Mellow Thanksgiving Day Hikes: Lakeside Loops

Either way you do it: Whether you want to work off some calories after a large and satisfying Thanksgiving Day meal, or you want to work up an appetite for the feast to come, here are some easy rambles that are great for the whole family. 

Each of these hikes are loop trails that circumnavigate ponds or small lakes. With the leaves off the trees you can see farther into the woods than in the summer time, and wildlife love the edge habitat the ponds create. Combine great wildlife viewing with little or no elevation change -- you've got yourself the perfect apres-meal adventure.
Groton State Forest
Peachman, Vermont
2 miles, 2 hours. Effort Rating: Easy. This scenic loop begins at the Osmore Pond picnic shelter. The trail veers south, away from the pond's edge. It passes under a power line just before the junction with the Little Deer Trail (0.6 miles). Continuing around the pond, the trail crosses Hosmer Brook and heads north to the trail junction. At the north end of pond, the trail may be wet
Healing Springs Trailnear the junction with the trail from New Discovery Campground. The trail follows the pond back to the picnic shelter. Elevation Change: 1456 feet - 1477 feet

Lake Shaftsbury State Park
Shaftsbury
This walk around Lake Shaftsbury provides a glimpse of the area's history as well as its beautiful woods and waters.  From the days of Healing Springs to the present, both human and natural forces have shaped the environment.  By interpreting the landscape and drawing on the memories of local historians, this trail tells some of Lake Shaftsbury's story.  The path leads through rich wetlands, a home and nesting area for birds that prefer seclusion.  

Lowell Lake State Park
LudlowThe 3.5-mile long Lowell Lake Trail is one of the main features of the park. It circles Lowell Lake using a foot path and portions of snowmobile trail, multi-use path on the western side of the park and part of a town road. Trail highlights include a Revolutionary War-era cemetery, stands of large white pine trees and scenic views of the lake and wetlands. The trail is located on relatively flat terrain and the hike is easy, with some wet sections. The trail is marked with blue paint blazes.

Woodford State Park
Woodford 
The longer main hiking trail in the park circumnavigates the reservoir and campground, sticking to the woods on the eastern side of the park, and coming closer to the shoreline along the west. Ample opportunity for wildlife viewing. Can be accessed from the day use area parking lot or at several points along the campground road.

For more trail information, visit our Hiking Page.

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