Vermont state parks and forests are ideal for a fun family vacation
Vermont 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
262 Shaftsbury State Park Road (Route 7A)
Shaftsbury, VT, 05262
Furnished cottage on the lake; group camping; boat rentals; swimming; pets allowed
Lake Shaftsbury State Park surrounding the lovely Lake Shaftsbury. Park has a furnished waterfront cottage for up to six people, with deck and grill and a group camping area with clusters of lean-tos. Also, a swimming beach, play area, and picnic area. A concessionaire rents canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats. The Healing Springs Nature Trail along the lakeshore is good for walking. People may rent the open pavilion with electricity, grills, tables, chairs, and a bathroom. It is wheelchair accessible. Open: Memorial Day-Labor Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
Healing Springs walking trail.
2278 Boulder Beach Road
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. This park is part of Groton State Forest. The Groton Nature Center is nearby and serves all the state parks in the Groton State Forest. Boulder Beach Park map
34 Gifford Woods Road
Killington, VT, 05751
Good hiking and access to Appalachian Trail; pets permitted, but not in cabins
The Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail meet at Gifford Woods State Park. Green Mountain National Forest and Coolidge State Forest, both nearby, also offer loop hikes. Wonderful views from the Deer Leap Mountain trail and beautiful waterfalls on Thundering Brook Trail.
in Vermont. Summer trail map.
Winter trail map.
5800 Woodstock Road (Route 4)
Hartford, VT, 05047
Walks along a magnificent glacial gorge; camping; pets permitted
The centerpiece of this park is the fantastic Quechee Gorge -- Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon. The Ottauquechee River flows through the gorge about 165 feet below Route 4. Next to the gorge, on Route 4, is Quechee Gorge Village, a fun place to shop for Vermont souvenirs.
The park contains 45 tent or trailer sites and 7 lean-to sites; two bathrooms with showers; and a sanitary dump station. Large enough for RVs. No hookups. Picnic area has a pit toilet and a hiking trail along the gorge. Open: Memorial Day to mid-October; day use hours, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Campground map and guide. Trail map.
6443 Mountain Road
Stowe, VT, 05672
Best for hiking & ice climbing; notch road not passable in winter; pets permitted
Smugglers’ Notch is a narrow pass through the Green Mountains. From the administration of Thomas Jefferson through the Prohibition period, the Notch was an important smuggling route between the U.S. and Canada. Smugglers’ Notch State Park was moved in 2003. The new campground features sites that are further spread out, a new bathroom that use alternative energy and easy access to Bingham Falls. Smugglers' Notch State Park has tent, RV and lean-to camping with hot showers, and is a favorite for those day hiking and backpacking the Long Trail or its side trails. Close to Stowe village. Season: Mid-May to mid-October.
Learn about hiking
at this park.
6750 VT Route 17 West
Addison, VT, 05491
On bluffs overlooking Lake Champlain; campground in meadow; water sports; bird watching
This is a quiet park on the shore of Lake Champlain. Good for both daytime and overnight visits. The park has a large, open campground, grassy picnic areas, and stone pavilion, which may be rented. Good location for bird watching. There are 70 sites including 24 lean-tos located in a meadow and under a stand of large trees. Flush toilets, hot showers, and a dump station are provided. Picnic area located on a bluff; pavilion for groups. Boating, fishing, sailing, and swimming are popular in Lake Champlain. Season & Hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Pets allowed except in picnic area.
3985 Route 5
Weathersfield, VT, 05156
On Connecticut River; popular for paddling, canoeing, kayaking; campsites; cabins with WiFi
Four cabins with WiFi, 17 tent sites and 6 lean-to sites on the Connecticut River. A bathroom with running water and hot showers. There is a picnic area, and three lean-tos in the group area. Canoes and kayaks are available. A trailer sanitary station is by the ranger's quarters. A small picnic shelter can be reserved for groups. Pets are allowed, except in cabins. Day use access to the Connecticut River and the Pinnacle Trail hike. Open: April 28-Columbus Day; day use hours: 10 a.m.-sunset.
Okemo State Forest map and guide.
3034 VT Route 30 South
Poultney, VT, 05764
Lake side camping; beach; boating, fishing; boat rentals; pets allowed except in day use area
The park is on the shore of picturesque Lake St. Catherine. There is a 61-site campground with 50 tent and trailer sites and 11 lean-to sites, flush toilets, hot showers, and a dump station; a nature center; two sandy beaches; a large grassy field with a playground and a snack bar; rowboat, canoe, kayak and pedal boat rentals; a boat launch for fishing or water skiing on the lake. A short hiking trail goes to an overlook of Birdseye Mountain. Anglers fish for panfish, bass, rainbow and brown trout, yellow perch and northern pike.
36 East Shore South
Grand Isle, VT
Many campsites; large sandy beach, swimming, shore fishing, sports fields
Located on a South Hero Island (also called Grand Isle), in the center of Lake Champlain, Grand Isle State Park is the most-visited campground in the state. The park has 117 tent or trailer sites, 36 lean-to sites, and 4 cabins. Rest rooms have running water and hot showers. There is a trailer sanitary station but no hookups. Some camp sites allow self-contained RVs. Swimming and shore fishing is allowed. Boat launching ramp for registered campers. Kayaks and rowboats for rent.
The Nature Center offers nature exploration, games, volleyball, horseshoes, and a play area. The park has a nature walk. Campers have free entry to the sand beach at Knight Point State Park (seven miles north) and Alburg Dunes State Park (19 miles north.
Season Hours: Mid-May to Columbus Day.
705 Route 9 East
Wilmington, VT, 05363
Camping and hiking to fire tower with magnificent views; pets allowed
Park name honors the wife of Gen. John Stark, who served in the Revolutionary War. The park has two camping areas of 23 trailer or tent sites and 11 lean-to sites. Bathrooms with showers. A pavilion with electricity, grill, and tables, is for rent. Hiking trails lead to the Mount Olga fire tower, for magnificent views. Season: Memorial Day-Columbus Day.
The Molly Stark Byway.
18 Ricker Pond Campground Road
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.
855 Coolidge State Park Road
Beautiful views; rustic character; camping; hiking trails
Coolidge State Park is near Plymouth Notch, the birthplace of President Calvin Coolidge and loved for its magnificent views. 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 with electricity, grills, fireplaces, and picnic tables is available for rent. There are miles of hiking trails and opportunities to see wildlife.
Summer recreation trails map.
3803 Lakeview Drive
North Hero, VT, 05474
Paddling is the main activity at this park
North Hero is a stop on the Lake Champlain Paddlers’ Trail
. The park is not staffed. There is a beach, but no other facilities. Open : Memorial Day-Labor Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset North Hero is a day use park; camping is not allowed. Pets are permitted. Park map and guide.
5425 Mount Philo Road
Charlotte, VT, 05445
Park on a mountain top has magnificent views; camping; hiking; pets allowed
This park is at the summit of Mount Philo, 968 feet above sea level. It is recommended for its marvelous views overlooking Lake Champlain Valley. Road to the park is steep and narrow; not for trailers. A camping area has 10 sites, flush toilets and hot showers. There are hiking trails from the mountain base to the summit.
The Mount Philo Trail enters the woods on the left of the park road and proceeds uphill to House Rock. A spur that heads rightward toward Devil’s Chair, an enormous boulder. The summit ledges and picnic area are a short, steep climb. Follow blue blazes.
Open : Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset
22 Cedar Mountain Road
Castleton, VT, 05743
Good for camping, swimming, fishing, boating w/ rentals; pets allowed in campground
Bomoseen State Park is in the Taconic Mountains. It covers 2,000 acres around Glen Lake. Forested land that includes the camping area that is Half Moon State Park. The campground contains 66 campsites, some in the woods, and some on the lake shore; flush toilets, hot showers, and a dump station. A large picnic pavilion is available for rent. Electricity, grills, picnic tables, restrooms, and wheelchair path.
There is boating and fishing in Lake Bomoseen and Glen Lake. The park has a swimming beach and a picnic area, snack bar, and rentals of canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats. There are several hiking trails
. Open: Memorial Day-Labor Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
4239 VT Route 232
This campground has 46 tent/trailer sites and 15 lean-tos. Seven sites allow horse campers. Bathrooms with hot showers. A dump station is available; no hookups. There is a play area and miles of hiking trails. Swimming is at Boulder Beach State Park.
Osmore Pond is a rustic pond; motorboats are not allowed. The pond has four campsites, a picnic shelter with restrooms. All picnic sites have a picnic table and a fireplace with a grill. Drinking water is available. Flush toilets are in the picnic shelter. There is a day use fee.
Osmore Pond is stocked with brook trout. Canoes and rowboats are available for rent. Hiking trails to Big Deer and Little Deer summits and Hosmer Brook Trail are accessible from the Osmore Pond Trail. This park is part of Groton State Forest.
96 Bellwater Avenue
Barton, VT, 05822
Swimming and boating in a glacial lake; cottage for rent; pets not allowed
Crystal Lake is a glacial lake surrounded by rough mountains. The beach area has a mile of sandy shoreline with a swimming area. The historic granite bathhouse has bathrooms, changing areas, and a concession stand. Also: picnic tables, charcoal grills, play areas, boats and canoes for rent. The Crystal Lake cottage is for rent; it accommodates up to six people. Open: Memorial Day-Labor Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
1826 Back Mountain Road
Windsor, VT, 05089
Great for hiking & hang gliding; pets permitted
This park is recommended for camping, hiking, and views. It has 39 tent or trailer sites and 10 lean-to sites. Two restrooms with plumbing and hot showers. There is a sanitary dump station for RVs (no hookups) and two picnic areas
The park summit is 2,800 high. Hang gliding takeoff spot. A stone hut has two grills that use charcoal; a picnic tables. Park is located on the Connecticut River Byway
. Open : May 20-October 20; day use, 10 a.m.-sunset
460 Marsh Farm Road (Route 236)
Enosberg Falls, VT, 05450
Great park for paddling and boating; many campsites; pets not allowed in day use area
At 1375 acres, Carmi is the fourth largest lake in Vermont. Fish species in the lake are northern pike, walleyes, and other warm water species. The southern end of the original lake is now wetland forests and a large peat bog. The state park includes over two miles of frontage on the shores of Lake Carmi.
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.
Open: Mid-May-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
142 State Park Road
Bennington, VT, 05201
Good camping, walking and hiking; lakes with boat rentals; pets permitted
Woodford State Park is at 2,400 feet, with the highest campground in Vermont. The park surrounds Adams Reservoir and is near Green Mountain National Forest. The local has several lakes and ponds.
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 for rent. There are several hiking trails, including a three-mile trail around the lake. Open: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
2008 Scout Camp Road
Ludlow, VT, 05149
One of Vermont’s top parks for paddling; beach; boat rentals; horse camping; walking trails
Recreational gold panning is allowed in Buffalo Brook. There is a group camping area and horses are allowed in this area. The area has lean-tos, pit toilets, tie-off station, a manure bin, and a field for activities.
There is a large picnic area, play area, sandy beach, horseshoe pits, concession, and boat rentals and four furnished rental cottages. A large enclosed picnic shelter with a kitchen and two smaller pavilion-style picnic shelters are for rent. Open: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
Okemo State Forest hiking guide.
48 Salmon Hole Lane
Tent and trailer camping; white water release; fishing; pets allowed
The park has 41 tent or trailer sites and 18 lean-to sites. Two rest rooms have hot showers. A picnic shelter and nature center are near the picnic area and swimming hole. A hiking trail follows the West River.
Every September the Army Corps of engineers releases water from the Ball Mountain Dam. The event draws many rafters, kayakers and canoeists. The West River is also a favorite spot for fishermen
Open: April 26-Columbus Day; day hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
See campground map.
See Trail guide.
434 Old Guildford Road
Brattleboro, VT, 05301
Camping, walking and hiking; near two historic byways; pets allowed
Fort Dummer State Park is in the Connecticut River Valley and along the Molly Stark Byway and the Connecticut River Byway. The campground has 50 tent or trailer sites and 10 lean-to sites and two bathrooms with hot showers. There is a sanitary dump station, but no hookups. Campers also can enjoy at picnic area, hiking trails and a large open field. Park is near the fun and culture-rich town of Brattleboro.
Connecticut River National Byway
Molly Stark Byway
118 Button Bay State Park Road
Vergennes, VT, 05491
Camping on Lake Champlain; great views; guarded pool; trails; nature center
Button Bay Park is on a bluff overlooking Lake Champlain. The open meadow camping area has 73 sites and 2 cabins. Flush toilets, hot showers, and a dump station are provided. The park has a picnic area, play area, and a swimming pool with lifeguards. Canoes, kayaks, and rowboats are for rent. Button Point Natural Area is a hardwood forest with trails and a Nature Center. Visitors may rent a large pavilion for up to 300 people with electricity, grills, picnic tables, and a bathroom. Open: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
Campground map and guide
Lake Champlain Byway
1467 Boulder Beach Road
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.
856 VT Route 12
Lake Elmore, VT, 05657
Good family camping; hikes and walks; lake swimming; pets but not on beach
This is a sweet park for families with little kids. Campground has 45 tent or trailer sites and 15 lean-tos. Two bathrooms have hot showers. There is a sanitary dump station; no hookups. Day use includes a sandy beach, walks to a fire tower, a beach house, concessions, boat rentals, restrooms. Play spaces have swings, a volleyball net and a picnic shelter. An open-air pavilion may be rented for group events. There is access to hiking trails to Elmore Mountain and its fire tower. There is a general store just across the lake.
Open : Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use, 10 a.m.-sunset.
321 St. John Road
Walking, wildlife viewing
This is an undeveloped state park on land donated to the state in late 2016. It is in the shadow of Mount Zion. There are walking trails and a beautiful Japanese garden. No visitor facilities. Pets are welcome.
Open: Year round, 10 a.m. to sunset.
2755 State Forest Road
Townshend, VT, 05353
Rustic camping; hike to the mountaintop; limit on people and vehicles per campsite; pets allowed
Townshend State Park is at the bottom of Bald Mountain and on the West River. The park looks has a picnic area, hiking trails, and a campground with tent platforms, for a rustic camping experience. The wooded campground has 30 tent or trailer sites and 4 lean-to sites. Two bathrooms (one with showers); a picnic shelter with a fireplace and three tables. There is a trail to the top of Bald Mountain for day hiking, with fantastic views. There is a limit of 6 people per site and one vehicle per site. Open: Memorial Day-Labor Day.
102 State Park Road
Island Pond, VT, 05846
Remote, rustic camping; fishing; paddling; swimming; boats for rent
Brighton State Park in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is in wild and remote area of forested mountains, streams, and lakes. Suited to fishermen, hunters, and outdoorsmen. Logging roads offer adventurous side trips into undeveloped areas.
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. Open: Memorial Day to Columbus Day; day use hours,10 a.m.-9 p.m.
44 Stillwater Road
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.
Groton State Forest Nature Trail.
3570 Lake Dunmore Road (Route 53)
Brandon, VT, 05733
Popular for hiking and swimming; pets allowed in day use area and campsites
Branbury State Park is on the shore of Lake Dunmore and at the base of Mount Moosalamoo. Camp sites includes 24 tent sites in a wooded area and 17 tent sites in a grassy field. Campgrounds have flush toilets, hot showers, and a dump station. Swimming and picnicking are popular from the sandy beach.
Pets are allowed only in the day use area and campsites. There are lots of hiking trails and mountain biking trails nearby. Fishing and boating is on Lake Dunmore. You can rent canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats. Open : Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use is 10 a.m.-sunset.
Campground map. Hiking
352 Mountain Road
Underhill, VT, 05490
Best for hiking and rustic camping; no trailers or RVs; pets permitted
Underhill Park is at an elevation of 2,000 feet. A campground has flush toilets and cold running water (no showers), picnic grounds, group camping area, and a log picnic shelter. The group camping area has seven rustic shelters, tent sites, and a pit toilet. The road into park is steep and unpaved; not recommended for trailers or RVs. A pavilion has a fireplace and picnic tables and is close to bathrooms. The park is best known for its hiking. Four trails travel to the summit ridge of Mount Mansfield.
Open: Memorial Day to mid-October; day use hours, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
284 Allis State Park Road
Brookfield, VT, 05060
Rustic camping, picnicking, hiking; free day use; pets allowed
This park is loved by people who want to get away from noise, activity, and convenience. The park, on an old farm, is on Bear Hill, where views allowed lookouts to watch for forest fires. Peaks visible from Allis State Park are Killington, Pico, Mount Ascutney, Camel’s Hump and Mount Mansfield.
There are 15 tent sites and 8 lean-to shelters; restrooms with hot showers; 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. Open: Memorial Day-Labor Day; open daily, 10 a.m.-sunset.
2714 Hathaway Point Road
St. Albans, VT, 05481
Swimming and boating; kayaks for rent; public boat ramp; pets not allowed
Located on the southern end of St. Albans Point, a long, narrow peninsula, Kill Kare Kamp State Park's centerpiece is a grand summer resort hotel built in the 1870s, and now a renovated museum. The south-facing swimming area has a mostly sandy bottom. There is a public boat launching ramp that reaches deep water quickly. Kayaks are for rent. Pavilions and function rooms are for rent. OPen : Memorial Day-Labor Day; day use hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
Over 100 years ago, Millstone Hill in Websterville (adjacent to Barre) was the site of more than 75 small granite quarrying operations, producing granite for monuments throughout the nation. During the 20th century, quarries consolidated and smaller operations closed. Quarries filled with water and the woods grew back. This community forest for the Town of Barre is on 355 acres of former quarry land. The town forest is part of a 70-mile walking and mountain biking trail network. Trails take you among the quarries, with great views and lots of evidence of the region’s industrial history. A Touring Center is located in a historic general store at 34 Church Hill Road in Websterville. A fleet of Jamis bikes is available for rentals.
177 Reservoir Road
Waterbury Center, VT, 05677
One of VT’s top five parks for paddling and boating; also, swimming, fishing; no pets
Waterbury Center State Park lies on a 90-acre peninsula of Waterbury Reservoir within Mount Mansfield State Forest. It is popular for boating, fishing, swimming, and picnicking. The park has picnic sites, tables, grills, a swimming beach, a nature trail, trailer boat ramp, boat rentals, concession area and restrooms. A wheelchair-accessible trail includes two fishing platforms.
The reservoir allows fishing, paddling, swimming, motor boating, jet skis, and water skiing. Open: Memorial Day-Labor Day; day hours, 10 a.m.-sunset.
Learn about the Peninsula Nature Trail
65 Emerald Lake Lane
East Dorset, VT, 05253
Great camping, swimming, paddling, fishing, walking, hiking; motor boats prohibited
This park is popular for water sports and hiking, as well as its wooded campground and swimming beach. Emerald Lake is good for swimming and paddling. Motor boats prohibited. Species for fishing include yellow perch, small mouth bass, and northern pike. The park is a favorite destination of hikers, with the Long and Appalachian trails nearby.
Campsites and lean-to sites are on the wooded ridge above the lake. Flush toilets, hot showers, and dump station provided. There is a beach with a snack bar and boat rentals. Picnic areas are nearby. Open: Memorial Day-Columbus Day; day use is 10 a.m.-sunset.
1621 Black Pond Road
Good park for camping, hiking, boating, paddling, fishing; no day use; pets allowed
Half Moon Pond Park is on wooded land in a sheltered basin wrapped around Half Moon Pond. This is a camping-only park; no day use.
The campground offers tent and lean-to camp sites and furnished cabins. Flush toilets, hot showers for a fee, and a dump station are provided. Pets are permitted, but not in cabins or cottages.
The park has a large trail system and two swimming beaches. Rowboats, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats are for rent (no motor boats allowed). The pond has excellent fishing for bass, panfish, and perch. Season: Memorial Day-Columbus Day