From the AT in southern Vermont to Mount Mansfield or the Elmore Fire Tower in the north, we have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to hiking trails in Vermont. Whether you are up for a challenging mountain climb or a casual nature walk, we have picked some of the best hikes in Vermont and presented them for you here. Enjoy!
Best Hikes in Vermont
Vermont is blessed with some amazing mountain ranges and hiking trails. From the tip-top of the highest peak to the low forest valleys, the Green Mountain State can surely enchant us with its natural wonders. Here are some of the best hikes in Vermont with the most scenic views.
1. Sterling Pond Trail
Sterling Pond Trail, 6443 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672, USA
Location: Stowe, VT Mileage: 2.1-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: To get to the trailhead take Route 108 three miles south of Smugglers' Notch Resort to a parking area. Note that Route 108 is closed from mid-October until mid-May. You can still park near Smugglers' Notch Resort and walk to the trailhead. Dogs are welcome and there may be some off-leash areas as well. Sterling Pond
which is the main feature of this trail is a beautiful alpine lake in Smugglers' Notch State Park. The trek to get there can be challenging with mud and lots of slick stone steps after rain, but the views are well worth the hike. You really can't beat hiking in Vermont on a scenic trail like this one. When you reach the pond set against Madonna Peak you'll feel a smile tugging at your lips.
2. Camel's Hump Trail
Camel's Hump, Huntington, VT 05462, USA
Location: Huntington, VT Mileage: 6.0-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Access the trail from Camel's Hump Road where you'll find a small parking lot. To get to the trail you'll start out on Monroe Trail. A word of caution for those that do not appreciate heights - the last part of the hike is steep and narrow so it can be a little tummy-twisting until you reach the summit. Dogs on leashes are welcome.
As Vermont's third tallest peak, a trek up to see
is a challenge every outdoor adventurer in Vermont needs to take. With absolutely epic 360-degree views at the summit, you can see all the way to Canada on a clear day. With several streams to cross make sure you wear waterproof hiking shoes or good hiking sandals. And depending on the season, bugs will do what bugs usually do.
3. The Chin (Mount Mansfield) via Sunset Ridge Trail
Sunset Ridge Trail, Underhill, VT 05489, USA
Location: Underhill, VT Mileage: 5.2-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Head to Underhill State Park to access the trailhead. If you want to hike all the way to the top take the Halfway House Trail that branches off of the Sunset Ridge Trail to the Long Trail until you reach the Chin.
Another one of the best places to hike in Vermont is
. It is the highest mountain in the state so this is a popular hike. The Sunset Ridge Trail is aptly named because the panoramic views from the top are simply magical when the sun sets. You'll traverse a diverse selection of terrain including small wooden bridges, inclines, declines, rocky sections, and forest trails.
Best Short & Easy Hikes in Vermont
Some of the best hiking trails in Vermont are not all-day affairs. It’s okay to enjoy a walk whenever the urge strikes you simply because you enjoy nature. If you are looking for a fun hike that you don’t need to spend months training for, try these next few trails.
4. Red Rocks Park Loop Trail
Red Rocks Park, 4 Central Ave, South Burlington, VT 05403, USA
Location: Burlington, VT Mileage: 2.7-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This is a popular trail so parking may be filled up at the small parking lot. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash. The trail can get icy in spots in the winter - a set of Yak Trax will do the trick.
Enjoy beautiful look-outs at Lake Champlain on this
gentle loop trail
near Burlington, Vermont. If you are looking for a fun snowshoeing trail in the winter this area is simply magical after a fresh layer of snow. And when the fall colors pop in Vermont the sun-dappled trail glows with an enchanting shimmer making this lovely nature walk even more fantastic.
5. Quechee Gorge Trail
Quechee Gorge, Hartford, VT 05001, USA
Location: Quechee, VT Mileage: 1.3-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Just past the boat launch at the Dewey’s Mills Pond parking lot you'll find the trailhead. Bring a picnic lunch and hang out at the picnic tables before or after you enjoy a fun hike. There are restrooms available as well.
Dewey's Mills Pond
to enjoy this short and sweet trail that runs along the Ottauquechee River. You'll enjoy views of the Ottauquechee Dam and waterfalls at the end of this lovely hike. Sometimes just being surrounded by nature is all it takes to rejuvenate your soul - no grueling hike needed.
6. Thundering Brook Falls
Thundering Brook Falls Trail, 2295 River Rd Fork, Killington, VT 05751, USA
Location: Killington, VT Mileage: 0.5-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Bring the dogs (on a leash) and enjoy a quick boardwalk hike to a waterfall. It will most likely be busy unless you hit the trail early, but it connects to the Appalachian Trail so you can hike as long as you want.
There is something so wonderful about a
that winds in and around a beautiful forest. Even better this one leads you through the Green Mountain National Forest to Thundering Brook Falls, a refreshing series of rapids and waterfalls that flow 125 feet from the upper to the lower falls. The trail is only a half mile long but it is a great way to relax and enjoy the beauty that Vermont has to offer.
Hardest Hikes in Vermont
Whether you are tackling Vermont’s tallest mountain, Mount Mansfield, climbing your way to the top of Camel’s Hump, or through hiking The Long Trail as it passes through the AT, Vermont has some pretty fun and difficult hiking trails. Here are a few of the best hikes in Vermont to challenge yourself with.
7. Camels Hump, Ethan Allen, Ira Allen via Long Trail
Long Trail, Bolton, VT, USA
Location: Bolton, VT Mileage: 17-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard - 6,938 ft elevation gain FYI: Make sure you pack a water filter, extra layers, and sun protection because there are some areas with wide open exposure and the weather can change quickly. The good news is that there should be plenty of streams to rehydrate. To access the trail, park in a small gravel parking lot near Bolton across from the Winooski River. There is a place to check in but no restrooms.
This longer tougher
trek to Camel's Hump
gives you a teaser of what it would be like to through-hike the Appalachian Trail. While you can do the hike in one day there are two shelters for camping out if you choose to overnight. The trail is beautiful with lots of scenic spots to enjoy the awesomeness of Vermont. Stops such as Duxbury Window, Ethan Allen, and Ira Allen summits offer wonderful views. Some trails marked as hard aren't so bad, but this one will challenge you, especially when the weather doesn't cooperate. But there is no better way to really immerse yourself in nature than a hike like this one.
8. Appalachian Trail: Killington to Prosper
Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Killington, VT, USA
Location: Killington, VT Mileage: 16.3-mile point-to-point trail Difficulty: Hard - 4,665 ft elevation gain FYI: The best time to hike this trail is from March through September. Some parts of the trail could have better markers and are especially hard to spot when it gets dark.
The Green Mountain National Forest is a beautiful area of central Vermont. This trek from the ski town of Killington to the charming small town of Prosper along the
will test your hiking prowess. Be sure to swing by the iconic
Back Country Cafe
in Killington before or after your hike to fuel up. As backcountry backpacking trails go, you'll be treated to babbling brooks, wide-open farm fields, rocks and roots, and scenic views.
9. Mt. Mansfield via Nebraska Notch, Long, Sunset Ridge, and Frost Trail
Nebraska Notch, Underhill, VT 05489, USA
Location: Underhill Center, VT Mileage: 13.3-mile loop trail Difficulty: Hard - 4,583 ft elevation gain FYI: Mt. Mansfield State Forest is an impressive 44,444 (We bet they rounded that off so it would be an auspicious set of all four's) acres of scenic vistas. If you start this hike in Stevensville, VT you can head north on the Nebraska Notch Trail.
It's okay to get a little loopy on this wonderful loop trail through the Mount Mansfield State Forest - well, loopy as in awestruck by the scenic views, at least. Covering some of the best trails in Vermont in one shot this epic hike will take you over parts of the Long Trail,
Nebraska Notch Trail
, Sunset Ridge Trail, and Frost Trail to wind around in a 13-mile loop that makes for a wonderful day-hike. You'll enjoy a little bit of everything on this trail from rocky inclines, woodsy wandering, and even a few caves.
Best Waterfront Hikes in Vermont
With hundreds of waterfalls, nearly a thousand lakes, and dozens of rivers in Vermont, there is a whole lot of waterfront to enjoy while hiking. Here are a few of the best waterfront hiking trails in VT.
10. Buttermilk Falls Trail
Buttermilk Falls Road, Buttermilk Falls Rd, Ludlow, VT, USA
Location: Ludlow, VT Mileage: 0.5-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Along Route 103 near Grahamville take Buttermilk Falls Road to the trailhead. If you continue on Buttermilk Falls Road you can explore an abandoned bridge. Dogs are welcome on a leash.
A waterfall hike doesn't have to be a long strenuous ordeal. That's what makes this one such a hidden gem. The trail is only about a half mile long but you will be treated to three sections of waterfalls. The
upper, middle, and lower falls
offer stunning views and a place to cool off on a hot summer day. With a small basin of water under the falls you have a nice quiet place to chill surrounded by the beauty of the Okemo State Forest.
11. Mount Pisgah Trail
Mount Pisgah Trail, Orleans, VT 05860, USA
Location: Orleans, VT Mileage: 4.1-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: The hard rating is mostly due to the steep incline (and decline on the way back) so you will definitely get a good workout. The trail can get slippery in parts during the winter months. Dogs are welcome on a leash. Make sure you head past the summit to get to the lookout because that is where the magic is.
The open blue waters of Lake Willoughby seen from the West Overlook and Pulpit Rock are breathtaking. When you have a challenging hike it makes the beautiful views even more rewarding. If you take the hike in the fall, prepare to enjoy a blast of color as the forest on
comes alive with colors. And as a winter hike, the quiet serenity is pretty magical.
12. Silver Lake Trail Location: Salisbury, VT Mileage: 5.3-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Start early to enjoy the song of the loons on the lake for one of the most serene lake hikes in Vermont. The trail can get busy during peak hours but there are plenty of areas where you enjoy the trail all to yourself.
Silver Lake Trail
is beautiful in all seasons - enjoy wildflowers in the spring, lush green trees in the summer, an explosion of color in the fall, and the quiet magic of gently falling snow in the winter. It's a nice long moderate hike without being too overwhelming - much of the trail is smooth going but there is a rocky bouldering section that ups the difficulty slightly and makes it a bit trickier for dogs.
Best Winter Hikes in Vermont
Everyone knows Vermont is a pretty epic area for alpine skiing. So why wouldn’t it be great for winter hiking as well? From Nordic skiing and snowshoeing to simply trudging through the snow with a cozy pair of boots, these next few trails will give you plenty of winter fun and are some of the best winter hikes in Vermont.
13. Sea Caves at Arthur Park
Sea Caves at Arthur Park, Burlington, VT 05408, USA
Location: Burlington, VT Mileage: 0.6-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Bring your spikes or use the ones on-site - you can even bring your ice skates for a zip around the pond. For the best experience visit in the winter after the ice has frozen. You'll find the caves right across from the Burlington High School between North Avenue and Vt Route 127.
are a hidden gem in Vermont that is best visited in the winter so you can explore the caves. While the trail itself is a short half a mile the real attraction is the caves themselves. It won't test your spelunking skills but it is a fun and interesting spot to put on your bucket list.
14. Teardrop Trail
Teardrop Trail, Stowe, VT, USA
Location: Stowe, VT Mileage: 3.7-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: The trails are not very well marked in the wintertime. It can be especially hard to find your way after a fresh snowfall and you get the honor of trailblazing.
in Underhill State Park is a scenic woodland trail that is open year-round. In the winter it is only open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. If backcountry skiing after a fresh powder snowfall gets you excited, this is a must-add trail to your to-do list.
15. Woodpecker, E-Z Way, Troll Road, and Duke's Loop
Duke's Loop, Woodford, VT, USA
Location: Woodford, VT Mileage: 2.7-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: The Prospect Mountain Nordic Ski Center in Woodford is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available for all ages. There is a daily fee to ski the trails, or season passes are available as well. The Base Lodge Restaurant is also open seven days a week to fuel up before or after your winter adventure.
With over 20 miles of groomed ski and snowshoe trails on
to explore, a Nordic ski getaway might just be in order. Woodpecker, E-Z Way, Troll Road, and Duke's Loop all combine to give you a scenic tour of the Green Mountain National Forest.
Best Hikes near Montpelier
Some of the best hikes in Vermont are right here near Montpelier. Vermont’s capital city has access to several state forests and state parks, and some pretty natural areas right in town. Here are a few hikes you can put on your to-do list near Montpelier.
16. Mount Hunger and White Rock Mountain Loop
White Rock Mountain, Middlesex, VT 05602, USA
Location: Montpelier, VT Mileage: 6.5-mile loop trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: It is highly recommended you tackle Mount Hunger first and then hit White Mountain on the way down. The trail is fairly moderate until you reach the rock scramble toward the top of the Middlebury trail. Parking is available at the end of N Bear Swamp Rd. Dogs are welcome and some areas are designated as off-leash, however, there are some parts of the trail that your dog may struggle with.
The views you get from this
CC Putnam State Forest
hike are breathtaking from White Rock Mountain and Mount Hunger. You can see all the way to the Adirondacks on a clear day. With a tad over 2,000 ft elevation gain, you'll get a good workout, especially toward the top when you'll do a little rock climbing over some rocky sections. The effort, of course, is well worth it when you reach the summit and see for miles.
17. Middlesex Trail to White Rock Trail
White Rock Trail, Montpelier, VT 05602, USA
Location: Montpelier, VT Mileage: 5.7-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: You'll definitely want some microspikes if you plan to hike this trail in the winter months. Any time of year, be prepared for some scramble the closer you get to the top. If you are hiking with your dog, the last few hundred feet might prove to be difficult for them.
This is a beautiful hike and a great way to "warm up" to some of the bigger hikes in Vermont. While it is challenging, it isn't as long as the hikes to Camel's Hump or Mt. Mansfield. It also isn't as heavily trafficked as other easier trails so you'll have some peace and quiet to
enjoy the epic views
18. State House Trail
Hubbard Park, 400 Parkway St, Montpelier, VT 05602, USA
Location: Montpelier, VT Mileage: 1.4-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Hubbard Park is a 194-acre area that was given to the city in 1899 by John E. Hubbard in order to preserve the wilderness for future generations. It has grown in size as others donated more land and the city purchased some as well. There are seven miles of hiking trails to explore - the key feature being the stone tower.
The key feature of this short and sweet hike is the 54-foot stone observation tower that was built starting in 1915. When you reach the top of the trail you can climb to the top of the tower and pretend you are defending your castle from, well whatever mythical creature you decide might be invading. The hike itself is listed as moderate but children and dogs are more than capable of making the trek, and well, us adult kids for that matter. The views of
and the surrounding area are beautiful, especially in the fall when you'll feel like you are able to touch a rainbow of fall colors.
Whether you enjoy a quick stroll or an 18-mile hike through rugged terrain, Vermont can deliver. With its beautiful mountain trails and dense forest paths, we are really blessed with the best that Mother Nature has to offer. What are some of the best hikes in Vermont that you have discovered? Share a few in the comments.
If taking a road trip to see the
best Vermont waterfall hiking trails gets you pretty excited like it does us, check out this list of some amazing waterfalls in Vermont.
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More to Explore
More places to explore in Vermont
Does Vermont have good hiking trails?
Vermont has excellent hiking trails. From Montpelier in the north to Manchester in southern Vermont and everywhere in between, Vermont hiking trails offer us epic mountain views, rich forests, and plenty of wilderness to explore. Here are some of the highlights you can look forward to on your next Vermont hike:
What are the best months to hike in Vermont?
There really isn't a "best month" to hike in Vermont. Each season gives us the chance to experience a whole new world when it comes to scenery and activities. Vermont is one of the premier New England states for fall colors,
winter ski trips, lush green summer forests, and spring wildflower hikes.