Vermont is not only one of the best places to live and work in the U.S.; it’s also a hugely popular vacation destination. All seasons have their own charm in this freethinking New England state, from the long, snowy winters to gloriously sunny summers and, of course, the breathtaking fall foliage. It comes as no surprise that Vermont is popular among campers. Along with hiking, skiing and fishing, camping in Vermont is among the greatest things to do in this gorgeous state.
Vermont is one of the least populated American states, home to vast forests, accessible mountains, and picturesque villages. Whether you come for fishing or hiking, kayaking or skiing, Vermont has it all in world-class quality. Fishing on Lake Champlain can be done all year long – ice fishing in winter through boat trips in summer – while kayaks and canoes are welcome on most rivers and lakes. Hiking, however, is arguably the most practiced outdoor pursuit in the Green Mountain State. Trails crisscross across the land, running along the beautiful Lake Champlain shoreline and up to the highest Green Mountain peaks, such as Camels Hump and Mount Mansfield. Vermont is also home to the oldest long-distance trail in the United States, the Long Trail. This path runs from the Massachusetts border all the way north to Canada, following the crest of the Green Mountains. A section of the beloved Appalachian Trail cuts through the state’s southern part as well. Rest assured that you’ll find plenty of camping in Vermont on the way, along the trails, on riverbanks and lakeshores. Are you a winter camper, too? We sure hope so! Vermont happens to be one of North America’s best destinations for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. With renowned resorts such as Killington, Sugarbush and Stowe, it’s a winter sports enthusiast’s paradise.
No matter what adventures you’re after, Vermont has you covered. And at The Dyrt, we’re always ready to help you find the best camping in Vermont.
Beautiful campground. Lush grass meadows. 2 rivers intersect in the campground. Most sites are on or just off the river. Huge volleyball and sports meadow. Nice pavilion. There is a small group of camp sides with electricity and water but most sites have none. The bathrooms are clean. Where the two rivers intersect is a nice sport to put your feet in the water. Kids enjoy tubing the small rapids. We go for 2 weeks most every summer.
You're surrounded by beauty here, but you may also be surrounded with neighbors. The sites offer little privacy even though they're spaced well. The lean-to's are a great amenity but I expected more mature landscaping to offer privacy. Still, we did one of the little hikes and ended at a viewpoint. My kind of place for a day trip more-so than a camping trip but if you don't mind the openness in a small campground then there's not really another downside. In addition, Brattleboro is nearby. Enjoy nature and the views and don't forget the bug spray!
We were pleasantly surprised by this campground. The sites were long and spacious. We had one right next to the playground so our daughter could walk straight to it without having to cross a road. And speaking of playground, it was large and very nice. The campground is close to the highway but we never noticed the road noise. Besides the playground and the pool, the campground also had a basic mini golf course, a game room, and rental go-carts. The lake is a short walk down the street (no direct path from the campground). While we stayed here we took the short drive into Burlington, drove our bikes to the lake bike path, and visited the Ben and Jerry's plant (highly recommended). They didn't have any organized events while we were there. I would recommend to a friend and would gladly stay again.
I’d say this was one of Vermont’s best kept secrets, except I don’t think it’s exactly a secret. Even in October, the Park seemed full with visitors and Stowe was hopping! Leaf peepers were in full force and the grounds were absolutely spectacular- I really picked the perfect time of year to go. Nights got pretty brisk, but the foliage was breathtaking.
The Park, located along scenic Rte108, has about 20 tent sites and 14 lean-to’s well dispersed throughout the grounds. A couple spots were drive-in sites, accessible to those with disabilities; most had small pathways and/or stairwells leading to their platforms. There was not a bad site within the entire vicinity. All were fully shaded and extremely private. Although, I’d be curious about checking out Sites 1 or 16 next time around!
Bathrooms were clean and the main office sold firewood at the entrance. Facilities are also pet friendly. Plus, there are so many hiking trails and recreational opportunities in and around the Park-from Stowe Mountain Resort to the quaint shops in town and local craft breweries. And even with the Park seeming “full”, the grounds were perfectly quiet, without the incessant sound of generators you find at larger state parks.
Without a doubt, Smugglers Notch State Park is a favorite of mine!
Easily my favorite campsite in the Northeast! Operated by the Green Mountain Club caretaker who lives onsite, this campsite costs only $5 per person per night. There's a big 3-wall cabin with room for at least 12, several tent platforms, and there's even a composting privy (#2 only)!! The pond is surprisingly warm for its altitude and it's home to two Common Loons. Water is available at a creek and a spring nearby. There's a huge jumping rock on the far side of the pond.
Although many of the sites here are set up to accommodate large RVs and other trailers, there are also more secluded sites up the hill with trees. This campground has more of a resort feel, with a small pond for swimming, basketball, volleyball, etc. This is a terrific place to enjoy the dark sky and fall foiliage. The bathrooms are exceptionally clean and comfortable.
I chose to stay here while I was finishing up the VT 4000-footers because it was midway between the trails for Mt Ellen/Abram and Killington.
One note of interest: this campground requires RVs to have an RVIA certificate; that excludes different homemade campers and school-bus conversions.
Great location. A good place for families.
We stayed two nights in early September 2018. Easily found with google maps. Was greeted by a friendly staff member and shown how to get to our site. Arrived in the pitch black but was easy to find out site. Tent site #10.
It was very quiet, everyone seems to be enjoying their own spot. You can see your neighbors but there is some room in between sites. Clean bathrooms and relatively clean showers. Out site hand a picnic table and fire ring with grate.
We were a very short walk to the beach, where you could swim. Perfect spot to practice some night photography with minimal light pollution.
Also had a fire going all night by the building attached to the bathrooms. They offered wood, ice and small things to buy if needed.
Definitely recommend staying here. Pricing would be the only slight negative, it is about average from what we have looked at. Wish we could have stayed longer.
Before hiking Mount Ascutney, we camped in the state park of the same name. We hiked the Weathersfield Trail (2.9 miles from trailhead to summit). It was a challenge, but well worth it. There were several lookout points with spectacular views. I highly recommend it!
We arrived around 7pm for a weekend stay. The ranger station was closed, but the rangers were kind enough to leave a note on a whiteboard for all the campers with reservations arriving late. The note reminded everyone of their campsites, and included a map that showed where each specific site was. It was very helpful! The campground is very wooded and dark, so without this map it would have been even more difficult to find our site!
Due to the looming threat of thunderstorms, we chose a lean-to site. Each sturdy lean-to was equipped with a broom to sweep out any leaves/dirt/debris that had accumulated in there. All sites included a fire ring and picnic table. There were some dated, but clean restrooms. There were coin-operated hot showers that were reasonably priced ($1 for 10 min). The campground also sold firewood ($6 for a good-sized bundle) and ice ($2 for a 5lb. bag) which can be purchased at the ranger station.
One aspect of this campground that I loved was the privacy. Due to the spacing between sites, and all the trees, it was quiet and peaceful. The campground couldn't have been more than a third full, but I bet it would still be quiet if it were more populated.
I really enjoyed my stay at Mt. Ascutney State Park Campground, and would love to return!
Gold Brook is clean and quiet small campground just outside of the village of Stowe. The campground features a nice pool and spacious level camp sites. This campground is the perfect location to setup base camp to see all that Stowe has to offer!
This is one of our favorite places to camp in Vermont. The sites are fairly private without being built too close together. Lake is clean and has a great concrete dock that the kids love to jump off. They have boat rentals and nature tours on the lake led by the state park faculty. When the kids get tired from swimming they're a nice beach area and playground.
Very nice sites, most have good privacy and are rather large - many of them also have large boulders around them! Access to Boulder Beach is included, which is a short walk or drive down the road. The best part of this campground is its access to hiking trails in Groton State Forest - there is an access point right in the park with connections to New Discovery State Park, Big and Little Dear Mountains, the Nature Center and Boulder Beach. There is also an access point to the equestrian trail to New Discovery, although there are no equestrian sites at this campground.
This campground offers seasonal sites (my friend's parents got one this season) and has all the necessities to hook up your RV and create your own temporary summer escape. It also would be a nice place to stay for a night if you're driving through. Sites are spacious, but most are rather close to one another - especially the waterfront ones which are packed in there and offer room for no more than a car and trailer. This can get noisy, but also let's you get to know your neighbors. Many of the sites are under pine trees, so pitch can get on a lot of stuff. Many sites are just a stone's throw away from the pond, which makes for great scenery and sunrises! There also is a small swimming area that doubles as a canoe/kayak launch as well. The bathrooms are clean and they even offer laundry services.
Overall, this is a nice campground if you like to get outside for the weekend with amenities, but it doesn't have that "backcountry" feel that other, more primitive campgrounds have.
Lazy Lions is a comfortable campground with an adults-only policy. Having spent time in plenty of campgrounds with screaming or unwinded children, I could see this as a positive draw for the RV'ing crowd. I think we were the only tent campers the night we stayed.
Our tent site was level and on comfy plush grass, well maintained and either a beautiful addition of two (plastic) adirondack chairs at our fire pit with grill. This was especially welcome because we hadn't really planned on cooking but when we saw the great fire set up not only did we save time and energy by not having to take out (and put away!) our camping chairs, I was able to turn our chips and salsa into nachos using some amazing Vermont cheese we'd picked up earlier. My boyfriend has declared this was his favorite camping meal ever so thanks Lazy Lions for the unexpected awesomeness.
Our check in was smoothe, there was plenty of room at this campground, perhaps due to the fact that there isn't too much to do other than set up and sleep. It did have a pool.
On check in we found the front desk (owner?) to be less than warm, and at $7 to firewood a little pricey. We were warned to be careful with our food because of "critters" and when I asked what kind of critters the man responded, "all of them". Less than helpful. In hindsight we believe we found bear scat on our site.
We slept well, bathroom facilities were clean and well stocked. Showers, which we did not use, we $0.25 for four minutes. There was a microwave and wash sink as well for dishes, we didn't use either.
We met lovely people and had a fine night, there was just nothing particularly special about the place
This campground is easy to access, though owing to that one can hear traffic on the nearby road. The lake is beautiful, clear and clean, and there is a beach with sand for swimming. We had our trail bikes so took advantage of the Montpelier-Wells Rail Trail (Cross Vermont Trail), accessible directly from the campground. The site was directly on the lake and clean. The folks working check-in were friendly and helpful. The lake is really nice for kayaking or swimming, and has some loons, but when we were there it carried lots of noise from other sites. The place is gorgeous, but a few knocks because of the noise level. I would go back again though!
This campground is located down a long dirt road on which there are lots of summer houses. It is worth the drive. Although the sites are pretty big, and very clean, they feel a little close--maybe owing to the slope of the campground. Despite that, it is well maintained and nice. There are some trails to hike on and the lake is clear and beautiful. The loons are amazing. The fellow who checked us in was super helpful and told us to decide if we wanted to stay another night before paying the next day. All in all it was a great experience!!
Burton Island is a 2.5 mile long island state park off of the shoreline of Lake Champlain. It is a car free paradise that requires a boat or ferry to get to but yield the rewards of peace, nature, and gorgeous shoreline.
Campsites at Burton Island book far in advance. When we booked our Labor Day weekend tent site back in March, there were only 2 leantos (out of 26) left and a handful of tent sites (out of 14). You can visit https://vtstateparks.com/burton.html to book a reservation. The campground is open from Memorial Day Weekend through the Tuesday morning after Labor Day.
We stayed at site 7 in the main tent site loop. While we didn't technically have shore line access, there was a short path through the woods that led to a rocky shoreline where we left our canoe and kayak. There was ample space among the trees for hanging hammocks. The dirt and gravel pad was mostly flat, without any pesky roots to poke us. The site also drained very well--it rained all night our last night and we had zero seepage into the tent floor.
The tenter section was just a short walk to a clean bathroom up on the hill. Each side had one shower that cost 50 cents per 5 minutes of shower time. There are two other bathrooms available but a further walk. The tent site section was also nice and close to the Marina area, which included a store that serves coffee and sandwiches (the coffee was decent!). While one could hear the folks docked down in the Marina when they hung out on their boats, our site was not close enough for their noise to be a nuisance. There is a water access point within 300 feet of most campsites--which was perfect.
Dogs are allowed at Burton Island, but there are areas at the State Park that they are not allowed, such as the beach area. Alcohol consumption is also allowed, but there wasn't any problem with people partying loudly or obnoxiously.
There are beautiful trails that cover the island. The south tip of the island gets more wind, and therefore waves, which my children greatly enjoyed for swimming. The northern part has shale beaches, and a few areas of mucky/pebbly beaches. Lots of old trees abound as well. There are also tons of frogs! The trails are all short enough that they could be explored during one day--or go on them multiple times for sunsets and sunrises.
Getting to the island was the hardest part. Depending on the weather, the 3/4 mile crossing from Kamp KilKare State Park can be rough and windy. If you are an experienced paddler, have a good copilot, and not too much gear, you would be fine. Also, if you have a boat with a motor, most of the time the water is not too rough. However, the Island Runner Ferry is likely the best option for most people who want to enjoy the island without being stressed about swamping a boat! The ferry is $8 per person, with no extra charge for gear. They do charge $2 for bikes. If you want to use the ferry, but still want a kayak or canoe at the island, you have to paddle it across separately
Overall, we had a fabulous time. We watched a sunset on the South tip, caught frogs at our shoreline, rented a paddleboard, played int the waves, and enjoyed the icecream sandwiches form the camp store, skipped stones in the lake, and explored the island. Our kids can't wait to go back.
Since I am a Ranger for The Dyrt, I have the fun task of testing products every now and then.
This camping trip I was quite thrilled to be chosen to test out a product from Nature's Coffee Kettle. We LOVE coffee, and generally bring our French Press and hand coffee grinder along camping so we can have a good cup of joe.
As parents of 5 kids, we always need LOTS of coffee while camping. During this trip, we tested out the International 16-Cup Pack. We even left our own coffee at home so that we would not be tempted to use it instead.
-- Nature's Coffee Kettle is basically an ultra-lightweight version of a pour-over coffee system. The basic component of the system is a heavy duty plastic bag with a spout and built-in funnel. Their coffees are really ground coffee (not instant) packaged in portions for 4 cups. The envelope of coffee gets placed into the funnel portion of the plastic reservoir, and you pour boiling water slowly over it. Sometimes you have to pause for the water to finish trickling down. The whole process takes about 4 minutes. The trickiest part of the system is the need to hold the bag upright while pour--a few times it tipped over since the base didn't have enough weight in it.
Coffee verdict: It tasted GOOD! Not quite as amazing as the stuff we brew at home, but honestly, as good as most coffee I have had at coffee shops! We liked the Sumatran and Guatemalan flavors the best, though we also tried the Columbian and French Roast.
System verdict: It was a little tricky to use at first--be careful not to burn yourself! I did love how lightweight it was, and how little space it took up. The plastic brew system folds flat, and is reusable. It would be fantastic for backpacking. It was so much better than instant coffee.