Nature April 08, 2021
A Nature Lovers Definitive Guide To Vermont’s Natural Beauty – Parks, Beaches, Hikes And More!
When you think of Vermont, scenes of picturesque rolling hills, majestic mountains, and miles upon miles of beautiful forests come to mind. You might think of sleepy little towns tucked away in the beautiful countryside, farmers markets, and that delectable spring treat, maple sugar. You can enjoy a historical national park or simply enjoy the beauty of the landscape. Vermont has many opportunities for family-friendly activities that allow you to step away from the frenzy of the city and enjoy the simple things in life. Don’t think for one minute that there is not plenty to do in Vermont. It is not a question of finding things to do, but it is a question of how to fit it all into one vacation. Here is our list of top experiences for nature lovers who want to explore some of the most beautiful places Vermont has to offer.
The Best Little Known Park in Vermont
The Most Pristine Beach in Vermont
Vermont is known for its many lakes that feature beautiful waters surrounded by trees and distant mountain vistas. It's difficult to choose a favorite but we think the beach at Shaftsbury State Park is the perfect place to put out your beach towel and enjoy the summer sun. The sand is soft so your little ones can go barefoot without worry. The lake offers a view of the open sky and mountains in the background that take on an almost mystical haze. The lake is perfect for canoeing and there is a picnic area by the beach. You can rent canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats. The waters at Shaftsbury State Park are a blue that you'd expect to find on a Caribbean Island,
so plan your summer trip to this lake soon.
The Most Jaw Dropping Lake in Vermont
Lake Willoughby seems almost too beautiful to be real. This natural wonder is the perfect place if you want a change of pace and it includes waters that are considered the bluest in all of New England. The waters are so clear that you can see all the way to the bottom some distance from the shore. This creates a perfect reflection of the mountains and tall forests surrounding it. It also makes for some magnificent sunsets reflecting off the water. The lake is five miles long and up to 320 feet deep in some places. You can enjoy swimming in the cool temperatures of this glacial lake, or you can enjoy some fishing and boating. If you want to schedule the most beautiful place in Vermont in your summer plans,
Lake Willoughby should be on your list.
The Most Beautiful Island in Vermont
Vermont has a lot of lakes, which means that it also has plenty of island getaways within its state parks. Lake Champlain is not a true lake but an inland sea. When warm weather arrives, islands like La Motte and Grand Isle are the destination for many summer travelers. These islands can be fun, but if you want to feel like you have the entire island almost to yourself, Knight Island might be to your liking. The island is only accessible by boat and it has seven primitive campsites available that are positioned around the 2.5-mile shore. It does not have a boat dock, so plan to beach your boat or anchor offshore.
Knight Island is the perfect place to live out your fantasy of living on a remote island
, at least for the night, so get your reservations in soon.
The Best Trail to Hike in Vermont
Smuggler's Notch State Park in Stowe has hiking trails that you do not want to miss. While hiking, you can explore caves, enjoy a sculptural rock formation, or swim underneath a waterfall. Bingham Falls is the best trail destination in the state. The waterfall is about 40 feet tall and you have the bonus of being able to take a swim in the swimming hole. The area also has plenty of other gorges that create swimming holes along the trail. The hike is short and steep, but the experience at the end makes for an unforgettable day. Plan your trip to
Bingham Falls soon and explore the many opportunities for cooling off in the summer sun.
The Most Beautiful River in Vermont
If you want to tube your way down a crystal clear river, the White River is our favorite choice. The waters wind their way through a valley surrounded by forested hills and beautiful natural rock formations. It is 60 miles long and flows into the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. It is an excellent river for kayaking and canoeing. You can either bring your own or rent one for the day. You can take a break and enjoy a snack at the many picnic areas. Many of the bends feature beaches with soft sand. If you want to enjoy life in the slow lane for the day,
take the family to White River for a pleasant afternoon in the sun.
The Most Scenic Mountain in Vermont
Bromley Mountain has everything you could ever want from a mountain hike. This five-mile out-and-back trail is located in the Green Mountain National Forest and has many interesting sites to see along the way. It is considered moderately difficult, with a steeper portion near the mountain. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow. The climb might be challenging but the view from the top is breathtaking. It gives you a view that stretches many miles into the distance and a spectacular panoramic opportunity for photography. You can enjoy the sounds of songbirds shortly after spring migration, and you do not want to miss the fall foliage from this vantage point.
Be sure to include a hike to Bromley Mountain in your adventure plans.
The Most Unique Garden in Vermont
Hildene is the family estate of Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln. The stately manor is something to see with the elegance of an English manor house. You can walk the trails around the property, see Pullman Cars, and visit the goats and cheese-making facility. There is plenty to see and do here but you absolutely will not want to miss the formal gardens. A visit to the garden alone is worth the trip. The gardens were designed by Jesse Lincoln in 1907 as a gift for her mother. You will enjoy a mix of native and historical plant species, enclosed by manicured, low hedges. The gardens are in the form of a stained glass Cathedral window, with brightly colored flowers creating the stained glass effect. The effect is best experienced from the upper window overlooking the garden. You'll love wandering around paths when the 1,000 hibiscus plants are in full bloom,
so consider planning your trip to Hildene at the height of summer.