Guide To Boating In Vermont State Parks

Kayaking on the Adams Reservoir at Woodford State Park 
In addition to our Green Mountains, Vermont is well-known for an abundance of clear lakes, rivers and ponds ideal for all manner of water-based activities. Lake Champlain is sometimes considered
the sixth great lake, and there are countless smaller lakes and ponds that are ideal for a day out.

The boating page on Vermont State Parks’ website offers detailed information on size of the water body, location, if there is a boat launch, and whether that park offers boat rentals (most on a lake do). There is also additional information on rentals, including types of boats available for rent, and pricing. Canoes, kayaks and tandem kayaks, pedal boats, row boats, and stand-up paddleboards are all available at certain parks.

Many lakes also offer fishing access/ boat launch areas that allow you to get your boat out on the water. On the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website, you can search for access areas or view a map of access areas across the state. The website also offers lake and pond depth charts for many lakes in Vermont. 

Several of our parks are islands on Lake Champlain and accessible only by boat. Burton Island State Park is unique, in that it is the only park with a marina and bistro. Something of a specialty destination, Burton Island is accessible only by the park-run Island Runner ferry, or your own craft. Woods Island and Knight Island State Parks are remote islands in Lake Champlain. You must make your own arrangements to get to these islands, but for more experienced paddlers, it can be a fun adventure.

Here is a list of parks we recommend for boating adventures of all sorts:

Lake Carmi State Park, located on Lake Carmi, Enosburgg VT
Waterbury Center State Park, located on the Waterbury Reservoir, Waterbury VT 
Branbury State Park, located on Lake Dunmore, Salisbury VT
Camp Plymouth State Park, located on Echo Lake, Ludlow VT
Bomoseen State Park, located on Lake Bomoseen, Fair Haven VT
Crystal Lake State Park, located on Crystal Lake, Barton VT
Button Bay State Park, located on Lake Champlain, Ferrisburgh VT

Parks ideal for a quieter day of paddling: 

Green River Reservoir State Park, located on the Green River Reservoir, Hyde Park VT
Emerald Lake State Park, located on Emerald Lake, East Dorset VT
Lowell Lake State Park, located on Lowell Lake in Londonderry, VT
Woodford State Park, located on the Adams Reservoir, Bennington VT
Brighton State Park, located on Spectacle Pond, Island Pond, VT

And for those looking for a river adventure:

Wilgus State Park, located on the Connecticut River in Weathersfield, VT
Jamaica State Park, located on the West River, Jamaica VT

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