10 Best State Parks in Vermont

Vermont boasts some of the most immaculate natural beauty in America. One of the best ways to experience the state’s splendor is by visiting its incredible state parks. From Ludlow to Quechee, here are the 10 best state parks in Vermont. 

Mount Philo State Park, Charlotte, VT

Mount Philo State Park is a 237-acre reserve that overlooks Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks and surrounds the 968-foot tall Mount Philo. Though diminutive by Vermont standards, the elevation is enough to see a large portion of Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, and sections of New York. Plus, you will find seven tent sites and three lean-tos here at the state’s oldest state park, established in 1924.

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Mount Ascutney State Park, Windsor, VT

At this state park, you can expect to find steep trails that lead through hardwood forests to top of the 3,144-foot high Mt. Ascutney summit. On top, you will be treated by panoramic views of the surrounding woods, fields, and farmland. The park, founded in 1935, supports such activities as hiking, biking, camping, and even hang gliding.

Emerald Lake State Park, Dorset, VT

Emerald Lake State Park is a 430-acre reserve that is so-called due to the striking emerald color of the lake it surrounds. Activities include camping, hiking, swimming, non-motorized boating, fishing, picnicking, bicycling, wildlife watching, and winter sports. In addition to the lake itself, the park is known for its bucolic forests, protected, wetlands, and majestic cliffs overlooking Emerald Lake.

Camp Plymouth State Park, Ludlow, VT

Established in 1989, Camp Plymouth State Park is a 295-acre reserve that encompasses the nearby 96-acre Echo Lake. Rich in history, the land that makes up the park was once used to support troops during the Revolutionary War, and Buffalo Brook was famous for yielding large amounts of gold in its time. Now, popular activities include swimming, fishing, hiking, and camping.

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Branbury State Park, Brandon, VT

Branbury State Park is a 69-acre reserve that incorporates lands in the towns of Salisbury, Brandon, and Leicester. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Dunmore, the state’s 6th largest lake, this park is most known for its 1000-acres of sandy beach, large swaths of pastoral fields, and the 2,650-foot Mount Moosalamoo that looms in the background.

Jamaica State Park, Jamaica, VT

Jamaica State Park is a 772-acre reserve that sits along the banks of the mighty West River, one of the two longest rivers in Southern Vermont. Featuring some of most beautiful waterfalls in the state, Jamaica features hiking trails, a swimming hole, camping, fishing, birding, and class three and four river rapids for kayaking fun and adventure.

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Button Bay State Park, Vergennes, VT

Featuring camping along the water, you will find 53 tent sites, 13 lean-tos, and four cabins at this 253-acre state park along the shores of Lake Champlain. Popular activities, then, as you might expect, include swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and water sports, and you will also find splendid views of Vermont’s largest lake and the neighboring Adirondack Mountains.

Quechee State Park, Quechee, VT

This park is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and leased by the State of Vermont for state park lands with Quechee Gorge being the focal point. At its deepest point, the gorge is an astounding 165-foot straight drop from the roadside to the dry river bed below. Formed when an Ice Age lake that covered three states melted and drained, the resulting fissure is the largest in Vermont and a 688-acre park that surrounds it was formed in 1965. 

Lake St. Catherine, Poultney, VT

Lake St. Catherine is Vermont’s 5th largest lake regarding acre-feet, but it is actually a string of lakes, each draining into the next along Vermont’s Route 30. Popular activities in this 117-acre state park include boating, fishing, hiking, camping, swimming, and birding. Plus, you will find 50 tent sites, hot showers, and 11 lean-tos in this beautiful section of the state.

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Green Mountain National Forest, Rutland, VT

Although the Green Mountain National Forest is technically managed at the federal level, there is nothing more Vermontesque than these old growth forests. The 400,000 acres of protected lands support a variety of flora and fauna and has also been tagged as a unique ecoregion at the national level. Not only that, but you can get up close and personal with this level of the wilderness through limited camping options (Grout Pond), or hiking, biking, and boating.

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284 Allis State Park Road, Randolph, VT
Allis State Park was established in 1928 as Vermont’s second developed state park. The park is named for Wallace Allis, who willed his B... Read More
Parkway Street, Montpelier, VT
Hubbard Park has several impressive stands of white pine, red pine and hemlock. The center area of Hubbard Park is a designated natural area. In ce... Read More
20 State Park Beach Road, Barnard, VT
Barnard is a classic Vermont hill town surrounded by high rolling hills, dotted with farms and affording many scenic vistas.  This busy park i... Read More
177 Reservoir Road, Waterbury Center, VT
Waterbury Center State Park lies on the easterly trivium of Waterbury Reservoir, a quarter mile off VT Route 100. It is an integral recreation reso... Read More
366-516 Vilcins Road, Duxbury, VT
Waubanaukee Indians first named it "Tah-wak-be-dee-ee-wadso" or Saddle Mountain. Samuel de Champlain's explorers in the 1600's called it "lion couc... Read More
3444 Little River Road, Waterbury, VT
In the early 1800s, pioneers cleared fields, rocks, and stumps in Ricker Basin and Cotton Brook. A settlement of 50 or so families once lived in th... Read More
3444 Little River Road, Waterbury, VT
In the early 1800s, pioneers cleared fields, rocks, and stumps in Ricker Basin and Cotton Brook. A settlement of 50 or so families once lived in th... Read More
2967 Seyon Pond Road, Groton, VT
One of Vermont’s best kept secrets, Seyon Lodge State Park provides rustic and welcoming facilities in the midst of the inspiring beauty of G... Read More
34 Gifford Woods Road, Killington, VT
With its location at the base of Killington and Pico peaks and close proximity to the Appalachian and Long trails, this park is a favorite of hiker... Read More
18 Ricker Pond Campground Road, Groton, VT
Ricker Pond State Park, established in the 1930’s, is located on the western shores of Ricker Pond and adjacent to the Montpelier-Wells Rail ... Read More
54 Elm Street, Woodstock, VT
Walk through one of Vermont's most beautiful landscapes, under the shade of sugar maples and 400-year-old hemlocks, across covered bridges and alon... Read More
6993 State Forest Road, Groton, VT
As early as 1704 Native Americans and the French were using routes through Groton to reach Canada and Massachusetts.  Colonists settled this a... Read More
3570 Lake Dunmore Road, Brandon, VT
Branbury is located on the eastern shore of Lake Dunmore at the base of Mt. Moosalamoo. The Green Mountain National Forest is its neighbor to the e... Read More
44 Stillwater Road, Groton, VT
As early as 1704, Native Americans and the French were using routes through Groton to reach Canada and Massachusetts. Colonists settled this area o... Read More
2278 Boulder Beach Road, Groton, VT
This state park gets its name for the many large rocks left by glaciers on the sandy beach of Lake Groton and throughout Groton State Forest. The p... Read More
1467 Boulder Beach Road, Groton, VT
The campground has 23 tent/RV sites and 5 lean-tos. The restroom includes hot showers. A sanitary dump station is available at Stillwater, but no h... Read More
4239 VT RT 232, Marshfield, VT
Welcome to New Discovery State Park. As early as 1704, Native Americans and the French were using routes through Groton to reach Canada and Massach... Read More
5800 Woodstock Road, Hartford, VT
The park's location along US Route 4, and its proximity to many upper-valley attractions make it a popular tourist destination. Hundreds of thousan... Read More
855 Coolidge State Park Rd., Plymouth, VT
A trip to Coolidge State Park is a trip back in time; the park remains essentially the way it was when it was first created in the 1930s.  Kno... Read More
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