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Burlington, Vermont is a beautiful city located in the heart of the Green Mountains. The area is known for its stunning natural beauty and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, there are plenty of trails and routes to choose from when hiking near Burlington. From easy, scenic hikes to more challenging treks, we’ll detail a variety of hiking options for you in the greater Burlington area. Whether you’re looking to take in the breathtaking views from the top of a mountain or simply enjoy a peaceful walk through the woods, Burlington and the Green Mountains of Vermont have you covered.
Hiking Near the Burlington Waterfront
One of the best places to go hiking near Burlington is the Burlington Waterfront. The waterfront offers several miles of trails and bike paths along the shores of Lake Champlain, providing stunning views of the lake and the Adirondack Mountains. The trails are well-maintained and offer a variety of terrain, from easy, flat paths to more challenging inclines. The accessible nature of this area allows these hikes to be enjoyed by the entire family regardless of ability. This area is also frequently home to music and food festivals, and is in close proximity to downtown Burlington so it’s a great option if you’re already visiting the area for one of it’s other many attractions.
Winooski Valley Park District
Another great option for hikers is the Winooski Valley Park District. The Winooski Valley Park District owns and manages 18 parks and natural areas covering 1,750 acres. These include 25 miles of trails and 13 miles of protected shoreline along rivers, lakes, and ponds. The parks are open to the public for free year-round, from dawn to dusk. Here you’ll find trails that wind through forests, wetlands, and fields. The parks offer a variety of trails, from easy, flat paths to more challenging routes that climb the slopes of the Green Mountains.
One of the most popular hiking destinations near Burlington is the Long Trail. This historic trail runs the length of Vermont, from the Massachusetts border to the Canadian border. The trail offers a variety of terrain, from gentle slopes to steep, rocky peaks. It also provides access to some of the most beautiful wilderness throughout the region. Camping along the Long Trail is a popular option for day hikers and thru-hikers alike, with designated campsites available throughout the trail. This trail is popular for thru-hikers in the spring and summer months who seek to hike the entire 272-mile trail end-to-end backpacking along the way. The Long Trail passes through a number of small towns along the way, offering hikers the opportunity to resupply and rest. Hikers can follow the white blazes that run for the extent of the trail, and side trails are marked with blue blazes.
Mount Philo State Park
Another great spot for hiking near Burlington is Mount Philo State Park. Located just a short drive from the city in the town of Charlotte, this park features a 1.4 mile-long trail to the summit of Mount Philo, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area including Lake Champlain. The trail is steep in places, but the reward of reaching the top is well worth the effort. Along the way you’ll witness the history of this trail, formerly serving as a carriage road for the early settlers in this area. Along the way to the top you will encounter a number of gazebos and vistas where you can stop to take in the surrounding beauty.
Green Mountain National Forest
For those looking for more challenging hikes, the Green Mountain National Forest is a great option. Located just a short drive from Burlington, the forest offers over 400,000 acres of wilderness to explore, with hundreds of miles of trails to choose from. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, the Green Mountain National Forest has something for everyone. This area is incredibly wild and sparsely populated, allowing for fantastic opportunities to see wildlife like birds and deer, or even a moose!
Camel’s Hump State Park
In addition to the Burlington Waterfront and Mount Philo State Park, there are many other great places for hiking near Burlington. For example, Camel’s Hump State Park is a popular spot for hikers, offering challenging trails and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The park is named for its most prominent feature, the majestic Camel’s Hump mountain. Standing at over 4,000 feet tall, Camel’s Hump is the highest peak in the state and a popular destination for hikers.
One popular choice within Camel’s Hump is the Monroe Trail, can be a bit of a challenge. This loop is about 0.8 miles long and is wide and flat, making it easy for small children and older adults to navigate. The trail features three viewing spots along the way that offer stunning views of the summit of Camel’s Hump. It’s a great option for those who want to experience the beauty of the area without tackling a more difficult trail. There is also an accessible loop that offers its own parking area. Additionally you may choose to hike the popular Burrows Trail from the Huntington side. This trail is a bit shorter but is challenging nonetheless. It is recommended to arrive early if planning to hike this trail on the weekends due to limited parking availability.
More Hiking Near Burlington, VT
In addition to the trails mentioned above, there are many other great hiking opportunities near Burlington. Some other popular spots include the Colchester Pond Natural Area, the Catamount Trail, and the White Rocks National Recreation Area.
Burlington and the surrounding areas offer an abundance of hiking opportunities. From easy, scenic hikes along the Burlington Waterfront to more challenging treks through the Green Mountains, there are plenty of trails and routes to choose from. With hundreds of miles of trails to explore, Vermont truly has some of the best hiking trails in the country, and it’s all just a short drive away from Burlington. Whether you’re looking to take in stunning views from mountain peaks or enjoy a peaceful walk through the woods, there’s something for everyone to enjoy while hiking near Burlington.
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