View Full Version : Best Camping in Vermont

08-31-2004, 03:55 PM
I was wondering what you guys thought were there best campsites in VT. I stayed a weekend in Gifford Woods a coupla months ago, and found it to be very pleasant. It was nice to be able to take a shower at the end of a day of hiking with my son attached to me. Car camping is really the best option when you have little ones. In October We will try out Emerald Lake, and see how that is. It is close to Manchester, where there is a fair this year (and probably every year). My son loves animals... Emerald Lake is also near Lye Brook Falls, which is always worth the visit.


08-31-2004, 04:23 PM
I enjoyed Woodford State Park (near Bennington) .. it had sites on the lake which were nice. It is close to hiking on the Long trail... Harmon Hill, Glastenbury Mountain.

I also enjoyed Burton Island State Park (Near St. Albans) .. there are easy walking trails, boating, a small nature center and lots of birds.

08-31-2004, 06:48 PM
I am a big fan of Little River State Park Campground in Waterbury. Beautiful area, and they let you drive around and pick your site before registering. It is also located right in the middle of some of the best hiking in VT...

08-31-2004, 06:53 PM
We stayed at Gold Brook Campground in Stowe this past weekend. Some nice sites down by the river if you do not need electric or water at the campsite. Most of the tent sites were empty this past weekend. They have a playground, pool and a very very large field area they keep well mowed - nice green grass.

09-01-2004, 06:53 AM
One of my favorites is Jamaica, near Rawsonville. Many of the sites are right on the river and the town is true Vermont. They used to have a naturalist on staff with lots of activities for the kids.

Another good one is Coolidge. Some of the sites have spectacular views. Good location, near Killington area.

None, however, are better than Gifford Woods in my opinion.

09-01-2004, 08:26 AM
Calvin Coolidge St. Park on RT 100A is wonderful. It is more remote than Gifford and Woodford. There are nice lean-to's that you can reserve for 3 days.
(I reserve 3 and often just stay 2).
There is no lake in the campground but there are easy trails and wonderful dirt roads that you can walk for miles.
"Blueberry" Lean to is very private, away from the road if you have small children but you can drive into it.
I don't think I have ever been to a VT ST Park that I did not like. I like to try them all. Going to Lake Elmore in mid-month.
They have all been special in their own way and they do allow pets on leash.
Have fun!

09-01-2004, 08:57 AM
For many years now, Mrs. G and I have spent a summertime week or 10 days camped in one of the drive-to leantos at Allis State Park, near Brookfield.

Not much to do at the park itself, so it usually is quiet and serene. An old fire tower sits atop Bear Hill (or Bear Mountain, depending on who you talk to) there, and provides views. Well kept toilet facilties, including pay-for-hot showers ($0.25 for five minutes).

The place is “nowhere” for hiking, but primo hiking is within reach if you’re willing to drive an hour or so each way.


09-04-2004, 01:55 AM
Brighton SP has won the state best park award two years in a row. They have some lakefront sites, and esoteric hiking in the area.

09-07-2004, 03:23 AM
You could rent a lean-to at Grand Isle and watch the sun come up over Lake Champlain. Of course, if you like to sleep late, it's the last place you'd want to stay. I stayed there one night before I had business the next day in Plattsburgh. So I combined the lean-to overnight with a cool ferry ride the next day.

09-08-2004, 11:32 AM
Check out "Best in Tent Camping, New England". Can't remember author right now. Lots of good suggestions for mostly RV free camping. My wife, 2 1/2 year old son and I just spent a couple nights at Half Moon Pond State Park near Lake Bomaseen (spelling). A few more "campers" vs. tents but no hook ups. We had a nice site right on the pond, there's a playground and a little beach area w/ some hikes in the neighborhood. Showers, water, etc. I also like Gifford, Coolidge (the lean-to furthest out on the loops have stunning views). There's a hike-in camping area (about a mile hike) whose name I'm spacing on totally right now in southern VT that I'm planning on using as my first "backpacking" trip with my boy! Another couple years.

10-13-2004, 08:53 AM
I thought I would revive to this thread with a report on Emerald Lake. We arrived around 5pm last Friday. After ruining our dinner with soap (instead of olive oil) we went out to dinner at the "best diner" which really is the best diner I have ever been to... Anyway. We arrived back at camp to find a couple of late arrivals setting up camp late. After 10pm we were still listening to them chuckle and whatnot. So, I guess quiet hours are uninforced. We tried to go to sleep around 11pm, but were woken up at 12am by others laughing, and then at 2am by my son who was freaked a tad by sleeping in a tent.

The fair at Hildene the next day was great. They had horse and oxen pulls, and a guy who was really talented at sheering sheep. It was neat to experience a small amount of farm culture, especially in the beautiful Manchester valley, during peak fall colors. I have pictures if anyone expresses interest. One note, if you go to this fair, bring your own lunch. The food at the fair is overpriced, and nothing special.

Final thoughts on Emerald Lake. I thought the leanto we stayed at would overlook the lake. It did not. I thought it would be quiet. It was not, and in fact Rt. 7 is right there, so you listen to the highway all night. If I wanted that, I would move back to Vernon. I also thought it would be private. It was not. The campsites are so shoe-horned in there, that not only did we get to hear everyone's conversations, but we were witness to their fog lights, which is aggrivating when trying to spy stars on a clear night. All in all, we will drive a few miles north to stay at a nicer campground. At least we had fun at the fair.