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Northern Vermont's state and local parks make room for outdoor activities

Mount Philo State Park - Photo Credit VT State Parks
Mount Philo State Park

5425 Humphreys' Road Charlotte, VT, 05445 Phone: 802-425-2390

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 - Interactive Campground Guide (PDF) - Trail Guide (PDF)
Kill Kare State Park - Photo Credit VT State Parks
Kill Kare State Park

2714 Hathaway Point Road St. Albans, VT, 05481 Phone: 802-534-6021

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. - Park Map (PDF)
Open: Year-round, 10am - Sunset. Day use only (no camping allowed).
Underhill State Park - Photo Credit VT State Parks
Underhill State Park in Mount Mansfield State Forest

352 Mountain Road Underhill, VT, 05490 Phone: 888-409-7579

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. - Trail Map (PDF) - Campground Map (PDF)
Open: Memorial Day thru mid-October, 8am - Sunset
North Hero State Park - Photo Credit VT State Parks
North Hero State Park

3803 Lakeview Drive North Hero, VT, 05474 Phone: 802-372-8727

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. North Hero is a day use park; camping is not allowed. Pets are permitted. - Park Map & Guide (PDF)
Open: Memorial Day thru Labor Day, 10am - Sunset.
Girls on the Beach - Grand Isle State Park - Photo Credit VT State Parks
Grand Isle State Park

36 East Shore South Grand Isle, VT Phone: 802-372-4300

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. - Interactive Campground Guide (PDF)
Season: Mid-May thru Columbus Day.
Lake Carmi State Park - Photo Credit VT State Parks
Lake Carmi State Park

460 Marsh Farm Road (Route 236) Franklin, VT, 05457 Phone: 802-933-8383

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. - Interactive Campground Map (PDF)
Open: Mid-May thru Columbus Day, 10am - Sunset.
Family Hike - Smugglers Notch State Park -Photo Credit VT State Parks
Smugglers Notch State Park

6443 Mountain Road Stowe, VT, 05672 Phone: 802-253-4014

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. - Trail Map (PDF)
Beach House - Elmore State Park - Photo Credit VT State Parks
Elmore State Park

856 VT Route 12 Lake Elmore, VT, 05657 Phone: 802-888-2982

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. - Campground Map (PDF)
Open: Memorial Day thru Columbus Day, 10am - Sunset.