Fall parks hikes to beat the crowds

View From Molly Stark 
Want to get out and enjoy the fall? Everyone loves Camel’s Hump and Mt. Mansfield this time of year, but our other parks trails need love too… and are less crowded. If you’ve experienced Vermont in the fall, you know that it’s hard to go wrong. Here are some suggestions for roads less taken. Also remember to be careful on the roads and when parking on trailheads... respect your surroundings and the folks who live there. 

If you have another fall hike to recommend, let us know!

Molly Stark State Park in Wallingford 

Bench at Woodford 
After you’ve watched the colors of northern VT fade, head south and do it all again! A 1.7 mile hike takes you up Mt. Olga and back again. As a bonus, you can climb the fire tower to get great views of the mountains in three states: Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. If you want to do more hiking, the park is also adjacent to more trails at Hogback Mountain. You can camp at Molly Stark through Columbus Day weekend.

Emerald Lake State Park in East Dorset 

This is another southern park with an underrated trails system, including an easy walk following the shore of Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake is open until Columbus Day, and close to Dorset and Manchester.

Jamaica Trail 
Gifford Woods State Park in Killington

Looking for trees? As the name suggests… this park is known for its’ woods, hiking and old- growth forest. Take a leisurely hike around Kent Pond, or a more strenuous one up nearby Dear Leap Trail.

Jamaica State Park in Jamaica

Hike the Hamilton Falls or West River Trails. The West River trail follows the river and is actually part of a 16 mile rail trail- perfect for a long day out! The campground is open through Columbus Day.

Mt. Philo State Park in Charlotte

View from Mt. Philo
Ok, this is a popular hike, but for good reason. The views from the top, especially in fall, are expansive and lovely in any season.

Woodford State Park in Woodford

Hike the 2.7 miles around the reservoir for good views of the water, marshy areas, and lots of woodland. The parks is also adjacent to hiking trails in the Green Mountain National Forest.

Bonus: Seyon Lodge in Groton
A sometimes overlooked spot in the Groton State Forest, Seyon Lodge has a network of day- use trails. You can walk around Noyes Pond, stop for a picnic, relax and enjoy great views of Spruce Mountain. 


  1. Big Deer Mtn in the Groton State Forest is beautiful as well as Devil's ledge in Peacham!


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