Walking or hiking Vermont trails and mountains makes a great vacation
You will find many wonderful walks and hikes for all abilities in Vermont’s Green Mountains, Lake Champlain Islands, and throughout the state’s towns. Browse the listings below for the right walk for you, your family, and children. Walking is a romantic getaway, too.
The Long Trail and the Green Mountain Club
The 272-mile Long Trail was built in 1910 by the Green Mountain Club. The Trail has sections for beginner, average, and expert hikers. Trails are rated as easy, moderate, and difficult, and by other factors. The Long Trail follows the Green Mountains and crosses Stratton Mountain, Mount Mansfield, Jay Peak, and Camels Hump, with a side trail into the Northeast Kingdom. It coincides with the Appalachian Trail for 100 miles. The Green Mountain Club operates a visitor center on Route 100 in Waterbury Center, providing information, merchandise, access to the Short Trail, a picnic area, and toilets. Please carry in and carry out all belongings. 802-244-7037.
The Cross Vermont Trail will be a 90-mile path connecting towns from Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River. Thirty miles of the trail are open to the public. Maps and guides to the trail are posted online. Existing parts of the trail go near Wells River, Newbury, Montpelier, Middlesex, Berlin, Waterbury, Duxbury, Williston, and Burlington. 802-498-0079
Preparing to Walk:
- Always take a map and a compass.
- Mountain weather changes quickly! Check the weather forecast. If a storm is coming, get off the summit.
- Weather at the peaks is colder, windier, and wetter. Dress with a layer close to your body for wicking sweat from your skin, a layer for warmth, and a top layer like Gore-Tex to block wind.
- Wear sturdy hiking boots and good socks.
- Take more liquid than you think you’ll need. Also, power bars, string cheese, bananas, raisins, nuts.
- Take a first-aid kit, a flashlight, a pocketknife, and a whistle.
On the Trail:
- Treat all water by boiling, filtering, or chemically treating.
- Carry out all of your trash (including biodegradable items like orange peels).
- Use the privy if the site has one. Otherwise, dispose of waste at least 75 paces away from water.
- Give wild animals plenty of room.
- Build a fire only in an established fire pit.
- If you’re staying overnight, use the lodges or designated tenting sites.
103 U.S. Route 4 Mendon-Killington, VT, 05751 Phone: 802-353-2954
Get your hike on! And don’t miss dinner!
A Top Ten Wellness Retreat Pick by: MSN, Huffington Post, The Active Times, Travel + Leisure
195 Mountain Top Road Chittenden, VT, 05737 Phone: 802-483-2311
Lake, mountain, meadow views to delight trekkers
707 Kipling Road Dummerston, VT, 05301 Phone: 802-254-6868
Town, Park and Mountain Walks Meander Nearby
Along Mountain Road (Route 108) Stowe, VT Phone:
The 1.8-mile Quiet Path is an extension of the Stowe Rec Path for walkers and joggers only. The unpaved surface crosses parts of the Mayo Farm. Parking areas for the Quiet Parth of on Mayo Farm Road, Weeks Hill Road, and Cemetery Roads offer easy access to the Quiet Path. Dogs allowed off leash.
Slopes of Mount Equinox Manchester, VT Phone: 802-366-1400
Entry Points. There are two main entry points to the Equinox Preserve lands. The green entrance gate at the designated parking to the Red Gate Trail is the principal entrance. To reach it, drive west on West Union Street (just south of Burr & Burton Academy on Prospect Street in Manchester Village). Turn right at the end of paved portion toward the town’s water tank. The gate is a short distance below the Red Gate Trail. A second entry is through the Southern Vermont Arts Center, during business hours.
1826 Back Mountain Road Windsor, VT, 05089 Phone: 888-409-7579
Great for hiking & hang gliding; pets permitted
See a full description of Mount Ascutney State Park.
Molly Stark State Park, 705 Vermont 9 Wilmington, VT, 05363 Phone: 802-464-5460
One easy and more moderate walk, 0.20 to 1.70 miles; easy walk is good for kids
From the park entrance, follow signs to the easy and kid-friendly Nature Center Spur Trail for a 20-minute walk of 0.20 mile or the moderate-rated Mount Olga Trail walk, which is 1.70 miles and 1.5 hours of walking, to a fire tower.
1621 Black Pond Road Hubbardton, VT Phone: 802-273-2848
Family and kid-friendly camping park has lots of trails; good trail map
The Faulkner Trail -- The walk is about 30 minutes for the average hiker and provides a magical view of Woodstock. Near the top the trail gets steep, narrow and a bit tricky for about 100 yards.
Directions: From the Town Green, walk over the Covered Middle Bridge to River Street. Go straight on to Mountain Avenue, which will bear left, as a dirt road. Enter Faulkner Park, just beyond the Faulkner Mansion. The paths up the mountain are easily accessible from this park and provide a series of switchbacks to the top.
River Street Cemetery Trail -- A less traveled trail with fewer markings. This trail will take you past the Swift Water Girl Scout cabin and up to the Link Trail. Or you may bear right to walk to the trails at the Marsh Billings Rockefeller Historic National Park.
Directions: From the Green walk over the Covered Middle Bridge to River Street. Go right onto River Street and walk until you see the River Street Cemetery on your left. Walk to the very end of the stone wall and turn left onto the trail through a stand of pines.
Prosper Road Trail Head -- This is an easy walk on wide carriage roads. There is parking. Maps are often available.
Directions: Drive from Woodstock heading north on Route 12 about 1.5 miles and watch for the small green sign "To West Woodstock". Turn left on Proper Road and head up this dirt road about 1.3 miles to a parking area in a stand of pine trees on your left. You can leave your car there during the day, but not overnight.
Brighton State Park, 102 State Park Road Island Pond, VT, 05846 Phone: 802-723-4360
Easy loops of 0.25 to 0.50 mile, with guide to natural sights; good for kids
All trails have woodland views and are easy, from 0.25 to 0.50 mile. They are called the Red Pine, Main, Shore trails, and the Loggers Loop. Fun for nature watchers of all ages.
65 Emerald Lake Lane East Dorset, VT, 05253 Phone: 802-362-1655
Best for camping, swimming, paddling, fishing, walking & hiking; motorized boats prohibited
Directions to the trailhead: Starting in the town of Manchester, from Route 7A, turn east on Depot Street (Routes 11/30) and drive for about one half mile, turning right on Richville Road. At the post office, turn left on East Manchester Road and cross beneath Route 7. After the underpass, turn right on the Lye Brook Falls Access Road (the sign might say Glen Road, but there is another sign indicating Lye Brook Falls access) and follow it to the end and the park.
856 VT Route 12 Lake Elmore, VT, 05657 Phone: 802-888-2982
Mix of easy and moderate walks 0.5 to 1.25 miles; some good for kids
Two trails in the park are rated moderate to difficult, and not for children. Elmore Mountain Trail (also called Fire Tower Trail) is 1.25 miles, ending at a fire tower with spectacular views of the Presidential Range in New Hampshire to Jay Peak and Mount Mansfield in Vermont. The Balancing Rock Trail is 0.5 miles through woodlands and along ledges, leading to a cool boulder balancing on its tip.
Mountain Brook Nature Trail guide.
517 Old Guilford Road Guilford, VT, 05301 Phone: 802-254-2610
Easy 0.5 to 1-mile walks; great views; good for kids
Sunrise Trail is a 1-mile loop trail across level and slightly sloping ground. Views about halfway along the trail, which is wooded the whole way. Sunset Trail is a 0.5 mile loop trail on the western side of the park, starting near the entrance and passing through the play field. The remains of the Boyden Farm, dating form the 1880s, can be seen along this trail. Farm relics include stone walls, a small shed and farmhouse. Broad Brook Trail. This 0.5 mile trail descends from the campground to a popular swimming hole on Broad Brook. The trail is steep in sections, and therefore is a much more strenuous hike than the other trails.
284 Allis State Park Road Brookfield, VT, 05060 Phone: 802-276-3175
Rustic camping; picnicking, hiking; free day use; pets allowed
An interested Nature Trail, accompanied by a detailed online guide, describes trees and other plants and wildlife.
See full description of Allis State Park.
Off Garvin Hill Road Hartland, VT Phone:
Directions: From I-89 take Exit 1 for Route 4 west toward Woodstock and Rutland. Drive 10.4 miles and watch for the place where Route 4 makes a sharp 90-degree bend to the right. At that bend, turn left on Hartland Hill Road. Drive 1.2 miles and bear right onto Garvin Hill Road. Drive another 1.2 miles and look for the Nature Conservancy parking area. The trail is on the right, just beyond the pull off.
6443 Mountain Road Stowe, VT, 05672 Phone: 802-253-4014
Moderate to difficult trails in high mountains; not for children
See trail maps.
See general description of this park.
Off Route 30 Brattleboro, VT Phone:
Solar Hill off Western Avenue, behind Solar Hill Yoga and adjacent to the Neighborhood School House
Upper Dummerston Road before the I-91 overpass
Retreat Farm past the farmstead, the trail climbs the hill next to the old blacksmith shop
Retreat Meadows Trail across from the Retreat Farm, on Linden Street
The Woodlands Interpretive Trail is a moderate one-mile loop reached from Solar Hill trailhead, located off Western Avenue (adjacent to the Neighborhood School House). The Woodlands Interpretive Trail features 18 placards that point out interesting natural aspects of the trail for visitors.
274 Raymond Road Colchester, VT, 05446 Phone: 802-893-5210
Five easy or moderate walks; 0.25 to 1.50 miles; some good for kids
The park’s trails offer three loops and a variety of hiking combinations ranging from 0.6 miles to 3.5 miles. Most are rated moderate difficulty; the Burns and Allen Trails are rated easy. Views of the lake, ridges, and distant mountains. Parking is next to the park office at the entrance to the property. Pets are welcome; proof of rabies vaccination is required. The Burns, Muhley, and Island View trails are designated off-leash areas.
34 Gifford Woods Road Killington, VT, 05751 Phone: 888-409-7579
Good hiking; access to Appalachian Trail; pets permitted, but not in cabins
More about the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. Summer trail map. Winter trail map.
See full description of Gifford Woods Park.
5425 Mount Philo Road Charlotte, VT, 05445 Phone: 802-425-2390
Park on a mountain top has magnificent views; camping; hiking; pets allowed
See a full description of Mount Philo State Park.
352 Mountain Road Underhill, VT, 05490 Phone: 802-899-3022
Trails are moderate to difficult, to the summit of Mount Mansfield; not for kids; entrance road does not accommodate RVs, trailers, large buses
Vermont’s Long Trail crosses the summit ridge and provides many hiking loops on both slopes of the mountain. The ridgeline is above tree line, and plants in this area are of the alpine tundra varieties. The ridge offers views of Lake Champlain and the mountains of New York.
Hiking information and trail maps are available at the park headquarters. See general description of this park.
44 Knight Point Road North Hero, VT, 05474 Phone: 802-372-8389
Easy walk; one mile; good for kids
The Lake Champlain Islands are the closest image of Heaven you are likely to find anywhere. Twisty roads through rural areas and small towns offer beautiful views of the lake and distant mountain tops on all sides.
Park HQ and Nature Center, 44 Stillwater Road (off Route 232) Groton, VT Phone: 802-584-3822
Several easy hikes of 0.25 to 3 miles; good for kids
Kettle Pond Trail and Kettle Pond Portage Trail. This moderate walk goes around a secluded lake. Trail leaves the parking lot off VT Route 232. The trail divides and goes to the water's edge. At the far end and south side of the pond, the trail is rocky and wet. Ends at Kettle Pond camping area. (3 miles)
Owls Head Trail. An easy walk to a scenic vista of Lake Groton, Kettle Pond, and the Green Mountains. Trail starts off the road from New Discovery to the Osmore Pond scenic area. Level to intermediate terrain. Bypassing a swampy area, trail descends and then climbs. (1.5 miles)
Montpelier Wells River Rail Trail. Good place for walking, bicycling or horseback riding. Gradual, 7-mile grade through the state forest. The Rail Trail can be reached at Rickers Pond campground, the Overlook parking area, Boulder Beach Road, the Northern parking area on VT Route 232 near New Discovery, and the Kettle Pond parking lot. (7 miles)
3570 Lake Dunmore Road Brandon, VT, 05733 Phone: 802-247-5925
Mix of easy and difficult trails including a waterfall; two trails offer hiking for kids
Popular trails are the Falls of Lana trail, which leads to a series of cascading falls; Rattlesnake Point, which has breeding peregrine falcons and panoramic views of Lake Dunmore; and Silver Lake, a hike to a small, scenic mountain lake.
Read more about hiking in the Green Mountain National Forest.
See general description of this park.
Garvin Hill Road Hartland, VT Phone:
Wheelchair-accessible boardwalk; plentiful lady's slippers in June
Directions: From I-89 take Exit 1 to for Route 4 west toward Woodstock and Rutland. Drive 10.4 miles nearly into Woodstock, where Route 4 makes a sharp 90-degree bend to the right. Turn left on Hartland Hill Road. Drive 1.2 miles and bear right onto Garvin Hill Road. Drive another 1.2 miles and look for the Nature Conservancy parking area on the right. The well-marked trail is also on the right, just beyond the pull off.
413 US Rte 7 South Bennington, VT Phone:
Visitor Center, 6054 Woodstock Road (Route 4) White River Junction, VT Phone: 802-295-6852
Four hiking loops of 1 to 2 miles with moderate rating; good for kids
The walk alongside Quechee Gorge is one to two miles and easy, except for a mild elevation gain. The walk gives you a view of the Gorge and then takes you along the gorge, past waterfalls and Dewey's Mill Pond. Start at the visitor center and follow the spur trail behind the building to the main trail. Turn right, walking upstream. At the Route 4 overpass, notice a good view of the gorge from the highway bridge. Continue upstream on the trail; you will see a dam, waterfalls, and a neck of land that runs between Ottauquechee River and Dewey's Mill Pond.
Season is mid-May to late October.
930 Southern Vermont Arts Center Drive Manchester, VT Phone: 802-362-1405
Somerset Road, off Route 9 Wilmington, VT Phone:
To Get There: From Wilmington Village, drive west on Route 9 about 5.3 miles. Turn right onto Somerset Road, which is unpaved. After about 2 miles, look for a a parking area along with the East Branch Trail. A right turn on the road intersecting the trail at 4.7 miles takes you to Somerset Reservoir (200 yards).
Various access points Brattleboro, Dummerston, Newfane, Townshend, Jamaica and South Londonderry, VT Phone:
One of the tours passes the Bennington Monument, The Catamount Tavern, the Old Academy, the Village Lion, the Walloomsac Inn, the Old First Church, and the Bennington Museum. The other tour, through downtown, passes St. Francis De Sales Church, the Putnam House, Bennington County Courthouse, the Old Blacksmith's Shop, the Old Stone Mill, Bennington Potter's Yard, the Blue Benn Diner and the Henry Bradford Mill.
3270 Route 315 Rupert, VT, 05768 Phone: 802-394-7836
Many trails range from easy to difficult; something for every walker and hiker
Mount Antone Trail to the tallest mountain on the property at 2,600 feet. It offers the most spectacular vista at Merck—well worth the 5-mile round trip hike which takes about 3-3½ hours round trip.
Gallop Peak Trail summit provides beautiful views of the Taconic Mountains and beyond, especially in the winter. The hike to the top will take about 2½-3 hours round trip, about 3 miles total.
Wildlife Trail offers interpretive signs discussing forestry management practices and their effects on area wildlife.
McCormick Trail splits off of Old Town road up to Clarks Clearing, eventually connecting with Antone Road. It is a narrow trail and it is quite steep in portions. There are spectacular old red oak trees and wonderful winter views to the northwest.
Discovery Trail is a short trail starting at the Visitor Center parking lot and looping downhill then up to the farm.
Burke Trailgoes through mature, open woodland on a north facing slope. It gets little use in the summer, but is a popular for cross country skiers. Hiking the Burke Trail takes from 20 to 30 minutes.
22 Cedar Mountain Road Castleton, VT, 05743 Phone: 802-265-4242
Selection of moderate and easy trails, 0.75 to 1.5 miles; good walk for kids
Trails include the Bomoseen Hiking Loop of 1.5 miles and the Glen lake Trail of 4.5 miles, both of moderate difficulty; and the Slate History Trail and the Daniel Coffey Memorial Trail, both 0.75 miles and rated easy.
Waterbury Center State Park, 177 Reservoir Road Waterbury Center, VT, 05677 Phone: 802-244-1226
Nature walk of .05 mile; easy; good for kids
Parking and trail head at Maple and Golf streets Woodstock, VT Phone:
Directions: Leaving the center of Woodstock, walk or drive down Court Street between Courthouse and Woodstock Inn. At the end of Court Street turn left and then make a right on to Golf Avenue. Continue on Golf Avenue to Maple Street. At Maple and Golf Streets see parking on left. Trailhead is to the left off the driveway.