Walking and Hiking - Outdoor Activities in Central Vermont (2024)

Walking and Hiking - Outdoor Activities in Central Vermont (1)

Mountain Top Resort

195 Mountain Top Road Chittenden, VT, 05737 Phone: 802-483-2311

Resort’s trails, prepared picnic lunches, after-hike activities make it a walker’s paradise

From its picture-perfect location high atop a central Vermont mountain on 700 private acres of woods and meadows, the Mountain Top Resort has everything a hiker could possibly want. It starts with 60 kilometers of wooded trails, plus manicured meadows and quiet country lanes. Add a picnic lunch prepared at the four-season resort and after-hike relaxation possibilities like an appointment in the on-site spa, a soak in the pool or hot tub or sitting in a lounge chair on the sandy lakeside beach. The resort trails link up with access to the popular Long Trail, 272 miles along the ridge of the Green Mountains, from the border of Massachusetts to Canada. Hikers will walk through hardwood forests and by pristine ponds and streams.

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Lake Morey Resort

82 Clubhouse Road Fairlee, VT, 05045 Phone: 802-333-4311 Toll-Free: 800-423-1211

With access to networks of scenic trails for all levels, resort is a hiker’s paradise

Nestled in the Vermont countryside, the Lake Morey Resort is a hiker’s dream come true, with access to extensive networks of well-maintained trails throughout the hillsides surrounding the lake. Get a trail map at the front desk and plan your day exploring the woods, waterfalls and wildlife in the picturesque area. Or, join a guided hike of the Palisade Trail, with impressive views of the Connecticut River Valley, as part of scheduled resort activities throughout the summer. Nearby trails include Ely Mountain, great for birding; Mount Cube, with incredible views of Vermont and New Hampshire and intersecting with the Appalachian Trail; and Glen’s Falls, a short flat trail to a waterfall and swimming hole. Come back to the resort to swim in the lake or relax in the sauna.

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Pittsford Trail Network

Near Route 3 and Route 7 Pittsford, VT, 05763 Phone:

This trail network around the town of Pittsford is maintained by volunteers and is open year-round for walking, bird watching, jogging, snowshoeing, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Trails are well-designated and they cross open fields, wander along rivers and waterfalls, and move through woodlands. This website has many excellent printable or online maps to help you choose a trail for your walking needs. - Trail Map 1 (PDF) - Trail Map 2 (PDF)

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Branbury State Park Trails

3570 Lake Dunmore Road Brandon, VT, 05733 Phone: 802-247-5925

Mix of easy and difficult trails including a waterfall; two trails offer hiking for kids

Branbury State Park is next to the Green Mountain National Forest and the Moosalamoo Recreation Area. There are over 70 miles of trails in this region of mountains and lakes traversing the western slopes of the Green Mountains.
Popular trails are the Falls of Lana trail, which leads to a series of cascading falls; Rattlesnake Point, which has breeding peregrine falcons and panoramic views of Lake Dunmore; and Silver Lake, a hike to a small, scenic mountain lake. - Trails Map (PDF)

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Quechee Gorge State Park Trail

Visitor Center at 6054 Woodstock Road (U.S. Route 4) Quechee, VT, 05059 Phone: 802-295-6852

Four hiking loops of 1 to 2 miles with moderate rating; good for kids

This walk, doable by almost anyone, gives fabulous view of Quechee Gorge, sometimes called the Grand Canyon of the East. Also near the walk and the gorge is Quechee Gorge Village with lots of shopping for adults and children. Great place to browse and pick up vacation mementoes.
The walk alongside Quechee Gorge is one to two miles and easy, except for a mild elevation gain. The walk gives you a view of the Gorge and then takes you along the gorge, past waterfalls and Dewey's Mill Pond. Start at the visitor center and follow the spur trail behind the building to the main trail. Turn right, walking upstream. At the Route 4 overpass, notice a good view of the gorge from the highway bridge. Continue upstream on the trail; you will see a dam, waterfalls, and a neck of land that runs between Ottauquechee River and Dewey's Mill Pond.
Season is mid-May to late October.

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Trails of Mount Tom

at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park Outside of Woodstock, VT, 05091 Phone:

The hill in the center of town on the banks of the Ottauquechee River can be reached by three trails:
The Faulkner Trail -- The walk is about 30 minutes for the average hiker and provides a magical view of Woodstock. Near the top the trail gets steep, narrow and a bit tricky for about 100 yards.
River Street Cemetery Trail -- A less traveled trail with fewer markings. This trail will take you past the Swift Water Girl Scout cabin and up to the Link Trail. Or you may bear right to walk to the trails at the Marsh Billings Rockefeller Historic National Park.
Prosper Road Trail Head -- This is an easy walk on wide carriage roads. There is parking. Maps are often available.

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Mount Ascutney State Park

1826 Back Mountain Road Windsor, VT, 05089 Phone: 888-409-7579

Great for hiking & hang gliding; pets permitted

The park entrance is 550 feet above sea level and a paved road travels to the summit at 2,800 feet. Four trails run from the base of Mount Ascutney to the summit. They are joined by a trail that follows the ridge. The Weathersfield Trail passes Cascade Falls. The Windsor Trail passes a small waterfall. The Brownsville Trail follows a logging road and old granite quarry. The paved Mount Ascutney Parkway reaches the summit. A side trail leads to an observation tower at the summit. - Trail Map (PDF)

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Mount Peg

Parking and trail head at Maple and Golf streets Woodstock, VT, 05091 Phone:

This sweet trail starts just outside the beautiful town of Woodstock. The trailhead is steep at first as it moves through the woods, but it evens out to a gentle grade. Views at the summit include Ottauquechee River Valley, Mount Tom, Billings Farm and Museum, Pomfret Hills, and Killington Mountain. Round trip is about 2.5 miles.
Directions: Leaving the center of Woodstock, walk or drive down Court Street between Courthouse and Woodstock Inn. At the end of Court Street turn left and then make a right on to Golf Avenue. Continue on Golf Avenue to Maple Street. At Maple and Golf Streets see parking on left. Trailhead is to the left off the driveway. - Trail Map courtesy of Woodstock Inn (PDF)

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Half Moon Pond State Park

1621 Black Pond Road Hubbardton, VT Phone: 802-273-2848

Family and kid-friendly camping park has lots of trails; good trail map

The park has a very large trail system that includes short walks to full-day hikes. - Trail Map (PDF)

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Allis State Park

284 Allis State Park Road Randolph, VT, 05060 Phone: 802-276-3175

Rustic camping; picnicking, hiking; free day use; pets allowed

This park is for rustic camping, walking and hiking on trail loops that offer a tough workout. Views are magnificent: sweeping views of Killington, Pico, Mount Ascutney, Camel’s Hump and Mount Mansfield, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Bear Hill was once a fire lookout location.
An interesting nature trail (PDF), accompanied by a detailed online guide, describes trees and other plants and wildlife. - Interactive Campground Map (PDF)

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Gifford Woods State Park

34 Gifford Woods Access Road Killington, VT, 05751 Phone: 802-775-5354

Good hiking and access to Appalachian Trail; pets permitted, but not in cabins

Two major hiking trails meet at Gifford Woods State Park: The Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail. Green Mountain National Forest and Coolidge State Forest, both nearby, also offer loop hikes. Wonderful views from the Deer Leap Mountain trail and beautiful waterfalls on Thundering Brook Trail. - Summer Trail Map (PDF) - Winter Trail Map (PDF)

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Eshqua Bog Natural Area

Garvin Hill Road Woodstock, VT, 05091 Phone:

Wheelchair-accessible boardwalk; plentiful lady's slippers in June

Eshqua Bog Natural Area is a botanical garden and home to the lady’s-slipper orchid. Eshqua Bog Natural Area has a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk with several viewing platforms . The property is managed by The Nature Conservancy of Vermont and The Native Plant Trust (formerly the New England Wildflower Society).

Directions: From I-89 take Exit 1 to for Route 4 west toward Woodstock and Rutland. Drive 10.4 miles to where Route 4 makes a sharp bend to the right. Turn left on Hartland Hill Road. Drive 1.2 miles and bear right onto Garvin Hill Road. Drive another 1.2 miles and look for the Nature Conservancy parking area on the right. The well-marked trail is on the right, just beyond the pull off.

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Weston Village

The central Vermont Village of Weston is a picture of small-town Vermont simplicity and loveliness. The center of the village is the Green, also called Farrar Park, on Route 100, where a gazebo is brightly lit at Christmas. Walking southward on Route 100, you may pass the Weston Village Store, the Village Green Gallery, the Vermont Country Store, and the Farrar-Mansur house museum (built in 1797). Walking northward, you will see the Weston Playhouse and Maple Grove Cemetery.

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Groton Forest and Kettle Pond Trails

Park HQ and Nature Center, 44 Stillwater Road (off Route 232) Groton, VT Phone: 802-584-3822

Several easy hikes of 0.25 to 3 miles; good for kids

Groton State Forest encompasses Kettle Pond, Big Deer, Ricker Pond, and New Discovery State Parks. The forest has many miles of marked trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Below are a few trails in the forest:
Kettle Pond Trail and Kettle Pond Portage Trail: This moderate walk goes around a secluded lake. (3 miles)
Owls Head Trail: An easy walk to a scenic vista of Lake Groton, Kettle Pond, and the Green Mountains. (1.5 miles)
Montpelier Wells River Rail Trail: Good place for walking, bicycling or horseback riding. Gradual, 7-mile grade through the state forest. (7 miles) -

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Bomoseen State Park Trails

22 Cedar Mountain Road Castleton, VT, 05743 Phone: 802-265-4242

Selection of moderate and easy trails, 0.75 to 1.5 miles; good walk for kids

Bomoseen State Park is in the Taconic Mountains on the shores of Lake Bomoseen. These mountains are the slate-producing region of Vermont, and the park contains several quarry holes and colorful slate piles as reminders of this period. Several hiking trails go through woodlands and pass ponds and provide great hiking and wildlife-viewing opportunities. Not far from this park is the town of Rutland, with attractions for families, especially related to the quarrying industry.
Trails include the Bomoseen Hiking Loop of 1.5 miles and the Glen lake Trail of 4.5 miles, both of moderate difficulty; and the Slate History Trail and the Daniel Coffey Memorial Trail, both 0.75 miles and rated easy. - Trail Map (PDF)

Walking and Hiking - Outdoor Activities in Central Vermont (2024)


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