Best Hikes in Vermont – An Inspiration for Your Next Weekend Outing

The US state of Vermont is primarily forested and known for its unique natural settings. The presence of Stowe, Killington, and Green Mountain National Forest has facilitated many hiking options. Right from an easy day hike to one of the toughest in the country, hiking in Vermont has been one of the most favourite recreational activities in the state. 

If you don’t know where to start or not sure what your jam is, I suggest you check out the below-mentioned hiking trails in Vermont and decide for yourself. 

1. Camel’s Hump Trail

Camel’s Hump TrailImage Source: Flickr.com

Camel's Hump is Vermont’s third highest mountain and one of the most difficult hiking trails in Vermont. Also termed as one of the best hiking trails in the Green Mountains, Camel's Hump can be reached by either Monroe Trail, Dean Trail, or Long Trail. The trail starts off easy but can become very steep and narrow towards the end. Once you reach the summit, you can see Mount Mansfield to the north and Mount Washington to the east; and on clear days, even some parts of Canada. 

Where? Camels Hump State Park

Length: 9.5 kilometres

Elevation Gain: 782 metres

Difficulty: Hard

Activities: Backpacking, Birding, Camping, Hiking, Nature Trips, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Trail Running, Walking, Forest, River Views, Waterfall, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

2. Lye Brook Falls Trail

Lye Brook Falls TrailImage Source: Flickr.com

Situated inside the Lye Brook Wilderness, the heavily wooded Lye Brook Falls Trail leads you to the Lye Brook Falls which is one of the highest and most beautiful waterfalls in Vermont. The trail is well-defined and along the way you will encounter many stream crossings, wildflowers and a few cliffsides. Upon reaching the waterfall, you can visit either of the two lookouts to click some wonderful pictures. 

Where? Green Mountain National Forest

Length: 7.6 km

Elevation Gain: 286 m

Difficulty: Moderate

Activities: Birding, Hiking, Nature Trips, Trail Running, Walking, Forest, River Views, Waterfall, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

3. Sunset Ridge Trail and Long Trail Loop

Sunset Ridge TrailImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

Summit the highest peak in Vermont on this lovely day hike. One of the most popular hikes in Vermont, this hike is moderately strenuous and takes you right to the top of Mount Mansfield. The trail is breath-taking and starts beautifully through the trees before the real climb starts. Walk through the rocky exposed ridges and enjoy the views of the Adirondacks on this trail. Families, couples and photographers would definitely love it here. Views of the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain are easily the highlight and are not to be missed! 

Where? Underhill State Park

Length: 9.8 km

Elevation Gain: 820 m

Difficulty: Hard

Activities: Backpacking, Cross Country Skiing, Hiking, Rock Climbing, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Cave, Forest Views, Waterfall, Wildlife

4. Moss Glen Falls Trail

Moss Glen Falls TrailImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Moss Glen Falls Trail inside the CC Putnam State Forest is an easy hike with some lovely waterfalls that accompany you. The trail starts out flat but gradually gains a bit of an elevation. Wet leaves, bare rocks, and exposed roots make for a lovely sight along the way. Most people use this trail for walking and hiking, and the place is best visited from May until October.

Where? CC Putnam State Forest

Length: 0.8 km

Elevation Gain: 30 m

Difficulty: Easy

Activities: Hiking, Walking, Forest, Waterfall

5. Mount Ascutney South via Weathersfield Trail

Weathersfield TrailImage Source: Flickr.com

Lovely fall colours, sparkling-white waterfalls, and a mountaintop lookout is what makes the Weathersfield Trail inside the Ascutney State Park such an interesting visit. The Weathersfield Trail starts within the beautiful pine-covered path and goes a bit uphill next. It is here that the trail gets serious. But reach the summit and you will be happy. The views from up here are simply superb.

Where? Ascutney State Park

Length: 9.2 km

Elevation Gain: 689 m

Difficulty: Moderate

Activities: Backpacking, Birding, Hiking, Nature Trips, Walking, Forest, River Views, Waterfall, Wild Flowers, Wildlife, Blowdown

6. Mount Philo Trail 

Weathersfield TrailImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

A quick and easy family-friendly hike in Vermont, Mount Philo Trail is a gem of a short hike. A quick drive from Burlington, this minimal effort hike takes you to the top of the 1000-footer Philo. The climb is gentle and very well maintained before it roughens up and gets steep right before the summit. The picnic area, open lawns and several lookouts makes this one of the most popular hikes in Vermont. On a clear day, you can enjoy the views of Lake Champlain shoreline and the Adirondacks as well.

Where? Mt. Philo State Park 

Length: 3.1 km

Elevation Gain: 164 m

Difficulty: Easy

Activities: Birding, Camping, Cross Country Skiing, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Nature Trips, Road Biking, Scenic Driving, Snowshoeing, Trail Running, Walking

7. Stowe Pinnacle Trail

Stowe Pinnacle TrailImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

Best visited from April until October, the Stowe Pinnacle Trail inside the CC Putnam State Forest is one of the best hiking trails in Vermont. What sets this trail apart is its beautiful forest setting. Rated moderate, this trail can be best enjoyed with family and friends. While the trail can get really intense at some points, the views from the top are spectacular and make for a great day-hike. 

Where? CC Putnam State Forest

Length: 6 km

Elevation Gain: 489 m

Difficulty: Moderate

Activities: Birding, Hiking, Nature Trips, Trail Running, Walking, Forest Views

8. Sterling Pond Trail

Sterling Pond TrailImage Source: Flickr.com

A popular hike in Vermont, the Sterling Pond Trail is short, sweet and scenic. What makes this trail popular is that it is located very close to the touristy town of Stowe. Perfect for all seasons; trout fishers, photographers and people looking for a quick hike would love it here. Apart from chilling at the visually stunning alpine Smugglers Notch, you can also explore the historic element of the park. There are lookouts at two separate location as well.   

Where? Smugglers Notch State Park

Length: 3.7 km

Elevation Gain: 277 m

Difficulty: Moderate

Activities: Birding, Hiking, Nature Trips, Walking, Forest Lake Views, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

9. Mount Hunger Waterbury Trail

Mount Hunger Waterbury TrailImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

Considerably shorter than Mansfield, but much harder, the Mount Hunger Waterbury Trail is a fun climb with some amazing views. The hike runs through the C.C. Putnam State Forest and as you make your way up to Mount Hunger, you will notice that the topography keeps changing drastically. Mount Hunger’s summit is wide and open and the views from here are hard to beat! Experienced moderate hikers would love it here. 

Where? CC Putnam State Forest

Length: 6 km

Elevation Gain: 689 m

Difficulty: Hard

Activities: Hiking, Nature Trips, Rock Climbing, Snowshoeing, Trail Running, Walking, Forest Views, Waterfall, Wildlife

10. Bucklin Trail to Killington Peak

Bucklin Trail to Killington PeakImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

Termed as one of the hardest hikes in Vermont, the Bucklin Trail to Killington Peak is also one of the best in the state. Killington Peak is the second highest summit in the Green Mountains and has many trails leading up to it. The 11-odd kilometre Bucklin Trail is one of the most popular. Once you reach the summit, enjoy the views of Green Mountains of Vermont, the Adirondacks of New York, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Where? Green Mountain National Forest

Length: 11.6 km

Elevation Gain: 753 m

Difficulty: Hard

Activities: Backpacking, Birding, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Nature Trips, Snowshoeing, Walking, Forest Views, Wild Flowers, Wildlife

Vermont mountains, forests and state parks are some of the best places to spend a weekend and come back re-energised. So which trail are you planning to scale? Let us know in the comments section below. 

*Few images for representation only

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ever since my first trip at the age of 4, I’ve been fascinated to explore places around the world. Lover of world cultures, food, souls and all things blue; I spend most part of my day writing about travel ...

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