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Best Hikes in Vermont: Exploring the Green Mountain State

Best Hiking in Vermont Fall Foliage
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1 Best Vermont Hikes for Fall Foliage Hiking and All Seasons Adventures

Best Vermont Hikes for Fall Foliage Hiking and All Seasons Adventures

Vermont's Green Mountains offer a diverse range of hiking trails, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the beauty of the Green Mountain State. From breathtaking views to cascading waterfalls, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this natural playground. Honestly, you couldn't pick a better vacation or day trip than an adventure hiking in Vermont!

The best trails in Vermont for incredible hiking, whether in summer and fall, or winter hikes are where your favorite hikes begin. Whether your choice is waterfalls in Vermont or finding the oldest, long distance hiking trail, Vermont is one of your best destinations. Enjoy our guide to the best hiking trails in Vermont where rare memories are created.

The Green Mountain National Forest, with its southern and northern sections, provides endless opportunities for hikers. In the southern section, recommended hikes include Haystack Mountain, Harmon Hill, and Bald Mountain, each offering unique vistas and experiences. State parks such as Stratton Pond and Bromley Mountain are also worth exploring, with easy hikes suitable for all skill levels.

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The northern section of the Green Mountain National Forest boasts notable hikes like Deer Leap and Mount Abraham, where challenging peaks and stunning views await. The Robert Frost Interpretive Trail offers a chance to connect with nature and literature simultaneously. And don't forget to visit the enchanting Lye Brook Falls, Thundering Falls, and Texas Falls for a dose of cascading beauty.

Camping is a popular option for those who want to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. The Green Mountain National Forest offers seven campgrounds, including top-rated spots like Grout Pond and Silver Lake, where you can spend a night under the stars after a day of hiking.

Top-Rated Hiking Trails in Vermont – A Few Suggestions

Other noteworthy hikes in Vermont include the iconic Killington, Mount Equinox Trail, and the Long Trail. Beginners can start their hiking journey with Mount Olga and Owl's Head Trail, while experienced hikers can challenge themselves with Camel's Hump Trail and Mount Pisgah Trail. Families can enjoy kid-friendly options like Red Rocks Park Loop Trail and Queechee Gorge Trail. You might even find a pond trail or two for the kiddos! Whether it's a side trail, brook trail or forest trails, there are miles of trails and the best day to hike is today!

The Quick List – A Few Hidden Hiking Gems in Vermont

Popular TrailsHidden Gems
KillingtonMount Olga
Mount Equinox TrailOwl's Head Trail
The Long TrailBucklin Trail
Bucklin TrailMount Pisgah Trail

While Vermont has its share of popular trails, it also boasts hidden gems that offer a more secluded and off-the-beaten-path hiking experience. One such gem is the Bucklin Trail, located in Mount Mansfield State Forest. This trail leads you through lush forests and offers stunning views of neighboring peaks. Another hidden gem is the Owl's Head Trail, a moderate hike that rewards you with breathtaking views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains.

Hiking Trails in the Green Mountains of Vermont

For those seeking an overnight adventure, Mount Mansfield via The Long Trail in the northern part of the state offers a thrilling experience. It is also the highest mountain in Vermont! And let's not forget the vibrant fall foliage hikes, where you can witness nature's masterpiece with stunning views of the changing colors. So, take a trail to the summit and bask in the mountain views!

If you're in the Danville and St Johnsbury area, be sure to check out the spectacular views of the White Mountains in neighboring New Hampshire!

Hiking Trails in Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest

The Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont is home to a wide array of hiking trails, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Divided into two sections, the southern and northern parts, the forest offers diverse landscapes and unique experiences for hikers of all skill levels. Grab a trail map and get ready to explore!

Key Takeaways:

  • Vermont's Green Mountains offer a diverse range of hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • The Green Mountain National Forest is divided into southern and northern sections, each with unique features and attractions.
  • Hikers can explore recommended trails in both sections, including state parks, challenging peaks, and picturesque waterfalls.
  • Camping is available throughout the forest, with top-rated campgrounds offering a chance to experience the great outdoors.
  • Notable hikes in Vermont include iconic trails, beginner-friendly options, and overnight adventures. Simply find a mountain in Vermont and the trail begins!

Southern Vermont Hiking Trails: Exploring the Untouched Beauty

Southern Vermont boasts some of the most enchanting hiking trails, with options ranging from state parks to easy hikes suitable for beginners. Nestled within the Green Mountains, this region offers a diverse landscape of pristine forests, picturesque peaks, and tranquil lakes. Whether you're seeking a leisurely stroll or a more challenging adventure, Southern Vermont has something to offer every hiker.

In the southern section, hikers can explore picturesque trails such as Haystack Mountain, Harmon Hill, and Bald Mountain, each offering breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature. Stratton Pond, Bromley Mountain, Little Rock Pond, and White Rocks Ice Beds are also worth a visit for their scenic beauty and serene surroundings. You'll find some great choices for day hikes in Vermont.

In the northern section, adventure awaits on trails like Deer Leap, Mount Horrid's Great Cliff, and Sunset Ledge. Mount Abraham, with its panoramic views, and the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, which pays homage to the poet, are also must-visit destinations. These trails showcase the rugged beauty of Vermont's Green Mountains and provide a sense of awe and wonder to those who explore them.

For those seeking the enchantment of waterfalls (especially during the summer hiking season), Lye Brook Falls, Thundering Falls, Texas Falls, and Falls of Lana offer an unforgettable hiking experience. These cascading wonders are nestled within the forest, creating a tranquil and mesmerizing atmosphere that captivates visitors.

Camping enthusiasts will also find solace within the Green Mountain National Forest, as there are seven campgrounds available for overnight stays. Campgrounds like Grout Pond and Silver Lake offer a chance to set up camp amidst the peaceful wilderness, providing a tranquil retreat after a day of hiking.

With its diverse trails, stunning waterfalls, and serene camping options, Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest beckons adventurers to explore its captivating beauty. Whether you're seeking a challenging hike, a family-friendly nature walk, or a peaceful escape into the wilderness, Vermont's hiking trails have something for everyone.

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Easy Vermont Hikes: Gateway to the Outdoors

If you're new to hiking or simply prefer a more relaxed experience, Southern Vermont offers a variety of easy hikes that still showcase the region's natural beauty. The Hildene Trail, located on the grounds of the historic Hildene estate in Manchester, provides a scenic stroll through meadows and woodlands, offering glimpses of the Taconic and Green Mountains. The Lye Brook Falls Trail in Manchester Center is another popular choice, leading hikers through a peaceful forest to a stunning 125-foot waterfall.

  • Hildene Trail – Manchester
  • Lye Brook Falls Trail – Manchester Center
  • Bald Mountain Trail – Jamaica

These easy hikes are perfect for families, couples, or anyone looking to immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature without a strenuous climb.

So, whether you're seeking a challenging summit or a leisurely stroll, Southern Vermont's hiking trails are waiting to be explored. From state parks to easy hikes, there's something for everyone in this untouched beauty. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an unforgettable adventure in the Green Mountain State.

State Parks: Nature's Playground

One of the highlights of hiking in Southern Vermont is the abundance of state parks. These protected areas not only offer well-maintained trails but also provide opportunities for picnicking, wildlife spotting, and even swimming in some cases. Mount Ascutney State Park, located near Windsor, offers both a challenging hike to the summit and a scenic loop trail around the mountain. Jamaica State Park, with its gentle trails winding along the West River, is perfect for families and those looking for a peaceful nature retreat.

State Parks in Southern VermontDifficulty Level
Mount Ascutney State ParkModerate to challenging
Jamaica State ParkEasy
Emerald Lake State ParkEasy to moderate
Molly Stark State ParkEasy to moderate

Popular Trails in Southern Vermont

Among the popular trails in Vermont is the famous Long Trail, a challenging and picturesque backpacking route that spans the length of the state. The trail offers breathtaking views of the Green Mountains and is a favorite among experienced hikers. For those looking for a moderate hike with rewarding views, the Mount Equinox Trail is a must. This trail takes you to the summit of Mount Equinox, where you can enjoy panoramic vistas of Vermont's beautiful landscapes.

Northern Vermont Hiking Trails

The Stowe Pinnacle Trail

This short but steep and rocky, day hike trail leads to a wonderful viewpoint summit beneath Mount Putnam. This is one of the most popular hiking trails in Vermont, so an early start is recommended on the weekends. Good hiking boots are recommended. Poles are advised for the way down. The ridge trail can be muddy in parts when it has rained early in the week, so be aware of that. Incredible views. Bring lots of water.

Embark on a 3.1-mile out-and-back trail nestled near Stowe, Vermont. Widely acknowledged as a demanding route, this path is a favored hiking trails in Vermont destination for birdwatchers and hiking enthusiasts alike, ensuring you'll likely cross paths with fellow explorers during your journey. For the most enjoyable experience, plan your visit between April and October. Additionally, four-legged companions are welcome and may roam off-leash in designated areas.

Stowe has some of the best places to eat and stay, which is why it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vermont.

Northern Vermont Hiking Trails: Challenging Peaks and Spectacular Views

Northern Vermont offers a thrilling hiking experience, with challenging peaks and awe-inspiring views along the Long Trail and other mountain trails. This region is known for its rugged terrain and stunning vistas, attracting adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.

One of the most famous hiking trails in this area is the Long Trail, a 272-mile footpath that stretches from the Massachusetts border to the Canadian border. It traverses the spine of the Green Mountains, offering hikers a chance to explore the wilderness and witness breathtaking views along the way. The Long Trail is a popular choice for experienced hikers looking for a challenging and rewarding adventure.

In addition to the Long Trail, there are other mountain trails in northern Vermont that offer unforgettable hiking experiences. Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Camel's Hump, with its distinctive shape, offers a challenging ascent and stunning views from the summit.

For those looking to explore more off-the-beaten-path trails, the Bucklin Trail offers a lesser-known but equally rewarding experience. This trail takes hikers through lush forests and eventually leads to the summit of Mount Abraham, where panoramic views of the surrounding mountains await. The Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, named after the famous poet, offers a gentle stroll through a serene woodland, with interpretive signs along the way that feature Frost's poetry.

Notable Northern Vermont Hikes:

  • Long Trail
  • Mount Mansfield
  • Camel's Hump
  • Mount Pisgah
  • Bucklin Trail
  • Robert Frost Interpretive Trail

Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking to embark on a new adventure, northern Vermont's hiking trails offer something for everyone. From challenging peaks to breathtaking views, these trails showcase the beauty and diversity of the Green Mountain State. So grab your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and get ready to explore the wonders of northern Vermont on foot.

Sunset Ridge Trail

Discover this 5.1-mile out-and-back trail near Underhill, Vermont. This ridge trail hike is generally considered a challenging route, taking an average of 4 h 9 min to complete. This is a very popular area for birding and hiking, so you'll likely encounter other people on a day hike while exploring.

Hiking TrailDifficulty LevelDistance
Long TrailDifficult272 miles
Mount MansfieldDifficult5.3 miles
Camel's HumpDifficult6.8 miles
Mount PisgahModerate3.5 miles
Bucklin TrailModerate5.7 miles
Robert Frost Interpretive TrailEasy1 mile

Trails in the Northeast Kingdom

Mount Pisgah, located in Lake Willoughby State Park, provides hikers with a unique combination of scenic beauty and geological wonders. The hiking trail is one of the most sought out in the area by both locals and tourists.

While you're in the Northeast Kingdom, visit Lake Memphremagog where views of Vermont and Canada merge. One of the best places for hiking in the area is around Jay Peak and Richford where the variety of hiking are some of the best in Vermont.

Fantastic Views of Lake Willoughby

Nestled between the Mount Hor and Mount Pisgah is the crowned jewel of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, Lake Willoughby. The views are inspiring and breathtaking from the summit of Mount Pisgah. This is definitely one of the most popular hiking trails in Vermont. It is a moderate hike so make sure to hit the trail for the best viewpoint in the Northeast Kingdom!

Waterfall Hikes in Vermont: Chasing the Cascading Beauty

Moss Glen Falls Vermont

Vermont's scenic landscapes are dotted with stunning waterfalls, providing hikers with the opportunity to embark on enchanting trails and experience the beauty of nature up close. From gentle cascades to roaring falls, the state's natural wonders never fail to captivate outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, these waterfall hikes in Vermont are sure to leave you in awe.

One of the must-visit waterfalls is Lye Brook Falls, located in the Green Mountain National Forest. This stunning cascade drops over 125 feet and is surrounded by lush greenery. The hike to the falls takes you through a serene forest, offering a peaceful and rejuvenating experience. Another gem is Thundering Falls, nestled in the midst of scenic woodlands. As the name suggests, this waterfall is known for its powerful display of water, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for visitors.

If you're seeking a unique waterfall experience, head to Texas Falls in Hancock State Forest. This series of cascades follows a rocky gorge, creating a picturesque setting. The trail winds through a dense forest, offering glimpses of the falls at various viewpoints. Another hidden gem is Falls of Lana, located in the Branbury State Park. This waterfall is renowned for its tranquil surroundings and the opportunity to swim in the natural pool formed at the base of the falls.

WaterfallLocationTrail Difficulty
Lye Brook FallsGreen Mountain National ForestModerate
Thundering FallsWoodford State ParkEasy
Texas FallsHancock State ForestModerate
Falls of LanaBranbury State ParkEasy

Venture into Vermont's wilderness and discover these hidden treasures. Take in the soothing sounds of rushing water, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and marvel at the sheer beauty of these cascading wonders. Whether you're an avid photographer, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, waterfall hikes in Vermont are an ideal way to immerse yourself in the natural splendor of the Green Mountain State.

Camping in Vermont: Exploring the Great Outdoors

Camping enthusiasts can take advantage of the great outdoors in Vermont's Green Mountains by staying at the various campgrounds scattered throughout the state's stunning state forests. With its picturesque landscapes and abundant natural beauty, Vermont offers a wide range of camping options for those seeking an immersive outdoor experience.

One of the top-rated campgrounds in Vermont is Grout Pond, located in the Green Mountain National Forest. This tranquil campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as access to a serene pond where visitors can enjoy fishing and paddling. Surrounded by lush greenery and peaceful trails, Grout Pond is a perfect spot for nature lovers to relax and unwind.

Another popular camping destination is Silver Lake campground, situated in Goshen. This scenic campground boasts breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and a pristine lake perfect for swimming and boating. With trails nearby, visitors can explore the area's natural wonders during the day and unwind by the campfire under the starry skies at night.

CampgroundLocationFacilities
Grout PondGreen Mountain National ForestTent and RV sites, fishing, paddling
Silver LakeGoshenTent and RV sites, swimming, boating

For those who prefer a more secluded camping experience, Vermont's state forests offer a variety of primitive campgrounds. These campgrounds provide a true wilderness experience, with minimal amenities but abundant natural beauty. State forests such as Molly Stark and Green River offer beautiful camping spots amidst the lush forest, providing a unique opportunity to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Whether you're seeking adventure or simply looking to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature, camping in Vermont's Green Mountains is an experience like no other. From the stunning landscapes to the peaceful campgrounds, Vermont offers the perfect setting for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and enjoy the great outdoors.

Noteworthy Hikes in Vermont: Must-Visit Trails and Hidden Gems

Vermont offers a multitude of noteworthy hikes, with popular trails and hidden gems that cater to both moderate and experienced hikers. Whether you're seeking stunning mountain vistas, serene waterfalls, or family-friendly adventures, the Green Mountain State has it all. Lace up your boots and prepare to explore some of Vermont's most captivating hiking trails.

These are just a few examples of the noteworthy hikes that Vermont has to offer. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there is a trail in Vermont that will suit your skill level and provide you with unforgettable experiences in the great outdoors. Explore the length of Vermont from the Northeast Kingdom to central Vermont and finally southern Vermont for a variety of exciting hiking trails!

Family-Friendly Easy Hikes in Vermont: Exploring Nature with Kids

Vermont's family-friendly hikes provide an opportunity for children to connect with nature and embark on memorable adventures with their loved ones. With an abundance of easy hikes in Vermont, families can enjoy the beauty of the Green Mountain State while creating lasting memories. Whether you're looking for a leisurely stroll through scenic trails or a fun-filled day exploring nature, Vermont offers a wide range of options for all ages and skill levels.

One of the top family-friendly hikes in Vermont is the Red Rocks Park Loop Trail. Located in South Burlington, this trail offers a picturesque walk along the shores of Lake Champlain. Children will love exploring the unique rock formations and enjoying the stunning views of the lake. Another family favorite is the Queechee Gorge Trail, found in Quechee State Park. This easy trail takes you along the rim of the gorge, providing breathtaking views of the waterfall below.

Family-Friendly Hikes in Southern Vermont

In Southern Vermont, families can venture to Bromley Mountain, known for its family-friendly hiking options. The Sun Mountain Trail offers a moderate hike suitable for older children, while the Easy Rider Trail is perfect for younger ones. At the summit, families can enjoy a picnic while taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. For a more leisurely hike, Little Rock Pond in Rutland offers a serene setting with calm waters and a picturesque shoreline.

Hiking TrailLocationDifficulty
Sun Mountain TrailBromley MountainModerate
Easy Rider TrailBromley MountainEasy
Little Rock PondRutlandEasy

When planning a family hike in Vermont, remember to pack essentials such as sunscreen, bug repellent, snacks, and plenty of water. It's also recommended to check trail conditions and weather updates before heading out. With its breathtaking landscapes and family-friendly trails, Vermont is the perfect destination for families looking to reconnect with nature and create cherished memories together.

Overnight Hikes in Vermont: Immersing in Wilderness

For those seeking a more immersive experience, overnight hikes in Vermont offer the chance to explore mountain ranges and sections of the iconic Appalachian Trail.

Vermont's mountain ranges provide a breathtaking backdrop for overnight hikers. Whether it's traversing the rugged peaks of the Green Mountains or venturing into the remote wilderness areas, these hikes offer an opportunity to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect with nature. With ample camping spots along the trails, hikers can set up camp under the stars and wake up to the peaceful serenity of the mountains.

One of the most famous overnight hikes in Vermont is the Appalachian Trail, which stretches over 70 miles through the state. Hikers can choose to tackle sections of the trail, such as the challenging ascent to Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, or opt for a multi-day adventure through the pristine wilderness. This trail offers a true backcountry experience, with opportunities to spot wildlife and witness stunning vistas along the way.

For those looking for a shorter overnight hike, Vermont's mountain ranges are dotted with shelters and campsites that are perfect for a night under the stars. The Long Trail, another iconic hiking trail in Vermont, offers several overnight options, including the popular Mount Abraham and Camel's Hump sections. These trails provide a taste of the state's rugged beauty and are accessible to hikers of varying skill levels.

Recommended Overnight Hikes in VermontHiking TrailDistance
Appalachian TrailVermont section70+ miles
The Long TrailMount Abraham section5.6 miles
The Long TrailCamel's Hump section8.2 miles

Embarking on an overnight hike in Vermont is a chance to disconnect from the noise of everyday life and immerse oneself in the beauty of the natural world. From the challenging peaks of the Green Mountains to the tranquil valleys, these hikes offer a unique perspective on Vermont's wilderness. So grab your backpack, lace up your boots, and embark on an unforgettable overnight adventure in the Green Mountain State.

Best Hikes in Vermont: Witnessing Nature's Masterpiece

Vermont's hiking trails provide the perfect vantage points to witness nature's masterpiece during the fall season, with vibrant colors adorning the mountainsides. As the leaves change from green to hues of gold, orange, and red, hikers are treated to a breathtaking display of autumn beauty.

One of the best trails to experience Vermont's fall foliage is the Killington Peak Trail. This challenging hike takes you to the summit of Killington Mountain, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape blanketed in vibrant hues. The Mount Equinox Trail is another excellent choice, taking you up to the summit of Mount Equinox for stunning vistas of the surrounding valleys and mountains dressed in their fall colors.

If you're looking for a longer adventure, consider hiking a section of the Long Trail, which stretches from the Massachusetts border to the Canadian border. This iconic trail provides numerous opportunities to immerse yourself in Vermont's fall foliage. Sections like Camel's Hump Trail and Mount Pisgah Trail offer challenging hikes with rewarding views of the colorful forests below.

Hiking TrailDescription
Killington Peak TrailA challenging hike to the summit of Killington Mountain, providing panoramic views of the fall foliage.
Mount Equinox TrailA scenic hike to the summit of Mount Equinox, offering stunning vistas of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
Long Trail (Camel's Hump Trail)A section of the famous Long Trail, providing challenging hikes with rewarding views of the colorful forests.
Long Trail (Mount Pisgah Trail)Another section of the Long Trail, offering breathtaking views of the fall foliage from Mount Pisgah.

The Burrows Trail – Camel's Hump State Park

Explore this 4.7-mile out-and-back trail near Huntington, Vermont. Generally considered a challenging route, it takes an average of 3 h 46 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

Kid Friendly Trails

Hiking in Vermont with Kids

For families, there are also plenty of kid-friendly trails that showcase Vermont's fall colors. The Red Rocks Park Loop Trail near Burlington is a short and easy hike, perfect for children to enjoy the vibrant autumn scenery. The Queechee Gorge Trail in Quechee State Park is another fantastic option, allowing families to explore the gorge and witness the foliage from the observation deck.

As you venture along Vermont's hiking trails during the fall season, be sure to pack a camera to capture the beauty around you. Remember to dress in layers, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and bring plenty of water and snacks for the journey. Vermont's diverse hiking trails provide the ultimate opportunity to witness nature's masterpiece and create lasting memories amidst the stunning fall foliage.

Notable Vermont Hikes: Discovering Iconic Trails

Vermont's hiking trails are home to some truly iconic routes, starting at various mountains and taking hikers on unforgettable journeys. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or just starting out, Vermont offers a range of trails that cater to all skill levels and preferences. Here are some notable hikes that showcase the beauty and diversity of the Green Mountain State.

Mount Mansfield via The Long Trail

If you're looking for a challenging hike with spectacular views, the Mount Mansfield via The Long Trail is a must-visit. As the highest peak in Vermont, Mount Mansfield offers panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Long Trail, running the length of the state, provides a challenging and rewarding hiking experience, with sections suitable for both day hikes and overnight adventures.

Killington

Another iconic hike in Vermont is the trail up Killington, one of the state's most prominent peaks. This challenging hike rewards hikers with breathtaking views of the surrounding Green Mountains and the opportunity to conquer one of Vermont's highest mountains. The trail is known for its rugged terrain and steep ascents, making it a favorite among experienced hikers seeking a test of their endurance and skill.

Bucklin Trail

For those seeking a moderate hike that showcases the beauty of Vermont's natural landscapes, the Bucklin Trail is a great choice. This trail leads hikers through lush forests, past serene streams, and up to stunning viewpoints. The trail is well-marked and offers a peaceful escape into nature, making it an ideal option for hikers of all levels looking to immerse themselves in Vermont's wilderness.

Little River State Park and Ricker Basin Ghost Town

Nestled in the rolling hills of central Vermont, Little River State Park is a hidden gem offering a variety of recreational opportunities. This park, situated within Mt. Mansfield State Forest, surrounds Waterbury Reservoir and is one of Vermont’s most popular State Parks. The relative remote setting and the extensive frontage on the Waterbury Reservoir, provide excellent camping, hiking and water-based recreational activities making it an excellent location for outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the most unique attractions within the park is the remnants of the abandoned Ricker Basin village. In the late 1800s, Ricker Basin was a thriving mill town centered around a chair factory that used the power of the Little River. The village had over 40 buildings at its peak, including houses, a school, sawmill, gristmill, store, and church. After the factory closed in the 1940s, the village was completely abandoned and the buildings were left to be reclaimed by nature.

Almeron Goodell Farm
Almeron Goodell Farm and bridge

Today, foundations, walls, and debris from over two dozen structures are still visible in the woods within the state park. Visitors can explore the eerie remains of this lost village, wandering through the crumbling foundations and imagining what life was like for the hard-working families that once inhabited Ricker Basin. An interpretive trail with signs provides insights into the history of the village and its industrial past. While the buildings may be gone, the ghostly ruins of the Ricker Basin village provide a fascinating glimpse into Vermont's bygone past within the natural beauty of Little River State Park.

Trail NameDifficulty LevelHighlights
Mount Mansfield via The Long TrailChallengingPanoramic views, highest peak in Vermont
KillingtonDifficultBreathtaking views, challenging terrain
Bucklin TrailModerateLush forests, serene streams, stunning viewpoints

Vermont's Hiking Essentials: Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Experience

Before setting out on Vermont's hiking trails, it's essential to be well-prepared and equipped with the necessary knowledge for a safe and enjoyable experience. Whether you're planning a day hike or embarking on a multi-day adventure, here are some hiking essentials to keep in mind:

Plan and Research

Before heading out, take the time to plan your hike and gather information about the trail conditions, difficulty level, and any permits or fees required. Familiarize yourself with the route, including potential hazards and landmarks to watch out for. Consider the weather forecast and pack accordingly. When you're planning for a trail to the top, or miles of ridge-top hiking, start with planning and safety first. Many of the trails can be quite challenging and several trails can be a bit treacherous, so a good plan is essential.

Bring the Right Gear

Investing in quality hiking gear can make a significant difference in your comfort and safety on the trails. Wear sturdy and comfortable hiking boots that provide good ankle support. Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions. Pack essential items such as a map, compass, headlamp, first aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, and sufficient water and snacks. Don't forget to carry a whistle and a fully charged cell phone for emergencies. There are plenty of places in Vermont to stock up on gear you might need.

Practice Leave No Trace

Vermont's natural beauty is unique and must be preserved. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) to minimize your impact on the environment. Respect wildlife and their habitats, stay on designated trails, and avoid littering. Dispose of waste properly and pack out all trash. Leave the trail as you found it, ensuring that future hikers can enjoy the same experience. The best Vermont adventure begins with hikes throughout our beautiful state that respect and revere nature.

Hiking in Vermont: Know Your Limits

Hiking in Vermont autumn

While Vermont offers hiking opportunities for all skill levels, it's important to know your own limits. Be honest about your fitness level and choose trails that match your abilities. Don't push yourself beyond your comfort zone, especially if you're new to hiking. Start with shorter and easier hikes, gradually building up your stamina and skills. Hiking with a friend or joining a guided group can also enhance safety and enjoyment.

Hiking Essentials Check List

  • Plan and research your hike
  • Check trail conditions and weather forecast
  • Bring a map, compass, and headlamp
  • Wear sturdy hiking boots and dress in layers
  • Pack a first aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, and plenty of water
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles
  • Know your limits and choose trails accordingly

By following these hiking essentials, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring Vermont's stunning hiking trails. Remember to always prioritize safety and respect for nature, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the Green Mountain State.

Hiking Trails in Vermont Conclusion

Vermont's hiking trails offer something for everyone, from breathtaking views and challenging peaks to serene waterfalls and family-friendly options, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The diverse landscapes of the Green Mountains provide a multitude of hiking opportunities, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

Within the Green Mountain National Forest, hikers can explore the southern and northern sections, each offering their own unique charm. From Haystack Mountain and Harmon Hill in the south to Deer Leap and Mount Abraham in the north, there are trails to suit every level of hiker. The forest also boasts impressive waterfalls, such as Lye Brook Falls and Thundering Falls, adding an extra element of natural beauty to your hiking experience.

Camping is a popular option for those who wish to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the wilderness. With seven campgrounds available, including top-rated spots like Grout Pond and Silver Lake, hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the forest while being surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Green Mountains.

Notable hikes in Vermont include the iconic Long Trail and the challenging Camel's Hump Trail, as well as family-friendly options like Red Rocks Park Loop Trail and Queechee Gorge Trail. For overnight adventures, the Mount Mansfield via The Long Trail in the northern part of the state offers a rewarding experience for experienced hikers.

Whether you're a seasoned hiker seeking a new challenge or a family looking to connect with nature, Vermont's hiking trails provide a wide range of options to explore and enjoy. The Green Mountain State truly offers a hiking experience like no other.

FAQ's

Q: What are some of the best hiking trails in Vermont?

A: Some of the best hiking trails in Vermont include Haystack Mountain, Harmon Hill, Bald Mountain, Stratton Pond, Bromley Mountain, Little Rock Pond, Mount Abraham, and the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail.

Q: Are there any waterfalls to visit while hiking in Vermont?

A: Yes, there are several beautiful waterfalls to visit while hiking in Vermont, including Lye Brook Falls, Thundering Falls, Texas Falls, and Falls of Lana.

Q: Are there campgrounds available for overnight stays?

A: Yes, Vermont's Green Mountains offer seven campgrounds for overnight stays, including top-rated spots like Grout Pond and Silver Lake.

Q: Are there any easy hiking trails suitable for beginners?

A: Yes, beginners can start with Mount Olga and Owl's Head Trail, which offer easier terrain and manageable distances.

Q: What are some popular hikes for families with children?

A: Red Rocks Park Loop Trail and Queechee Gorge Trail are family-friendly options that provide a chance to explore nature with kids.

Q: Can I go on overnight hikes in Vermont?

A: Yes, overnight hikes are possible in Vermont, with options such as the Mount Mansfield via The Long Trail in the northern part of the state.

Q: What are some notable hikes in Vermont?

A: Notable hikes in Vermont include Killington, Mount Equinox Trail, the Long Trail, and Bucklin Trail, each offering unique experiences and beautiful views.

Q: What are some safety tips for hiking in Vermont?

A: When hiking in Vermont, it is important to be prepared with proper gear, stay hydrated, follow marked trails, and inform someone of your plans. Additionally, checking weather conditions and being aware of wildlife are crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience.

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