Summer Fun in the Mountains of Vermont

Get ready for an epic summer escape to the mountains of Vermont, where adventure and fun await for the whole family! Vermont’s mountain playground is bursting with excitement, from thrilling outdoor escapades to magical moments in nature.

12 Favorite Activities in the Vermont Mountains

Here are 12 family-friendly activities you must try if planning a trip to the mountains of Vermont this summer. 

#1. Hiking

Hiking in Vermont’s summer mountains is captivating. It immerses you in breathtaking nature. Trails weave through the Green Mountain National Forest, catering to all skill levels. One iconic trail is the Long Trail, stretching over 270 miles. It offers stunning vistas of forests, meadows, and waterfalls.

For a challenge, try Camel’s Hump and Mount Mansfield. They offer rewarding climbs and sweeping panoramic views. Traverse rugged terrain and encounter abundant wildlife and vibrant flora.

Summer Fun in the Mountains of Vermont
In the mountains of Vermont, each step unveils new wonders, deepening your connection with nature. 

#2. Mountain Biking

Mountain biking in Vermont’s majestic landscapes during summer is thrilling. It combines adrenaline-pumping rides with breathtaking scenery. One premier destination is Kingdom Trails in East Burke. It’s a vast network of trails winding through forests, fields, and hillsides. With over 100 miles of trails, riders of all levels can embark on exhilarating adventures. Explore lush greenery and picturesque streams.

Kingdom Trails offers something for everyone, from gentle rides for beginners to challenging descents for advanced riders. Navigate twists and turns while enjoying stunning views of surrounding mountains and valleys. It merges outdoor recreation with the splendor of nature.

#3. Camping

Camping in the mountains of Vermont during the summer offers a serene retreat into the heart of nature, where the crisp mountain air and starry skies create the perfect backdrop for unforgettable outdoor experiences. Smugglers’ Notch State Park, nestled amidst the rugged beauty of the Green Mountains, provides a tranquil setting for camping enthusiasts. Here, campers can pitch their tents or park their RVs amid towering trees and babbling brooks, immersing themselves in the peaceful ambiance of the wilderness.

Similarly, the Groton State Forest offers rustic campsites along the shores of scenic Lake Groton, where campers can enjoy swimming, fishing, and paddling activities during the day before cozying up by the campfire under the starlit sky at night. 

#4. Fishing

Fishing in Vermont’s summer mountains is tranquil and rewarding. Anglers cast their lines in pristine waters amidst picturesque scenery. Lake Champlain, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the U.S., is rich in fish species like bass, trout, and walleye. It’s a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts. Along its shores, enjoy mountain serenity while reeling in catches against majestic peaks.

For a secluded experience, try the Mad River. It offers excellent trout fishing in a scenic mountain setting. Flowing through lush forests, it’s a peaceful retreat where anglers can wade into clear waters and try their luck at catching brown, rainbow, and brook trout.

#5. Canoeing/Kayaking

Canoeing and kayaking in Vermont’s summer mountains offer serene adventures. Explore pristine waters, surrounded by lush forests and towering peaks. The Waterbury Reservoir, amidst the Green Mountains, provides a tranquil setting. Paddle its calm waters, soaking in the beauty. With secluded coves and quiet bays, it’s perfect for peaceful paddling and wildlife viewing.

Alternatively, the Connecticut River, bordering Vermont and New Hampshire, offers expansive paddling. Enjoy gentle currents and scenic vistas. Embark on leisurely journeys, passing through picturesque countryside and encountering diverse wildlife.

Summer Fun in the Mountains of Vermont
Let loose this summer in the mountains of Vermont!

#6. Rock Climbing

Rock climbing in the mountains of Vermont during the summer is an exhilarating adventure that challenges climbers against the rugged granite cliffs and scenic landscapes of the region.

Wheeler Mountain, located in the Northeast Kingdom, offers a variety of climbing routes suitable for climbers of all skill levels. With its solid rock faces and stunning views of the surrounding countryside, Wheeler Mountain provides a thrilling outdoor experience for climbers seeking both challenge and natural beauty.

Similarly, Bolton Valley, known for its winter skiing, transforms into a rock climbing paradise in the summer months. The Bolton Quarry offers a diverse range of climbing routes, from beginner-friendly slabs to advanced overhangs, amidst a picturesque mountain setting.

#7. Scenic Drives

Scenic drives in Vermont’s mountains during summer let you enjoy the state’s stunning natural beauty. Route 100, nicknamed the “Skiers’ Highway,” winds through valleys and alongside peaks, offering breathtaking views. It’s one of Vermont’s most scenic byways, where travelers can explore towns, farmland, and forests while marveling at Green Mountain panoramas. Along the route, find quaint eateries, historic bridges, and hiking trails, making each stop memorable.

Throughout the journey, travelers can discover hidden gems such as quaint roadside eateries, historic covered bridges, and inviting hiking trails, making each stop along the way a memorable experience. 

#8. Wildlife Viewing

In Vermont’s mountains during summer, wildlife viewing is captivating. Visitors observe diverse native species in natural habitats. The VINS Nature Center in Quechee offers immersive wildlife education. It features live raptor shows and interactive exhibits showcasing birds of prey. Visitors get close to eagles, hawks, and owls, learning about their behaviors and conservation.

Additionally, exploring the forests and meadows of Vermont’s mountainous terrain offers opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, black bears, moose, and red foxes.

Summer Fun in the Mountains of Vermont
Touch grass (and a whole lot more) at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. (Photo courtesy VINS/Facebook)

#9. Zip-Lining

Zip-lining in the mountains of Vermont during the summer is an exhilarating adventure that offers breathtaking aerial views and heart-pounding thrills. 

Smugglers’ Notch Resort, nestled within the scenic Green Mountains, provides a thrilling zip-lining experience amidst lush forests and rugged terrain. With multiple zip lines offering varying lengths and speeds, adventurers can soar through the treetops and across ravines, experiencing the sensation of flight while taking in panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains.

With trained guides leading the way and ensuring safety at every step, zip-lining at Smugglers’ Notch offers an unforgettable outdoor adventure suitable for thrill-seekers of all ages.

#10. Whitewater Rafting

Though not as renowned for whitewater rafting as other states, Vermont still offers thrilling river adventures. The West River, especially the part through Jamaica State Park, is popular. It features Class III and IV rapids, perfect for rafters of all levels.

The Lamoille River and the Winooski River also offer rafting opportunities. Outfitters provide guided trips and equipment rentals. Rafting season in Vermont is usually in spring and early summer, when water levels are highest, offering ideal conditions for adventures.

#11. Farm Visits

Visiting farms in the mountains of Vermont during the summer offers a delightful opportunity to connect with the region’s agricultural heritage and savor the bounty of the land. 

Shelburne Farms, situated on the shores of Lake Champlain with views of the Adirondack Mountains, invites visitors to explore its working farm and historic estate. Here, guests can stroll through lush pastures, visit with farm animals, and learn about sustainable farming practices.

Summer Fun in the Mountains of Vermont
Get in touch with your rural side at Billings Farm. (Photo courtesy Billings Farm & Museum/Facebook)

Similarly, Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock provides a glimpse into Vermont’s rural past with its meticulously preserved 19th-century farmstead and interactive exhibits. Visitors can participate in hands-on activities, such as milking cows and making butter, while discovering the importance of agriculture in shaping Vermont’s history and economy.

Additionally, farmers’ markets dot the mountain landscape throughout the summer, offering fresh produce, artisanal goods, and locally crafted products. 

#12. Photography

In Vermont’s summer mountains, go on photography expeditions. Capture stunning landscapes, vibrant flora, and diverse wildlife. The Appalachian Trail, passing through, offers countless photo ops. From panoramic vistas to close-ups of wildflowers. Explore hidden gems like Moss Glen Falls in Granville. It’s a picturesque waterfall in a lush forested ravine, perfect for long exposure shots. Capture the beauty of cascading water against verdant surroundings.

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