20 Vermont State Parks

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The New England state of Vermont is well worth visiting in its own right but their state parks also provide an additional reason to visit. The New England states are well known for their beautiful natural scenery as well as plenty of outdoor activities. Next time you head to Vermont be sure to check out these 20 best state parks in the state.

Vermont State Parks

20 State Parks in Vermont

1- Mount Ascutney State Park

The beautiful Mount Ascutney State Park is next to the Connecticut River in eastern Vermont. The park is 30 minutes from Woodstock and 1 hour 15 minutes from Manchester.

The state park flanks the side of Mount Ascutney (which stands at 3,144 feet). Outdoor lovers can’t fail to enjoy this park with its stunning views. There are four main trailheads in the park as well as 12 miles of hiking trails. Along many of the trails there are viewpoints that lookout over the Connecticut River Valley.

Over the summer the park hosts automobile, biking and running races up the auto road. The park is also a popular spot for hang gliding.

You can stay overnight at the park in the tent or RV part of the campground.

Mount Ascutney State Park is at 1826 Back Mountain Rd, Windsor, VT 05089.

2- Gifford Woods State Park

Gifford Woods State Park is on the western side of Kent Pond in central Vermont. The park is 45 minutes’ drive west of Hartford and an hour north of Manchester.

Many people hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine will pass through Gifford Woods State Park.

Though it’s a beautiful place to visit year-round, one of the best times of year to visit the park is during autumn.

The park’s woodland has one of the oldest-growth hardwood trees in Vermont. The woodland is filled with sugar maple, beech, yellow birch, hemlock, and white ash.

This is a really peaceful place to stay the night in cabins, tented and RV sites.

Gifford Woods State Park is at 34 Gifford Woods Acc, Killington, VT 05751.

3- Little River State Park

Little River State Park is on the Waterbury Reservoir in north central Vermont, around 25 minutes’ drive from Montpelier.

This is definitely one of the most popular state parks in central Vermont.

Waterbury Reservoir is an excellent place for boating, there’s even a section of the lake which is even for quitter boats for ultimate peace and quiet.

Anglers head to the water for bass and trout fishing. Water lovers will like it at the swimming beach.

For those who like land-based fun, how about hiking or mountain biking along the miles of trails in the Mt Mansfield State Forest that is right next door.

Little River State Park is at Water Reservoir, 3444 Little River Rd, Waterbury Village Historic District, VT 05676.

4- Half Moon Pond State Park

Half Moon Pond State Park is in western Vermont around hours’ drive north of Manchester. This park is actually tucked away in the 3,500-acre Bomoseen State Park.

The park surrounds Half Moon Pond and offers beautiful waterfront camping.

There is also Tall Timbers Cottage which provides visitors with more of a luxurious accommodation option.

Half Moon Pond is quiet as only non-motorized boats are allowed on the water.

You can rent out kayaks, rowboats, canoes and pedal boats from the park office for hours of paddling fun.

Anglers will love setting up on the pond and trying their hand at catching panfish, yellow perch and largemouth bass.

Half Moon Pond State Park is at 1621 Black Pond Rd, Hubbardton, VT 05743.

5- Coolidge State Park

Coolidge State Park is adjacent to the Coolidge State Forest in central Vermont.

This park has stood the test of time and remains mostly unchanged from its creation in the 1930’s.

The campground at Coolidge State Park has tented sites that have wonderful views of the Black River valley as well as the Green Mountains.

There is also a pleasant forested campsite which has a picnic area and group camping.

So, what is there to do at the Coolidge State Park?

There are plenty of hiking trails which are an excellent way of seeing most of the park.

There are also picnic pavilions that are ideal for large groups or families, a nature centre, horseshoe pits and a play area for the kids.

Coolidge State Park is at 855 Coolidge State Park Rd, Plymouth, VT 05056.

6- Elmore State Park

vermont state parks elmore in the fall
Admire the fall colours in Elmore State Park, Vermont.

Elmore State Park is on the north banks of Lake Elmore in Lamoille County, in northern Vermont.

The town of Elmore actually gave 30 acres of Lake Elmore to the state of Vermont.

Today the park is more than 700 acres and it’s a popular recreational spot for families.

You can take the hiking trails that start at the park and lead up to Elmore Mountain and the fire tower.

There is also a lovely large sandy beach which is ideal for swimming in summer.

You can rent boats to use on the lake and enjoy a relaxing paddle while you take in the views.

Overnight facilities at the park include 44 tent/RV sites and two campgrounds that come fully equipped.

Elmore State Park is at 856 VT-12, Elmore, VT 05661.

7- Kingsland Bay State Park

Head to the border between Vermont and New York along Lake Champlain and you will find Kingsland Bay State Park.

Most of the 263 acres of shoreline on Lake Champlain remain untouched.

While at the park you can discover Hawley House which dates back to 1790.

The property was established when the first settlers came to Ferrisburgh.

The park is a haven’t for canoe and kayak lovers.

There’s also swimming, and plenty of picnic spots.

Kingsland Bay State Park is at Ferrisburgh, VT 05456.

8- Smugglers Notch State Park

trees in fall on a mountainside in smugglers notch
One of the stunning Vermont state parks is Smugglers Notch State Park.

Smugglers Notch is a narrow pass that runs through the Green Mountains in northern Vermont.

The narrow road pass is closed in winter due to heavy snowfall.

Long before the road only a footpath and trail used for horses was present in this location.

There’s plenty to do at the park.

You should definitely check out Bingham Falls which is one of the most popular waterfalls in the park.

There’s also a fun cliff jumping spot right next to the falls that is perfect for swimming.

You will find people swimming or paddling in the swimming holes as well.

Heading along Smugglers Notch scenic drive is a wonderful way to see the park.

There are also plenty of hiking trails right off the road and ones that start from the visitor centre.

The Mount Mansfield trail, the Eagle Cut trail and the Sterling Gorge Falls trail are some of the most popular routes in the park.

Be sure to make use of the new campground facilities for extending your time in the park.

Smugglers Notch State Park is at 6443 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672.

9- Burton Island State Park

Landlocked Vermont has an island? Well, Burton Island State Park is on Lake Champlain which is on the Vermont-New York border in the northwestern part of the state.

The park is just off the southwestern tip of St Albans Point.

You can reach the park via a passenger ferry that takes 10 minutes from Kill Kare State Park.

The ferry operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day seven days a week.

There’s plenty to do on the island.

There’s a nature centre and museum, a bistro for lunch, disc golf for a bit of rigorous fun and hiking trails that wind around the park.

Burton Island State Park is at 2714 Hathaway Point Rd, St. Albans Town, VT 05478.

10- Camel’s Hump State Park

Camel’s Hump State Park is close to Lake Champlain and around 45 minutes’ drive from Burlington.

People from the Waubanaukee Indian tribe first named the mountain at this park “Tah-wak-be-dee-ee-wadso” but the mountain’s name (after a few renditions) was changed to Camel’s Hump in 1830.

There are hiking trails all over the park.

The Monroe Trail is one of the more challenging hikes in the park.

The route is around eight or 10 miles long.

There’s also the Burrows Trail which offers a shorter walk.

It’s definitely a good idea to get started on this hike before 8am before crowd’s head to the park.

Camel’s Hump State Park is at 3429 Camels Hump Rd, Duxbury, VT 05676.

11- Camp Plymouth State Park

Camp Plymouth State Park is on the eastern shores of Echo Lake in Ludlow.

Fishing for bass is a popular activity in the park, you might be better off trying your luck in the cove at the north side of the park.

The lake is also stocked with trout as well.

Canoes and kayaks are also welcome on the lake and you can launch your boats from the campsite boat ramp.

The rolling forested hills that surround the lake feel quintessentially Vermont.

This is a wonderful state park if you want to escape city life and immerse yourself in nature.

Camp Plymouth State Park is at 2008 Scout Camp Rd, Ludlow, VT 05149.

12- Grand Isle State Park

Grand Isle State Park is close to Burton Island State Park on Lake Champlain on the border with New York.

You will find the park on South Hero Island which is 14 miles long and three miles wide.

On the island there is Grand Isle and South Hero which are both towns.

Grand Isle State Park is the most-visited campground in Vermont and it’s easy to see why once you are there.

There are 115 tent/RV sites and four cabins in Vermont’s second-largest campground.

You can access the lake for swimming and shoreline fishing.

There’s also a boat launch so you can head out on kayaks rented from the park office.

There is also a nature centre in this state park so you can check there for current nature programs that they offer.

Grand Isle State Park is at 36 E Shore S, Grand Isle, VT 05458.

13- Brighton State Park

Brighton State Park is surrounded by Spectacle Pond and Island Pond in northeastern Vermont.

The park is around 40 minutes’ drive from Newport.

Tree covered mountains surround the lake making for a beautiful backdrop.

You can head out on the hiking trails to enjoy these lakeside views.

There’s also a camper’s beach where you can relax or why not rent a boat and hit the water.

There is also a nature museum, a garage theatre and a play area.

The campground also has a beach with a bathhouse and restrooms too.

The campground has five cabins and 54 tent/RV sites.

Brighton State Park is at 102 State Park Rd, Island Pond, VT 05846.

14- Jamaica State Park

The 772-acre Jamaica State Park is in southern central Vermont is tucked away in the Green Mountains and somewhere you should definitely add to your Vermont itinerary.

Around the park you can learn more about the history of the area.

Back in 2010 archaeologists discovered artifacts dating back to 1000-1600 A.D.

One of the oldest artifacts was more than 7,000 years old.

There are plenty of interpretive displays in the park to read and absorb information.

Salmon Hole is a wonderful and refreshing swimming spot on the West River.

If you are traveling with bikes, it’s a good idea to cycle to Ball Mountain Dam.

It is an easy 2.5-mile route along the West River Rail Trail.

You can also hike to Hamilton Falls which is a wonderful place for a picnic.

Jamaica State Park is at 48 Salmon Hole Ln, Jamaica, VT 05343.

15- Emerald Lake State Park

With a name like Emerald Lake, you just know this state park is going to be beautiful.

The park is close to Otter Creek on the northern edge of the Green Mountain National Forest around 15 minutes north of Manchester.

Many people visit the park because of the excellent wooded hillside campground, which has 66 campsites and 37 lean-tos (three-sided shelters)

The lake is restricted to non-motorized boats making it an ideal place to paddle and swim.

It is also a popular destination for fishing because there are plenty of yellow perch, northern pike and smallmouth bass.

The park is also a great place to go hiking along the Long Trail, the Appalachian Trail and Dorset Mountain.

Emerald Lake State Park is at 65 Emerald Lake Ln, East Dorset, VT 05253.

16- Mount Philp State Park

Mount Philo State Park is in the west of the state near the New York border and Lake Champlain.

This 237-acre park sits atop the 968 feet high Mount Philo.

Being on top of the mountain allows you to enjoy sensational views of the Lake Champlain Valley and New York’s Adirondack Mountains.

Owing to the lovely views this park is popular among hikers and picnickers who want to take in the scenery.

If you aren’t into a big hike, don’t worry. You can take the summit access road which allows you to reach the top. Or there is a ¾ mile hiking trail that leads to the top as well.

Mount Philo State Park is at 5425 Mt Philo Rd, Charlotte, VT 05445.

17- Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is just outside of Woodstock in eastern Vermont.

The beautiful grounds of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park will charm any visitor.

There are sugar maples, 400-year-old hemlocks and picturesque stone walls.

There’s plenty to do at the park, which is great for walking and exploring more than 20 miles of trails.

The trails lead you past the property, through forest and into Woodstock.

There are also some beautiful gardens at the park that feature azaleas and rhododendrons.

Between May and October, you can take a guided range-led tour of the mansion and historic buildings.

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is at 69 Old River Rd, Woodstock, VT 05091.

18- Stillwater State Park

Stillwater State Park is on the western shores of Lake Groton in eastern Vermont, just a 40-minute drive from Montpelier.

You will actually find this state park in Groton State Forest, close by to the Groton Nature Center.

Popular activities in the park include camping, picnicking and water activities on Lake Groton.

The campground is an excellent peaceful place to spend the night.

There are 62 tent/RV sites as well as 17 lean-tos, hot water showers and restrooms.

There’s an excellent swimming beach at the campground as well as a boat launch and dock and a play area for kids.

Stillwater State Park is at 44 Stillwater Rd, Groton, VT 05046.

19- Button Bay State Park

The cutely named Button Bay State Park is on the shores of Lake Champlain, around 45 minutes’ drive south of Burlington.

This 253-acre park is on a bluff in Ferrisburgh. It used to be an operating farm but became a state park in 1964.

The park encompasses the 13 1/2-acre Button Point Natural Area which juts out into Lake Champlain.

The limestone rock means that there is a diverse range of flora growing in the area.

You can walk along the Button Point Trail to reach the lake and enjoy the scenic views. There is also a nature centre at the park.

By far the biggest draw of Button Bay State Park is the camping, with 53 tent/RV sites, 13 lean-to sites and four cabins.

Button Bay State Park is at 5 Button Bay State Park Rd, Vergennes, VT 05491.

20- Quechee State Park

vermont state parks quechee
One of the state parks in Vermont to tick off your to-explore list is Quechee State Park.

Quechee State Park is on the Vermont-New Hampshire border. It’s less than 15 minutes’ drive from Woodstock and just over five minutes from Hartford.

Another popular park for camping, Quechee State Park has six cabins, 45 tent/RV sites and seven lean-to sites.

Owing to the fact the park is close to many of the upper-valley Vermont attractions this park can become very popular at peak times.

People stop on their road trips around New England, especially to take in the views of Quechee Gorge.

The gorge was formed around 13,000 years ago.

When visiting the park, you can head along Route 4 and take a look down the Ottauquechee River which flows 165 feet below the viewing area.

Quechee State Park is at 1 Quechee State Park, Hartford, VT 05001.

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!