From lakeside camping to mile-long hiking trips, Vermont parks offer nature lovers a chance to escape to the great outdoors. Wildlife flourishes in the Green Mountain State, and visitors could spot moose, black bears, white-tailed deer, foxes, porcupines, coyote, and beavers while out on the trails. Many of the state parks accommodate camping with places to pitch tents, park RVs and campers.
1. Branbury State Park
Branbury State Park covers 69 acres in the towns of Salisbury and Leicester, Vermont. The state park sits beside the eastern shore of Lake Dunmore beside Mount Moosalamoo. Families and friends can gather at Branbury for a day in the great outdoors. From boating, fishing, and swimming at the lake to hiking, camping, and bird watching, the park has something for all nature lovers. Visitors can spot wildlife like white-tailed deer, fox, moose, porcupines, coyote, beaver, and black bear. During the winter months, guests can come to enjoy the crisp, cold air while snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
3570 Lake Dunmore Road, Salisbury, VT, Phone: 802-247-5925
2. Brighton State Park
With a spectacular location right along the banks of Island Pond, Brighton State Park includes a campground, beaches, and bathhouses. Red pines provide natural shading for park visitors. The facilities on-site allow for camping in comfort, and guests can use the bathhouse, rent cabins, pitch tents, take a hot shower, stay in a lean-to, or park their RVs at Brighton State Park. The 600-acre Island Pond invites visitors to participate in watersports on a warm day. Guests can rent kayaks, go for a swim, and spend the day fishing. Families can pack a lunch to enjoy some picnicking while taking in the beautiful scenic views.
102 State Park Road, Island Pond, VT, Phone: 802-723-4360
3. Burton Island State Park
Burton Island sits just off of St. Albans Point in Lake Champlain in northwest Vermont. The 253-acre island invites guests to escape from city life to spend time enjoying the great outdoors. The full-service camping site accommodates 17 tents and 26 lean-tos in addition to 15 boat moorings and a 100-slip marina. Campers can rely on amenities like wi-fi, electricity, and a marine holding-tank pump out facility. In addition, the island has running water and hot showers. Nature lovers can spend the day out on the hiking trails, out for a swim, or enjoying an afternoon picnic. Visitors can only access the island by boat or ferry.
2714 Hathaway Point Road, St Albans Bay, VT, Phone: 802-524-6353
4. Camp Plymouth State Park
Camp Plymouth State Park provides a peaceful escape just one mile from route 100 in Ludlow, Vermont. Between 1920 up until the 1980s, the Boy Scouts of America operated the park, and today the state of Vermont continues to maintain the grounds. Guests can come for a day of hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, and horseback riding. The park also has three pavilions available for rent. The Vista Trail extends 1 mile from Scout Camp Road beginning at the old logging road beside Birch Cottage. Along the way, hikers can admire the local woods, views of Echo Lake, and browse the tombstones at the cemetery.
2008 Scout Camp Road, Ludlow, VT, Phone: 802-228-2025
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5. Coolidge State Park, Vermont
Plymouth, Vermont’s Coolidge State Park takes its name in honor of the country’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge. President Coolidge originates from Plymouth and is now buried in the park. The park serves as the recreational center for the Calvin Coolidge State Forest, Vermont’s largest forest reserve. The grounds welcome campers looking to pitch a tent or park their RV. Other activities include hiking and picnicking. Two hiking trails wind through the park. The CCC Trail stretches 1.5 miles one way. Meanwhile, the Slack Hill Trail takes hikers 2.5 miles and provides views of Mount Ascutney in the distance on a clear day.
855 Coolidge State Park Road, Plymouth, VT, Phone: 802-672-3612
6. D.A.R. State Park
D.A.R. State Park offers a 50-site campground with picturesque views of the Upper Highland Lake and surrounding wetlands. The park provides the perfect place for nature lovers to enjoy the mountain air and spot wildlife. During a visit to D.A.R State Park, guests might spot a black bear or two wandering the campgrounds. Visitors should make sure to properly store and dispose of food to avoid bears from approaching their tent or camper. Moose and beaver also call D.A.R. their home. The park has no shortage of outdoor fun with activities like hiking, swimming, nature trails, canoeing, fishing, and kayaking.
6750 VT-17, Addison, VT, Phone: 802-759-2354
7. Elmore State Park
The nearby community of Elmore gifted the park to local citizens during the Great Depression. The Civilian Conservation Corps developed facilities at Elmore State Park back in the 1930s. In 2002, the park became listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Elmore State Park welcomes day-trippers and campers to its grounds seasonally between Memorial Day and Columbus Day. Guests must pay a fee for day visits and camping. The park’s Lake Elmore and Elmore Mountain offer a mix of outdoor activities, from hiking and picnicking to fishing and swimming. Today, Elmore accommodates 45 tent/trailer sites and 15 lean-tos.
856 VT-12, Elmore, VT, Phone: 802-888-2982
8. Emerald Lake State Park
In East Dorset, Vermont sits the glistening Emerald Lake, which takes its name from its deep green hues. Hemlock, sugar maples, and other hardwood species flourish in the surrounding woodlands. At the park’s nature center, rangers lead night hikes, campfires, amphibian explorations, and nature programs. Emerald Lake State Park covers 430 acres and includes 67 campsites and 37 lean-tos. Guests enjoy amenities like flushing toilets and hot showers. Activities include swimming, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing during the warmer months. Visitors can rent boats, enjoy a bite to eat at the snack bar, or fire up a barbeque at one of the grills.
65 Emerald Lake Lane, East Dorset, VT, Phone: 802-362-1655
9. Gifford Woods State Park
Gifford Woods State Park gives hikers gorgeous mountain views of the Appalachians. The park sits at the base of Killington and Pico peaks. Altogether, Gifford Woods contains 7 trails for hiking, biking, and running. A journey through the Deer Leap side trail displays glimpses of Kent Pond and Thundering Falls. The old-growth forest has become listed as a National Natural Landmark. The 285-acre park blossoms with greens in the spring and summer before turning autumnal reds, yellows, and oranges in the fall. Giffords Woods accommodates campers and has 22 campsites, 21 lean-tos, and 4 cabins for rent. In addition, the park has picnic and fishing facilities.
34 Gifford Woods Acc, Killington, VT, Phone: 802-775-5354
10. Grand Isle State Park
Grand Isle State Park offers a quiet respite in Grand Isle, Vermont along the shores of Lake Champlain. The 226-acre park has no shortage of outdoor things to do, from water sports to winter activities. The lake invites guests to spend the day fishing, go for a swim, or head out on the water on canoes and kayaks. Families and friends can also pass the time tossing horseshoes or toss the ball around on the volleyball courts. Park rangers also run activities like campfires, amphibian explorations, hikes, and outdoor games. Campers enjoy facilities like hot showers and running toilets during their stay.
36 East Shore South, Grand Isle, VT, Phone: 802-372-4300
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11. Half Moon Pond State Park
Hazy lake views surrounded by thick woodlands set the backdrop for Half Moon Pond State Park. The wooded campground invites guests to relax and unwind near the pond. The park sits within the 3,576-acre Bomoseen State Park nearby Hubbardton, Vermont. Half Moon has something for all ages, from fishing and boating to swimming. Wildlife abounds in the region, and campers can spot white-tailed deer, black bear, and other species. Boat rentals give the chance to try out canoeing, white water paddling, and kayaking out on the pond. Campers can bring their own tents, vans, RVs, trailers, and motorhomes to enjoy an overnight stay.
1621 Black Pond Road, Fair Haven, VT, Phone: 802-273-2848
12. Jamaica State Park, Vermont
Campers can access Jamaica State Park by heading south on VT-30/VT-100 from the Vermont town of Jamaica. The 772-acre park sits along the west bank of the West River. Several trails run through the park including the 2-mile West River Trail, the 1.1-mile Hamilton Falls Trail, and the 2-mile Overlook Trail. Trails wander along the river, give views of waterfalls, or climb steep ridges for gorgeous mountain views. Jamaica State Park welcomes visitors to come camping, and facilities include 43 tent and trailer sites, 18 lean-to shelters, and two restrooms with hot showers. Park rangers organize nature activities including hikes, games, and wildlife explorations.
48 Salmon Hole Lane, Jamaica, VT, Phone: 802-874-4600
13. Kettle Pond State Park
Nestled in Groton State Forest, Kettle Pond State Park offers nature lovers a chance to enjoy wildlife and outdoor activities. The park sits near Vermont Route 232 just two miles west of Groton. Families can bring the kids along for a bit of fishing, swimming, and boating out on the pond. During the winter months, the park stays open and provides the perfect setting for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Kettle Pond State Park has six campsites and 26 lean-tos. Campers can use the composting toilet or two double pit toilets. The campground has become known for its moss-covered boulders, blueberry patches, and glistening shorelines.
4239 VT-232, Groton, VT, Phone: 802-426-3042
14. Kingsland Bay State Park
The 264-acre Kingsland Bay State Park sits along the shorelines of the sparkling Lake Champlain in Ferrisburgh, Vermont. Guests can head out on the water by renting boats or spend a little time trying to catch fish on the lake. In addition to outdoor activities, Kingsland Bay includes the historic Hawley House. Built in 1790, the property was built by the first settlers to the area and later served as an all girls camp in the 1960s. The campgrounds and reserve comprise a portion of Vermont’s Kingsland Bay Natural Area, a protected region with untouched plant communities and cedar-pine woodlands.
787 Kingsland Bay, Saint Park Road, Ferrisburgh, VT, Phone: 802-877-3445
15. Knight Island State Park
Situated on an island in Lake Champlain, Knight Island State Park covers 125 acres filled with woodlands, parks, and recreational activities. Although 10 acres of the southern portion of the island is private, the public can enjoy the rest of the park. Guests can access Knight Island by boat only or stop by for an intense paddle trip. The island has very basic camping facilities and lacks any potable water supply. Still, those who head out the island by boat can come for hiking, fishing, picnicking, and a day in the great outdoors. The island also accommodates winter sports like year-round hiking.
North Hero, VT, Phone: 802-524-6353
16. Lake Carmi State Park
Campers looking for a place to pitch a tent or rent a cabin in the woods should head over to Lake Carmi State Park. With 138 campsites, 35 lean-to sites, and 2 cabins available, this Vermont state park accommodates all kinds of campers. Although the sites lack any hookups, each campsite comes with a picnic table, fire pit, and grate. Hot showers and flush toilets add some comfort to a camping trip. Kids and families can spend time outdoors enjoying activities like fishing, kayaking, swimming, and boating. Guests can purchase firewood on site. The nature center also rents out boats, kayaks, and canoes.
460 Marsh Farm Road, Franklin, VT, Phone: 802-933-8383
17. Lake St. Catherine State Park, Vermont
Back in 1953 when the park first opened, Lake St. Catherine’s grounds only had a modest swimming area and picnic benches. It later served as a children’s summer camp before becoming a farm for a period of time. Today, Lake St. Catherine State Park includes 117 acres and attracts visitors to its historical slate mills and quarries. Campers can enjoy the pastoral scenes and stay over in tents or park trailers. Open fields and lake shorelines make this an ideal place for camping. Kids and adults alike can enjoy plenty of swimming or head out on the water with boats.
3034 VT-30, Poultney, VT, Phone: 802-287-9158
18. Little River State Park
In the early 1800s, pioneers first settled the land that is now Little River State Park. Today, visitors to the park can admire old cemeteries, sawmills, and bridges that remain. Little River State Park has also become popular among hikers who come to enjoy trails winding through the woodlands. Kids can take a dip in the swimming beaches or run around in play areas. Altogether, the park has 81 tent and trailer campsites, 20 lean-to sites, and five cabins available for rent. The sites do not have any hookups, but campers can access hot showers, drinking water, and flushing toilets.
3444 Little River Road, Waterbury, VT, Phone: 802-244-7103
19. Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller National Historical Park
© NPS Photo
Located nearby the famous Woodstock, Vermont, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is listed as a United States National Historical Park. Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller honors the original founders of the farmland who established a forest and dairy farm on the grounds in the mid-1800s. Sugar maple trees and hemlocks add charm to the park’s landscape. Today, visitors can take guided tours of the historical Billings farmhouse and heritage museum to admire landscape paintings and photography along with maintained gardens. The George Perkins Marsh Boyhood Home represents an impressive architectural centerpiece at the park. The land also contains a 600-acre conservation area with trails and carriage roads.
54 Elm Street, Woodstock, VT, Phone: 802-457-3368
20. Mt. Philo State Park
Mount Philo State Park conserves the land surrounding Mount Philo in Charlotte, Vermont. Hiking trails give picturesque views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains to the west. The park also provides sights of the Green Mountains to the east and south. During the 1800s, Mt. Philo became a popular destination for people to enjoy the wilderness. Today campers and day trippers can visit the park for a chance to go on a hike, go camping, or enjoy an afternoon picnic. Facilities include a bathroom and vending machines open seasonally. The pet-friendly park allows guests to bring leashed dogs.
5425 Mt Philo Road, Charlotte VT, Phone: 802-425-2390
21. Niquette Bay State Park
Niquette Bay State Park offers a family-friendly place to spend the day exploring various trails with lake and mountain views of the region. During a visit to Niquette Bay State Park, hikers can hit the trails while observing local wildlife and vistas. Visitors can explore two limestone cliffs overlooking the park from 400 feet high. The park takes its name from the small lake bay on the northeastern shore of Lake Champlain called Niquette. In total, Niquette Bay State Park contains 553-acres. Farming began on the land back in the 1800s. The park charges $3 entry per guest from May 8 through Columbus Day.
274 Raymond Road, Colchester, VT, Phone: 802-893-5210
22. Quechee State Park
Families looking for a laid back hike can head over to Quechee State Park near Woodstock, Vermont. A trail begins near the boat landing at Dewey Mills Pond, and visitors can admire the local landscape on an easy walk past an earthen dike along the Ottauquechee River up to the Quechee Gorge. The park welcomes campers and has a total of 45 tent and TV sites as well as 7 lean-to areas. Campers can pay extra for access to hot showers and flushing toilets. Children can play in the large field next to the campground. The park also provides a great place for river fishing.
5800 Woodstock Road, Hartford, VT, Phone: 802-295-2990
23. Ricker Pond State Park, Vermont
Situated in Groton, Vermont, Ricker Pond State Park sits just off of Vermont Route 232. As one of seven state parks in Groton State Forest, Ricker Pond State Park represents the state’s second largest park. Ricker Pond State Park gives the public access to Ricker Pond, a man-made 95-acre lake. Visitors can come to enjoy water sports like motorboating, fishing, waterskiing, paddling, and swimming. Trails give an opportunity for hiking and horseback riding. Ricker Pond State Park charges guests fees for camping and day use. Campers can stay overnight in tents, trailers, or rent a small cabin.
18 Ricker Pond Campground, Groton, VT, Phone: 802-584-3821
24. Seyon Lodge State Park
Located alongside the shores of Noyes Pond, the 39-acre Seyon Lodge State Park welcomes all kinds of campers, whether looking for a rustic cabin in the woods or a place to pitch a tent. With lax rules for patrons, campers can set up fires and bring their own alcohol. The pet-friendly campsite also allows visitors to bring their dogs along. The park’s private lodging and events venue accommodates up to 16 guests and invites families and groups for reunions, conferences, retreats, and weddings all year long. Popular activities include bicycling, fly fishing, and hiking as well as snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter months.
2967 Seyon Pond Road, Groton, VT, Phone: 802-584-3829
25. Underhill State Park
Underhill State Park slants along a 4,300-foot long summit on Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. The park comprises a portion of the 34,000-acre Mount Mansfield State Forest. Fisherman can come to enjoy stream fishing. Hiking trails give guests a chance to explore the wilderness and catch a glimpse of local wildlife. The lower portion of the park contains a parking lot, picnic area, and camping sites. The upper area of Underhill State Park has additional campsites and picnic lodges. Both sections of the park have restrooms, running water, and toilets. The nearby summit, Stowe, contains one of the continent’s first ski resorts.
352 Mountain Road, Underhill, VT, Phone: 802-899-3022N
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