The Best Camping in Vermont

It’s no surprise that the Green Mountain State simply overflows with natural beauty, from the peaceful Champlain Islands to the quiet shores of Mascoma Lake. Start with this list of Vermont campgrounds to begin planning your next getaway.

Location
Vermont
Dates
Check In – Check Out
Guests
2 Adults

About Vermont Camping

Camping in Vermont can entail as much adventure or as much rest as you want it to. Sit back and relax at a tucked-away site at Brewster Ricer, head out to explore the chilling Smugglers’ Cave, or get a boat out on Willoughby Gap. The options are endless!


Campground Spotlight

Apple Island Resort - South Hero, VT

Nestled on the Champlain Islands, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Vermont as you take in the enchanting views of the Green Mountains majestically towering over idyllic Lake Champlain. This RV resort offers RV sites, tent sites, rustic cabins, and a remodeled farmhouse. A short drive from Burlington, Apple Island Resort is the perfect home base to experience "the best of Vermont in one spot." In addition to campground amenities, enjoy nearby hiking and biking trails, dining options, shops, museums, and more.

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Apple Island Resort Guest Reviews

"Great views of the lake, nice heated pool for the kids, and quiet and clean!"

"Great sites, nice staff."


Vermont Camping FAQs

Camping in Vermont is a similar experience to that in many of the New England states, but it still holds its own unique charm. The Green Mountain State is full of rolling hills and mountains to explore but has a refined dining and lodging scene for when you get off the trail.

What’s the Best Time of Year to Go Camping in Vermont?

Vermont follows a fairly standard season where late spring to early fall is the peak of visitation. One thing to note: black flies. These won’t hurt you, but they don’t make your experience any better. Black fly season is roughly mid-May to early July in Vermont. While it’s very possible to enjoy your experience camping in Vermont during black fly season, you’re better off avoiding it if possible.

What Are the Top Outdoor Activities in Vermont?

In the warmer months, hiking and camping in Vermont are the most popular choices. Vermont gets its share of cold weather, so winter sports lovers will be happy once the snow falls and ski (and winter camping) season picks up.

What Are the National Parks in Vermont?

While opportunities for hiking and camping in Vermont are plentiful, the state has no true national parks. The Appalachian Trail (AT) does run through here, though, accounting for a good deal of the state’s hiking pedigree.

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

What’s likely the most well-known thru-hike in the U.S. makes a pit stop in Vermont on its way to Maine. The Green Mountain State’s section of the AT offers a wide variety of hiking experiences from near-sea level to over 4,000 feet of elevation. If you want to hike a forested section of the AT (and there’s plenty to choose from), Vermont holds some of the best.

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

This is equal parts hiking spot and historic preserve. Some of Vermont’s early history is still on display in the form of the Marsh-Billings House and surrounding structures. While a popular spot for history enthusiasts, the park also features roughly 20 miles of hiking trails. Those looking for camping in Vermont will have to look elsewhere than this historic park, though; there are no lodging options on-site.

North Country National Scenic Trail

The AT isn’t the only game in town (in fact, there are several long trails to choose from in this small state). Vermont holds the eastern terminus of the North Country National Scenic Trail. The trail runs almost 5,000 miles—the longest of all trails in the National Trail System!

Green Mountain National Forest

Besides holding the cabin of poet Robert Frost within its borders, Green Mountain National Forest is also home to some of the best camping in Vermont. You’ll have plenty of campgrounds to choose from, as well as a portion of the Long Trail to hike while you’re there. Green Mountain is likely the best combination for those desiring top-tier hiking and camping in Vermont without long commutes from your tent to the trailhead.

What Are Some of the Most Popular State Parks in Vermont?

Half Moon Pond State Park

Half Moon is actually a section of Bomoseen State Park. Half Moon Pond State Park is a perfect escape best reserved for those looking for peace and quiet. There are several cottages for rent should you want a bit more luxury in your woodland retreat, making for relaxing camping in Vermont.

Camp Plymouth State Park

Just under 300 acres, this state park surrounds a 96-acre lake perfect for summertime watersports fun. Camp Plymouth State Park is a part of the storied history of Vermont. Some of the roads surrounding the area date back to the mid-18th century! Today, it’s a popular spot for hiking, fishing, and even horse camping.

Mt. Philo State Park

Mt. Philo State Park doesn’t offer the same luxurious experience for camping in Vermont as either of the previous two. However, this will be a welcome change for those looking to commune more with nature. Nature watching is a prime activity here, and it’s easy to lose track of time while relaxing at Mt. Philo.

Since the campground near the park is small, and the hiking trails are short and approachable, you may want to make this a day trip if you can’t get a campsite.

Emerald Lake State Park

The main attraction here is in the name. Emerald Lake State Park is home to Emerald Lake, and, you guessed it, the lake is emerald-colored. Photos don’t do this beautiful lake justice, so you’ll just have to check it out for yourself!

There are over 100 campsites to choose from and a full range of all basic amenities. A stay at a campground on Emerald Lake provides one of the best experiences possible when camping in Vermont.

What Are the Top Attractions in Vermont?

Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory Tour and Ice Cream Shop

While you likely won’t run into Ben or Jerry, this tour of the factory is one of the more unique things to do in Vermont. If you’ve ever wondered how the ice cream is made, here’s your chance to get up close and personal (while having a few samples, of course).

Shelburne Museum

In the small town of Shelburne is one of the most interesting museums in the entire Green Mountain State. This museum dedicated to all things art and Americana has 150,000 works on display and is the highlight of the area. If you want to learn about the early history of the U.S., this is one of the best possible places to do so.

Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

The classic teddy bear will never go out of style, and you’re never too old to tour the factory, either! Vermont Teddy Bears are an American institution and have been made in the U.S. since the company’s start in 1981. Conveniently, it’s also located in Shelburne and can be combined with the Shelburne Museum tour in the same day.

Old Stone House Museum & Historic Village

The Stone House Museum exists to preserve the history of the local area and allow visitors to partake in the unique exhibits on display. Aptly named, this stone building has been around since 1836 and was built by the first African-American college graduate in the U.S., Alexander Twilight. A bit under a century later, the building was bought at auction by the Orleans County Historical Society and was opened as the museum you see today in 1925.

Where’s Some of the Best Food in Vermont?

Michael’s on the Hill – Waterbury Center

This converted farmhouse from the early 19th century now features European cuisine comprised of all local ingredients. The ambience is the main attraction here, with a full wrap-around porch to enjoy while you visit.

Simon Pearce – Quechee

Continuing the theme of restored historic buildings, Simon Pearce was once a 19th-century mill. Now a New American-style restaurant serving upscale fares, it lives on. The views here drive much of the patronage, as you can look out over a waterfall during your meal!

Black Sheep Bistro – Vergennes

This farm-to-table spot is on the higher end, but any food lover will realize a stop here is completely worth it. The atmosphere is as perfect for date night as it is for an upscale celebratory dinner. The menu is simple and mainly leans into its French influences. If you’re stuck, make sure to ask for a recommendation because everything on the menu is a fantastic choice.

Misery Loves Co. – Winooski

This wins for both best and worst name for a restaurant. It might not suggest a good time, but Misery Loves Co. is quite the clever name that belies just how good a time you can have here. This bistro follows all the modern trends of rustic eateries with a robust menu of craft cocktails and upscale comfort foods.

There’s no bad time to visit Vermont, though it’s known above all for its magical fall colors. Camping in Vermont offers dense, wooded campsites near equally covered hiking trails, a perfect escape for those wanting some quiet stillness on their vacations.