Best time to visit Vermont

Hiking in Vermont

Explore spectacular Vermont's backcountry

Best time: late May– late October

Long Trail, Vermont

Vermont is famous for its natural forested landscape, breathtaking mountain views, and scenic valleys. It's hard to find a better hiking destination in the Northeast! The hiking season in Vermont starts after the Memorial Day Weekend, as mountain trails remain closed due to mud from March through late May. The state is especially beautiful with fall foliage in October. After the first snowfalls in late October or November, hiking on higher elevations gets challenging due to colder temperatures and snow.

Northern Vermont: Burlington, Stowe, the Long Trail

Northern Vermont is one of the best hiking destinations in the Northeast. The closest hiking destination to Burlington is Mt. Philo State Park. The main highlight is Mt. Philo peak, elevation 968 (295 m). The peak provides stunning views of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. Check it out in the fall with a stunning sea of foliage. If you are looking for a more challenging hike, try Mount Mansfield, the highest peak of Vermont, located near the skiing resort town of Stowe. 7-mi (11 km) Mount Mansfield Loop Trail is a great hike in the spring due to beautiful wildflowers. 3-mi (5-km) Sunset Ridge Trail to Mount Mansfield offers spectacular views of the Green Mountains, Adirondacks, and Champlain Valley. However, the most popular way to hike The Mount Mansfield is the section of the Long Trail of the Green Mountain Club, which runs through the entire state of Vermont. The Long Trail continues into the Camel's Hump State Park near Waterbury. Hike to the scenic Camel's Hump summit in the summer to see wildflowers. Camp for the night at Hump Brook Tenting Area for the full backcountry experience.

Central and South Central Vermont: Killington, Okemo

One of the most popular mountain hikes in Central Vermont is the scenic Mt. Abraham, the highest peak of Addison County. The mountain that features some alpine tundra flora can be easily reached from the nearby town of Lincoln. Further south, Killington Mountain resort boasts 15 mi of designated hiking trails and lots of lodging options. Other popular hiking destinations in the area include Gifford Woods State Park, located at the foot of Mt. Killington. The forest serves as a great leaf-peeping destination in the fall. Okemo Mountain located near Ludlow attracts hikers with its stunning vistas, wildflowers, and fall foliage. Take an easy Echo Lake Vista Trail or wander through Okemo State Forest, known for its beautiful waterfalls.

Southern Vermont: Green Mountain Forest, Bennington, Manchester

Green Mountains National Forest and the surrounding towns offer plenty of hiking opportunities and other outdoor activities at mountain lakes and swimming holes. Bennington, located in the southwestern part of the Green Mountains, offers easy access to the Appalachian Trail and The Long Trail. There are also plenty of scenic walks such as The Blue Trail at Bennington College and George Aiken Wildflower Trail. The town of Manchester is nestled between the Green and Taconic mountains, which provides a plethora of hiking opportunities. Visit Lye Brook Falls and Little Rock Pond for wildflowers and nice views. For a more challenging adventure, climb Mount Equinox, 3,825 ft (1,165 m), the highest peak of the Taconic Range.

Practical info

What is the best time to hike in Vermont?

Late May to late October is the ideal time to go hiking in Vermont, due to favorable weather conditions. Hiking season officially starts after Memorial Day and the fall foliage season in October is the most beautiful. The colder temperatures and snowfall make it challenging to hike after the first few snowfalls in late October or November in higher elevations. Show more

What are some of the most popular hiking trails in Vermont?

Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, Camel's Hump, Mt. Abraham, Echo Lake Vista Trail, Lye Brook Falls, Little Rock Pond, and Appalachian trail are some of the favorite hiking trails in Vermont. Green Mountains National Forest and Gifford Woods Park offer a plethora of hiking opportunities for hikers of all levels of expertise. Show more

Where is the best place to see fall foliage in Vermont?

The best place to observe the beautiful fall foliage of Vermont is Northern Vermont, with places like the beautiful Mt. Philo, Mt. Mansfield, and Camel's Hump offering stunning views. Killington Mountain resort and Gifford Woods State Park are also well known for their colorful fall foliage. The Taconic and Green Mountains, including Bennington and Manchester, provide stunning visuals of fall foliage. Show more

Can I camp in Vermont's backcountry?

Camping is allowed in the backcountry areas of Vermont. The Hump Brook Tenting Area, situated near Camel's Hump, offers a true backcountry experience. Numerous official camping sites are available, including those on the Long Trail, Appalachian Trail, and within the Green Mountains National Forest. To gain an understanding of current conditions and guidelines, check the Vermont State Park website before heading out into the backcountry. Show more

Are there hiking options for beginners in Vermont?

In Vermont, there are many hiking trails suitable for beginners, including the Blue Trail at Bennington College, George Aiken Wildflower Trail, Echo Lake Vista Trail, and Okemo State Forest. For novice hikers, the Green Mountain National Forest also provides easy hikes, such as Grout Pond and Little Rock Pond. Vermont has a wide variety of hiking trails that cater to hikers of all skill levels. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen