The Quechee Gorge, often called “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon,” is a beautiful spot that everyone should see when in Vermont. This 165-foot gorge in Quechee can be viewed from a bridge above for a few minutes or savored with an overnight camping experience (or somewhere in between), but no matter how long you stay, the important thing is that you’ve checked the item off your
Vermont Summer Bucket List. Happy trails!
Nestled between Woodstock and Hartford, Vermont in the quaint town of Quechee lies the Quechee Gorge. A beautiful wonder of nature, this gorge is a must-see along Route 4.
The focal point is Vermont's deepest gorge, formed by glacial activity approximately 13,000 years ago.
The Quechee Gorge Bridge, originally built in 1911, allows Route 4 to cross over the gorge, providing a stunning view, not to mention a thrilling vantage point. There are sidewalks on either side of the bridge, granting a walk high above the gorge.
A perfectly situated hiking trail provides "gorge-ous" views of the Ottauquechee River. With multiple scenic overlooks, each about 165 feet above the gorge, there are many opportunities for snapping photos of the sparkling waters below.
It's only about a half-mile hike down to the base of the gorge, making it a fairly simple trek. The most strenuous part of the hike is walking the half mile back up the hill to the visitors center. Take advantage of the lookouts with benches along the route, which are perfect for taking a quick breather, and surveying the beautiful landscape.
Another trail option is to hike upstream to the top of the gorge where you'll find Dewey's Pond, a beautiful gem of water and a great place to boat, paddle, and fish. You’ll also find a dam and waterfalls.
The magical part about a visit to Quechee Gorge, is that you can spend as little or as much time as you like.
It is incredibly easy to pull off into one of the available parking areas, hop out of the car, walk the short distance to the bridge, snap a few photos, walk back to the car, and be on your merry way within just a few short minutes.
Another option is to spend time exploring the area. Pack a lunch and hunker down at one of the many picturesque picnic areas available. You could even head down the hiking path and settle down at the bottom of the trail. After about a 10 minute hike downhill, you could enjoy your picnic on the bank of the peaceful river.
Bring your fishing rod! The Ottauquechee River has excellent trout fishing including rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout.
Calling all bird watchers! Many beautiful species of bird have been spotted in and around Quechee State Park including yellow-rumped warbler, Canada goose, mallard, northern goshawk, bald eagle, golden eagle, red-tail, northern harrier, veery, red shoulder, osprey, black-thoated warbler, scarlet tanager, white-throated sparrow, blue jay, and morning dove. Bring your binoculars!
Other wildlife is abound in Quechee State Park. Commonly seen animals include white-tailed deer, coyote, black bear, beaver, otter, turkey, fox, ruffed grouse, red-tailed hawk and sometimes a bald eagle.
If a day trip isn’t long enough, camp out in Quechee State Park. There are 45 tent/trailer sites, as well as 7 lean-to sites. Restrooms and shower facilities are available, too! A perfect place for an overnight stay as we all know – the Vermont State Parks are incredible!
A nice weekend visit to Quechee State Park could even include a little exploration of the area beyond Quechee Gorge itself. Nearby Hartford and Woodstock have plenty to offer. Just a quick Google search, and you're good to go! Restaurants, shops, farms, and factory tours - there's truly something for everyone.
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