As one of the least populated states in the United States of America, Vermont ranks among the top states to live and work in the country. The state is a highly desired adventure destination located the New England Region. Vermont is a prevalent choice among adventure lovers and campers, in particular, because it is hospitable and beautiful. Summers in Vermont can never go wrong if you know where to be.
Campers can enjoy fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities at any of the state’s numerous camping destinations. This state’s charm can be traced to its extensive forests, scenic villages, and incredible mountains. The rivers and lakes in Vermont are mainly open to fishing and boating activities. Hiking, however, is the most popular activity in the area, with lots of trails across the state. A portion of the Appalachian Trail cuts through the southern part of the state too.
And even if you choose to camp in the winter months, the state has something for you. Vermont is renowned for its many skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing locations. Whatever outdoor activity you decide to undertake in the state, you might need a great camping destination to lodge. And that is why we have compiled the best camping grounds in the state. Take a look.
1. Emerald Lake State Park
First up on our list is the adequately named Emerald Lake State Park. Named after the glittering Emerald Lake, this destination has attracted loads of swimmers over the years. With its location in a valley-like area, hedged in between the Green and Taconic Mountains, the state-owned park is an ideal spot for camping. The highlight of the campground is the turquoise lake which is crystal clear and cold. Many campers come here to escape the scorching heat in July and August.
The park has 103 campsites in a wooded area. These campsites are evenly spread into three segments. Tents and recreational vehicles take up a large chunk of the grounds, with 66 sites allocated to them, while lean-tos (three-sided structures) take up the remaining 37 spots. Every segment of the park has a path leading to the beach and the lake. Although the campsites are not lakeside, they are just a stone’s throw away from the lake.
Hemlock trees surround the campsites and help to provide much-needed shade in the environment. Although pets are allowed in the campground, the beach and picnic areas are off-limits. Whenever you visit, make sure to try the rope swing, and if hiking is your forte, then the Vista Trail is an excellent place to start.
2. Quechee State Park
Sitting atop the deepest gorge in the state, the Quechee State Park’s Campground was built in 1962 by the Corps of Engineers.
Amenities at the park include two restrooms complete with water, a sanitary station for recreational vehicles, and free Wi-Fi. You can get ice and firewood at the camp station. The majority of the sites is spacious and can accommodate trailers, recreational vehicles, and tent campers. If you require a unique experience, away from the norm of tents and recreational vehicles, special lean-tos wedged in between the trees can be found all over the campground.
At Quechee State Park, you will find many activities to keep your mind and body active. There is an open area where families can play, volleyball nets, and a horseshoe pit can also be found on the site. The picnic areas are also an excellent place to socialize with others or have group gatherings. Outdoor activities include boating and fishing in the lakes around and hiking the half-mile trail, which takes you down the gorge, where it joins a public footpath leading to the visitor center and back to the campground.
3. Underhill State Park
Secluded best describes Underhill State Park. Sitting on top of a slope on Mount Mansfield, the campground is the best route to Vermont’s tallest peak if you want to avoid other tourist attractions.
Underhill State park has 11 tent campsites and six lean-tos for single individuals. Groups can access an additional two tent campsites and seven lean-tos located a short distance away from the central campground area. The campground’s utilities include flush toilets, picnic tables, a campfire ring for every site, and restrooms with cold running water. Pets are welcome at the park. A large picnic area that can accommodate about 50 persons is also available for reservation on weekends.
There are four trails, all leading to the 4,300 foot Mansfield summit. While Halfway House Trail, Maple Ridge Trail, and Laura Cowles Trail are great for hiking, the pick of the bunch is unarguably Sunset Ridge Trail, a 3-mile trail that is popular among hikers and locals.
4. Crown Point Campground
Situated on a deeply rooted piece in history, the Crown Point Campground goes as far back as 1750. Originally a military fort, then a settlement, the campground was at the forefront during the tussle for the ownership of Lake Champlain.
Crown Point Campground sits on the shore to the west of Lake Champlain and has 66 camping spots. Some things you can expect to get at the destination are a boat launch, a sanitary dump station, hot showers, and a picnic spot. Firewood can be bought at the camp store, and there’s also a recycling center. One great feature about this campground is the availability of handicapped-accessibility facilities all over the location, even at the small picnic area.
At Crown Point Campground, you can get an excellent view of the Champlain Bridge linking Vermont and New York. Other attractions to the site include Champlain Memorial lighthouse, commissioned in 1912 to mark the lake’s discovery by Champlain. Visitors can also explore Crown Point Historic Site to view relics of the British fort.
5. Green River Reservoir State Park
Commissioned in 1999, the Green River Reservoir State Park sits on a 653-acre reservoir with a rustic campground with minimal luxuries. The entire region is undeveloped and only caters to outdoor activities with a low impact.
Every campsite in the park is only accessible through the river. The routes are at least a stretch of one mile of endless paddling. This condition alone is enough to discourage lots of potential campers. The reservoir is open to electric motor-powered boats, kayaks, and canoes.
There are a total of 27 campsites scattered around the reservoir. Pitching a tent outside the designated sites is prohibited, and the only way to get to the campsites is by boat. Two camps are reserved for group camping, and they can house about 12 people. Campers are advised to use portable stoves in the place of campfires to protect the environment. The reservoir is open to use, under supervision, for boats and kayaks.
6. Woodford State Park
Highly frequented, especially in the summer months, the campground at Woodford State Park is the spot with the highest elevation among Vermont campgrounds. Woodford State Park is relatively small when you look at the other places in this list. The Adams Reservoir located within the park’s premises is a meager 23 acres. However, the campground more than makes up for what it lacks in size with loads of scenery.
For such a small Park, the campsites are quite a number.100 sites make up the campground, and they are divided into four distinct segments. Tent sites and trailer spots take up a large share of the destination’s allocation, with 76 places designated. Cabins have four sites, and lean-tos occupy the remaining 20 sites.
Tents occupy the first segment, containing 23 campsites, the lean-tos occupy the second segment, and there is no view of the reservoir from here. The third portion has the best view of the waterfront and contains 31 campsites. The last segment is mixed and has a few tent sites, cabins, and lean-tos. Here, you can find modern bathrooms, along with easy access to the beach, a playground, and trails for hiking.
7. Little River State Park
Famous for all kinds of outdoor sports imaginable, the campground at Little River State Park is a heavily trafficked destination.
Fishing, mountain biking trails, water ski courses, and so much more are accessible at the state park. The 860 acre Waterbury Reservoir, a major attraction to the campground, can get up to 100 feet deep.
The campground has over 80 sites dedicated to recreational vehicles and tent camping. However, if you choose to indulge, there are five cabins complete with a full complement of accessories and even a coin-operated shower for you. Alternatively, if you decide to go full rustic style, you can paddle your way to any of the remote sites that litter the reservoir. These campsites, numbering 27, operate on a first-come, first-served basis and give you the solo camping experience.
8. Groton State Forest
An impressive number of state parks can be found in the Groton State Park alone. The most popular camping locations in the state forest are the Lake Groton and Ricker Pond campsites.
However, if you are looking for a piece of solitude around a picturesque campground, then you should try out Kettle Pond. This location has a boat launch for only campers and over 20 lean-tos, arranged in fives with toilets close. The best places to camp at Kettle Pond are the remote campsites equipped with stone fireplaces and picnic tables.
The great news about Groton State Forest is that you only need to pay only once to access the seven state parks in the area. Now that’s value for your money. You can also try out the Osmore Pond, a 48-acre area that has just seven sites. On weekdays, you can have this place to yourself. If you have limited time on your vacation, hike the 3.2-mile trail that begins at Osmore Pond and leads up to Owl’s head. The scenery here simply defies any description.
9. Mount Ascutney State Park
Open from May through October, Mount Ascutney State Park is the ideal location to launch your adventures while camping. Hiking trails abound in the surrounding area, and there are even gliding launch points that give you a vantage viewpoint. Wildlife and birds add to this campground’s appeal, making it a well-visited location.
Sitting at the foot of Mount Ascutney, the campground provides many alternatives to all types of campers. The campground is split into two loops; the northern part has 17 campsites along with a bathhouse, while the much bigger south loop can accommodate recreational vehicles, tent campers, trailers, and even lean-tos. There is also a bathhouse in this section.
Every site contains a fire pit and picnic table. Most of the campsites are spacious with dirt surfaces. Coin-operated showers and a dump station are also available at the campground. Visitors can get firewood from the camp station, and drinking water is available. Modern cabins, which were recently built, are on site for those seeking a more luxurious campus experience.
10. Grout Pond Campground
Located in the Southern part of Vermont, Grout Pond Campground is a part of the Green Mountain National Forest. Well known among fishers, paddlers, hikers, and winter sports lovers, the campground spans over 1600 acres and has more than 10 miles of trails used by hikers, horseback riders mountain bikers.
There are only 18 sites on the location. Eleven of these sites are scattered along the shore and are accessed by paddling. The other seven campsites are mainly used for recreational vehicles and car camping. It can be challenging during the summer to find a campsite as Visitors can fill the place up even before noon. Since you cannot reserve any spots, it is advisable to go very early to better your chances of securing a site.
The campground has a picnic area and three toilet facilities. Each tent has a tent platform to avoid erosion, a fire pit, and a picnic table. Hiking trails can be found all around the campground, with the pond loop being a favorite of many campers.
What is more desirable than a great day hiking the woods, or fishing, and returning to a night filled with equally stimulating conversations around a campfire, with family, or even strangers? If you have ever camped before, you probably understand the feeling.
Enough credit is not given to Vermont for the many natural adventure spots it holds. From remote camping destinations to well-known locations around places like Lake Champlain, the state has a bit of everything. With the campgrounds we have listed above, you can make your pick and begin preparing for the experience of a lifetime.
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