Island adventures and lakeside leisure await in Vermont's natural oases. Discover Vermont's history and embrace its vibrant wildlife at these family-friendly state parks:
Enjoy picnics on the shores of Lake Elmore before taking a canoe out on the sparkling water. The campfire program managed by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is ideal for engaging your whole family in the delights of Vermont's natural world. Spot birds and other wildlife in the park as you hike a variety of trails. One of the most popular is the Fire Tower Trail, which winds into the mountains and supplies exquisite lake views from its many lookout points.
The serene shoreline of Burton Island is all the more sublime for being somewhat isolated. Its sparkling beaches are only reachable by boat or canoe from St. Alban's Point. There are plenty of adventures to be had in amid the marine splendor of Lake Champlain, which teems with wildlife. Enjoy watersports off the island, or hike its labyrinthine trails for spectacular views. Paddlers can make use of hot showers.
Little and large visitors to this state park are rewarded with a historical hiking trail that takes in bridges, cellars, and cemeteries. Crystal rivulet streams find their courses among the park's historical attractions, which you can learn about through an engaging interpretive program.
Plunging gorges, sky-kissing mountains, and some of the state's most spectacular views await hikers who take on Vermont's trails. Here are some of the most dynamic and distinctive:
Inhale the clear air at this serene state park in Fairhaven, where deer dart soundlessly through the trees and watersports beckon invitingly. Hike through some of the state's prettiest scenes, and look out for animals on your way. Plenty of clearings and lookout points en route make ideal stopping off points for sunbathing and picnics.
Sublime vistas are your reward for rugged uphill ascents at Mt. Philo. Charlotte's state park is full of viewpoints from where you can drink in the beauty of glittering Lake Champlain. Gaze out on the surrounding countryside and stop off at picnic places and rest stops as you go. Don't miss the picturesque shelter that tops the mountain.
Bordering the town of Hartford and the New Hampshire state line, Quechee State Park is also home to Vermont's deepest gorge. Take in the best views from the Route 4 Bridge before descending along the hiking trails for some refreshing paddling at the park's swimming holes.
Vermont is geared towards outdoor activities, no matter what the season. Visitors to the state in search of some adrenaline in the outdoors are well catered to, especially at these state parks:
In the south of Vermont lies Camp Plymouth, an adventure playground for adults and children alike. Fringing Echo Lake, the park is beloved by fishing fans and swimmers. In the heat of the summer, Echo Lake makes for a refreshing dip. After your exertions, retire to the picnic area and grill your catch as you soak up your stunning surroundings.
Watersports fans collect in shoals at Kingsland Bay, where Lake Champlain is a venue for canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. You can also snorkel and paddleboard on the glittering water. Take some time out afterward and loll on the grassy verges, admiring birds dipping in the water for a swim themselves. There are plenty of hiking trails around the lake's perimeter to explore as well.
Once used for illegal trade between Canada and America, this state park is as idyllic as it is notorious. With a plenitude of recreational attractions drawing visitors year round, it's one of the best bets in the state for adventure addicts. Come hiking, caving, and swimming in summer. Winter, meanwhile, inaugurates skiing, ice climbing, and snowmobiling through snowy cathedrals of trees.