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!
Came here on the last weekend of the season and loved it! The leaves were beautiful and the campsites we're well groomed and fairly secluded. You can hike up to Mount Ascutney from the campground (it's a really gorgeous 360 view) or drive a few minutes for a shorter hike. The state park fee collection lodge at the entrance had firewood for sale and the bathrooms were super clean!
Make sure to visit the namesake of the park (you can hike or drive up). If not for the important history of this trail (its construction inspired the Long Trail and then the Appalachian Trail and then the CDT, PCT, etc.), some of the best hikes are the other ones thanks to the relative solitude. Go in early-mid October to enjoy the fall colors and to find more peace and quiet. A number of sites have lean-tos, as is northeast tradition. Some of the campsites are close to the road but we didn’t notice too much noise (but we weren’t in the ones closest to the road.
Mt. Ascutney is a monadnock, which means it's a mountain all on its own and not actually part of the Green Mountains. The campground is nestled into the base of the mountain. It's definitely a hiking destination. Otherwise there isn't much to do besides eat s'mores and relax at camp. There's a bit of road noise from the campground, but it's pretty quiet at night.
There are four different trails up the mountain of varying levels of difficulty. You can also drive right to the top and hike around on the summit trails, which are really pretty and pop out onto ledges with gorgeous vistas. There's a nice fire tower at the top, giving you a 360 degree view across the Green Mountains to the east and the White Mountains to the west. You can also see much of the Connecticut River Valley, which is just beautiful.
I almost forgot to tell you about the hang gliders. There's a launch on the summit, and you can watch the gliders on almost any decent day in the summer. It's so much fun. There 's also a great swimming hole called 20-foot hole not far from the base of the mountain. Wilgus State Park is a few miles away. It's a great park for Connecticut River access, especially for paddlers.
Amazing, hiking to the top of the mountain was fabulous. Would definitely suggest to anyone in the area. Definitely great for mountain bikers as well.