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Best Camping Areas for Hiking

While virtually every one of the 100+ camping areas in the state of Vermont offer hiking either directly from the area or close to it, there are a few areas which really stand out and call to the avid hiker. If you're specifically looking to camp and hike, the following areas should be of particular interest to you (we've only included the hiking perks here... click through for much more information on each area):

Abel Mountain Campground
Abel Mountain Campground features 270 acres of trails.

Ascutney State Park
"The park includes 4 hiking trails and a mountain road that winds up to the 3144’ summit."

Big Deer State Park
Located in the heart of the 28,000 acre Groton State Forest, Big Deer State Park features miles of hiking trails.

Bomoseen State Park
"Several hiking trails, including one to Half Moon State Park, provide great hiking opportunities."

Branbury State Park
"Hiking trails to scenic vistas, waterfalls, caves, mountain lakes and streams, as well as an interpretive nature trail, provide outstanding hiking opportunities."

Brighton State Park
The park offers a variety of hiking trails around the mostly undeveloped Spectacle Pond.

Burton Island State Park
Accessible only by boat, camp here and explore the various trails on the 250-acre Lake Champlain island.

Camp Plymouth State Park
Where else can you hike to an abandoned town and pan for gold? This is a big day-use park, although they do offer some limited camping options.

Coolidge State Park
OK, you can hike to an abandoned town and pan for gold here as well (same town actually -- Five Corners). A lot of rustic camping here, including 18,000 acres of hiking trails in the Calvin Coolidge State Forest.

Elmore State Park
A number of trails lead up Elmore Mountain (a two hour hike) and to one of the few remaining fire towers in the state.

Emerald Lake State Park
"Trails throughout the park and nearby (the Green Mountain National Forest) provide great hiking opportunities."

Gifford Woods State Park
"The Appalachian Trail runs through the park and joins up with the Long Trail just 1.5 miles from the campground."

Half Moon State Park
Hiking trails lead to High Pond and to the Bomoseen State Park (see above).

Jamaica State Park
"A hiking trail follows the West River and branches off toward Hamilton Falls."

Kettle Pond State Park
You'll find miles of hiking trails here (Groton State Forest), including a very nice 3-mile trek that goes around Kettle Pond.

Knight Island State Park
Another Lake Champlain island (this one very primitive = no sanitation, water), Knight Island offers a scenic trail system connecting all sites and opening up into scenic vistas at points around the island.

Lake Dunmore Kampersville
Offers 20 miles of nature trails, as well as hikes to Silver Lake, a "hidden" lake which can only be reached by foot.

Little River State Park
"Adjacent to the park are miles of hiking trails (open for day use) that take in the rich cultural and natural history of the area."

Maidstone State Park
This park has the distinction of being the most remote of Vermont's state parks and offers a number of hiking trails throughout the Northeast Kingdom.

Maple Hill Campsites
"The Long Trail is accessible from nearby Jerusalem Trail, and at the top of Appalachian Gap (Rt. 17), or Lincoln Gap. Maple Hill is between Mount Abe and Mount Ellen. Enjoy woodland walks within our 150 acres or take a 5-minute walk to some great trout fishing or small swimming hole."

Molly Stark State Park
"A hiking trail starts from the park and goes up to the Mt. Olga fire tower."

New Discovery State Park
Offers miles of hiking in the Groton State Forest, including a trail to the top of Owl's Head, where you can view Groton Lake, Kettle Pond and Camel's Hump.

Quechee Gorge State Park
Hiking trails wind down into this impressive gorge.

Ricker Pond State Park
Features over 22 miles of hiking trails in the Groton State Forest to a wide variety of locations.

Smugglers Notch State Park
A unique environment due to its elevation, this park consists of trailheads to some of the more popular Vermont hiking trails.

Stillwater State Park
Once again, over 22 miles of hiking trails in the Groton State Forest.

Underhill State Park
Located halfway up Mount Mansfield, "...four hiking trails to the Summit ridge connect with Vermont’s Long Trail and make this park a great hikers’ destination."

White Caps Campground
"Lake Willoughby is a 5-mile glacier lake at the foot of imposing cliffs of Mts. Pisgah and Hor... Spectacular views for hiking, Kingdom Trails offers bikers 100 miles of scenic rides. Come see where they ice climb in the winter."

Woodsford State Park
This park features several hiking trails, including a 2.7-mile trail around Adams Reservoir.

Woods Island State Park
Yet another primitive island camping experience, hiking trails abound on this 125-acre Lake Champlain island.

 


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