommended for trailers, RVs or large tour buses. An open pavilion built in the 1930s seats 50 people and has a fireplace and picnic tables and is close to bathrooms. The pavilion does not have electricity.
The park is probably best known for its hiking. Four trails travel to the summit ridge of Mount Mansfield from this park. The high elevation and harsh climate have produced plants typical of the alpine tundra.
Season & Hours: Memorial Day to mid-October; day use hours, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Learn more about hiking at this park.
Learn more about camping at this park.
284 Allis State Park Road Brookfield, VT, 05060 Phone: 802-276-3175
Rustic camping, picnicking, hiking; free day use; pets allowed
There are 15 tent sites and 8 lean-to shelters; restrooms with hot showers and running water; picnic area and shelter; firewood for sale; hiking. Drinking water is available. Limited trash service is available. The log pavilion is for rent. It seats 100 people and has electricity and a restroom. Also: grills, fire places, and picnic tables. Hiking loops are nearby too. Season and hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day; open daily, 10 a.m.-sunset.
Nature Trail guide.
177 Reservoir Road Waterbury Center, VT, 05677 Phone: 802-244-1226
Rated one of VT’s top five parks for paddling and boating; also, swimming, fishing; no pets
See: Waterbury Reservoir Boating guidelines.
Learn about the Peninsula Nature Trail.
6750 VT Route 17 West Addison, VT, 05491 Phone: 802-759-2354
On a bluff overlooking Lake Champlain; campground in meadow; water sports; bird watching
Campground map and guide.
102 State Park Road Island Pond, VT, 05846 Phone: 802-723-4360
Remote and rustic camping; fishing; paddling; swimming; boats for rent
The campground sits on the undeveloped Spectacle Pond has 5 cabins, 61 tent or trailer sites, and 23 lean-tos, Bathroom have hot showers. A sanitary dump station is available. No RV hookups.
The park is located on Spectacle Pond, where vacationers can use a sandy beach and bathhouse. Also, the park has hiking trails, boat rentals, a natural history museum, and a playground. Season & Hours: Memorial Day to Columbus Day; day use hours,10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Campground map and guide.
Nature trail guide.
Trails take you among the quarries, with great views and lots of evidence of the region’s industrial history. Find information on quarrying history, the trails, and access to the forest at the Touring Center located in a restored historic general store at 34 Church Hill Road in the village of Websterville. A fleet of Jamis bikes is available for rentals.
5425 Mount Philo Road Charlotte, VT, 05445 Phone: 802-425-2390
Park at mountain top has magnificent views; camping; hiking trails; pets allowed
The Mount Philo Trail enters the woods on the left of the park road and proceeds uphill to House Rock. At the half-mile point, the trail joins a narrow spur that heads rightward toward Devil’s Chair, an enormous boulder. Soon after, the trail passes a lookout and the first views of the surroundings. The summit ledges and picnic area are a short, steep climb. Follow blue blazes.
Season & Hours: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset
96 Bellwater Avenue Barton, VT, 05822 Phone: 802-525-6205
Swimming and boating in glacial lake; cottage for rent; pets not allowed
1826 Back Mountain Road Windsor, VT, 05089 Phone: 888-409-7579
Recommended for hiking & hang gliding; pets permitted
The park entrance is at an elevation of 550 feet; from the entrance a road travels through a hardwood forest to the summit, at 2,800 feet in elevation. From the road, a 1-mile foot path takes hikers to another 344 vertical feet to the summit, with expansive views. Good views from a fire tower and Rbownsville Rock, a quarter-mile from the summit. Hang gliding takeoff spot.
Season & Hours: May 20-October 20; day use, 10 a.m.-sunset
A stone has room for up to three dozen people; two grills that use charcoal; a picnic tables. Near hiking and camping. Park is located on the Connecticut River Byway.
6443 Mountain Road Stowe, VT, 05672 Phone: 802-253-4014
Best for hiking & ice climbing; notch road not passable in winter; pets permitted
Learn about hiking at this park.
705 Route 9 East Wilmington, VT, 05363 Phone: 802-464-5460
Camping; hiking to fire tower with magnificent views; pets allowed
The Molly Stark Byway.
856 VT Route 12 Lake Elmore, VT, 05657 Phone: 802-888-2982
Good for family camping; hikes and walks; lake swimming; pets but not on beach
Day use includes a large sandy beach, walks to a fire tower, a beach house, concession stands, boat rentals, restrooms. There are wide, grassy expanses to play on, swings, a volleyball net and a picnic shelter. An open-air pavilion seat up to 100 people and may be rented for group events like reunions.
There is convenient access to several hiking trails to Elmore Mountain and its fire tower. There is a general store just across the lake and Lake Elmore is close to the village of Stowe.
Season & Hours: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use, 10 a.m.-sunset.
2755 State Forest Road Townshend, VT, 05353 Phone: 802-365-7500
Rustic camping; hike to mountaintop; limit on people and vehicles per campsite; pets allowed
65 Emerald Lake Lane East Dorset, VT, 05253 Phone: 802-362-1655
Best for camping, swimming, paddling, fishing, walking & hiking; motorized boats prohibited
The park surrounds 20-acre Emerald Lake, which is good for swimming and paddling. Motor boats prohibited. Species for fishing include yellow perch, small mouth bass, northern pike and other warm-water species.
The park is a favorite destination of hikers, with the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail nearby, and trails on Dorset Mountain.
One hundred campsites and lean-to sites are on the wooded ridge above Emerald Lake. Flush toilets, hot showers, and dump station are provided. There is a small beach with a snack bar and boat rental facilities (canoes, kayaks, row and pedal boats). Picnic areas on the hill and alongside the lake.
Season & Hours: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use hours: 10 a.m.-sunset.
48 Salmon Hole Lane Jamaica, VT Phone: 802-874-4600
Tent/trailer camping; autumn white water release; good fishing; pets allowed
Every fall -- usually on the fourth Saturday in September -- the Army Corps of engineers releases water from the Ball Mountain Dam. The event draws rafters, kayakers and canoeists from all over New England. The West River is also a favorite spot for many fishermen because of its combination of deep and slow moving water and its shallow, fast ripples.
The weight limit for the town's bridge leading into Jamaica State Park has been downgraded to 8 tons. Campers with large RV or trailer units should check their total weight. Season & Hours: April 26-Columbus Day; day hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
See campground map.
See recreational trails guide
See information on white water release.
36 East Shore South Grand Isle, VT Phone: 802-372-4300
Lots of campsites; large sandy beach, swimming, shore fishing, sports fields
The park has 117 tent or trailer sites, 36 lean-to sites, and 4 cabins. Rest rooms have running water and hot showers for a fee. There is a trailer sanitary station but no hookups. Half the camp sites can accommodate self-contained RVs. Lakeshore areas permit water access for swimming and shore fishing. There is a boat launching ramp for registered campers. Kayaks and rowboats are available for rent.
The Nature Center offers nature exploration, games, and entertainment. Play fields includes sand-court volleyball, horseshoes, and a play area. The park has a nature walk. Campers are allowed free entry to the sand beach at Knight Point State Park (seven miles to the north) and Alburg Dunes State Park (19 miles to the north.>
Season & Hours: Mid-May to Columbus Day
See campground map.
1621 Black Pond Road Fair Haven, VT, 05743 Phone: 802-273-2848
Good for camping, hiking, boating, paddling, fishing; no day use; pets allowed
The campground offers waterfront 50 tent campsites, 11 lean-to sites, and five furnished cabins, some on the edge of the pond and some deeper in the woods. Also, Tall Timbers Cottage, on the edge of the pond with its own private dock, offers all the creature comforts. Flush toilets, hot showers for a fee, and a dump station are provided. Pets are permitted, but not allowed in cabins or cottages.
The park has a very large trail system that includes short walks to full-day hikes.
There are two sandy beaches on the pond for swimming and sunning; rowboats, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats are available for rent (no motor boats allowed). The pond also has excellent fishing for largemouth bass, panfish, and perch. More fishing is at nearby Glen Lake and Lake Bomoseen.
Season: Memorial Day-Columbus Day
118 Button Bay State Park Road Vergennes, VT, 05491 Phone: 802-475-2377
Camping above Lake Champlain; great views; lifeguarded pool; trails; nature center
Campground map and guide
Lake Champlain Byway Map
State Parks Within Groton State Forest
State parks in this forest offer camping, water sports, hiking trails, Nature Center
2278 Boulder Beach Road, Groton, 802-584-3823
This park is located on the shore of Lake Groton. The day use area has 75 shaded picnic sites with tables and grills. There is 200 feet of beach and swimming area, a car top boat launch, play area, shelter with group facilities, three large parking lots, and a concession stand. All rest rooms have lavatories and flush toilets. Day use fees charged. Boulder Beach Park map.
New Discovery State Park & Osmore Pond
4239 VT Route 232, Marshfield, 802-426-3042
This campground has 46 tent/trailer sites and 15 lean-tos. Seven sites allow horse campers. Two bathrooms with hot showers. A dump station is available; no hookups. There is a play area and miles of hiking and multiple use trails. Swimming is available at Boulder Beach State Park.
Osmore Pond is a rustic pond where motorboats are not allowed, Access is through New Discovery State Park. The pond has four remote campsites, a picnic shelter with rest rooms and picnic sites.
All picnic sites have a picnic table and a native-rock fireplace with a cooking grill. Drinking water is available. Flush toilets are located in the picnic shelter. Firewood may be purchased at New Discovery Campground. There is a day fee for the use of the area.
Osmore Pond is stocked with brook trout. Canoes and rowboats are available for rental. Hiking trails to Big Deer and Little Deer summits as well as the Hosmer Brook Trail are accessible from the Osmore Pond Trail.
Ricker Pond State Park
18 Ricker Pond Campground Road, Groton, 802-584-3821
This campground has 27 tent/trailer sites, 23 lean-tos, 5 cabins and a waterfront rental cottage that sleeps up to 5 and comes with a canoe. Bathrooms wit hot showers for a fee. A sanitary dump station is available, but no hookups. There is a swimming beach, boat launch, shelter, and access to miles of hiking trails.
Stillwater State Park
44 Stillwater Road, Groton, 802-584-3822
This campground is located on Lake Groton. The park includes a campground with 60 tent/trailer sites and 19 lean-tos. All bathrooms have hot showers. There is a sanitary dump station available, but no hookups for RVs. There is a swimming beach, boat launch/dock facility, play area and miles of hiking and multiple use trails in the adjacent state forest. The Groton Nature Center is nearby.
Big Deer State Park
1467 Boulder Beach Road, Groton, 802-584-3822
This campground has 23 tent/trailer sites and 5 lean-tos. The bathroom has hot showers ($). A sanitary dump station is available at Stillwater, but no hookups. There's easy access to the Groton Nature Center, Boulder Beach, and miles of hiking trails.
Map of Groton State Forest
3985 Route 5 Weathersfield, VT, 05156 Phone: 802-674-5422
On the Connecticut River and popular for paddling, canoeing, and kayaking; campsites; cabins with WiFi
Wilgus State Park is located on the Connecticut River Byway. Season & Hours: April 28-Columbus Day; day use hours: 10 a.m.-sunset.
2714 Hathaway Point Road St. Albans, VT, 05481 Phone: 802-534-6021
Seimming and boating from a peninsula; kayaks for rent; public boat ramp; pets not allowed
5800 Woodstock Road (Route 4) Hartford, VT, 05047 Phone: 802-295-2990
Views and walk along magnificent glacial gorge; camping; pets permitted
The park is on the property of an old wool processing mill. The present campground is on the old mill’s recreation area. The park contains 45 tent or trailer sites and 7 lean-to sites; two bathrooms with showers; and a sanitary dump station. Most sites are large enough for large RVs. No RV hookups. There is a picnic area with a pit toilet and a hiking trail along the gorge. Season & Hours: Memorial Day-mid-October; day use hours, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. The park is located on the Connecticut River Byway.
Next to the gorge, on Route 4, is Quechee Gorge Village, a fun place to shop for Vermont souvenirs. Stores in the village include the Cabot Quechee Store, Danforth Pewter, Vermont Toy & Train Museum, Vermont Spirits, The Quechee Diner, and Yankee Candle.
Campground map and guide
434 Old Guildford Road Brattleboro, VT, 05301 Phone: 802-254-2610
Camping, walking & hiking; near two historic byways; pets allowed
Connecticut River National Byway
Molly Stark Byway
855 Coolidge State Park Road Plymouth, VT Phone: 802-672-3612
Beautiful views; rustic character; camping; hiking trails
The wooded campground has 36 lean-to sites and 26 tent or trailer sites; four bathrooms with hot showers; a large picnic shelter; a nature center, a play area, volleyball, and a horseshoe pit. There is a sanitary dump station for RVs, but no hookups. An open pavilion is available for rent. It seat up to 70 people and has electricity, grills, fireplaces, and picnic tables. Can be reached by wheelchairs. There are miles of hiking trails and opportunities to see wildlife, like owls, moose, and bears.
Summer recreation trails map.
3803 Lakeview Drive North Hero, VT, 05474 Phone: 802-372-8727
Paddling is the major activity at this park
460 Marsh Farm Road (Route 236) Enosberg Falls, VT, 05450 Phone: 802-933-8383
One of VT’s top 5 parks for paddling & boating; lots of campsites; pets not allowed in day use area
For campers, there are 140 tent or trailer sites, 35 lean-to sites, and two cabins. Bathrooms have running water and hot showers. There is a trailer dump station but no hookups. Most sites can fit self-contained RVs. Two camping areas each have their own swimming beaches. There is a day use beach with a nature center, bathrooms and boats for rent.
Season & Hours: Mid-May-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset
Lake Carmi campground map.
22 Cedar Mountain Road Castleton, VT, 05743 Phone: 802-265-4242
Good for camping, swimming, fishing, boating (boat rentals); pets allowed in campground
There is boating and fishing in Lake Bomoseen and Glen Lake. The park has a beach for swimming and a picnic area. Also at the swimming beach are a snack bar, rentals of canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats. Several hiking trails, including one to Half Moon State Park, provide great hiking opportunities. Season & Hours -- Memorial Day-Labor Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.