Join Vermont State Parks for First Day Hikes

Start 2022 on the right foot with a beautiful hike. On January 1, 2022, everyone is invited to join a free, guided, family-friendly hike taking place at many state parks and forests across Vermont. Hikes will be led by professional guides and outdoor educators eager to share their knowledge and love of Vermont’s outdoors. 

Don’t need a guide? No matter where you live in Vermont, a state park or state forest is always close by, and you can still get outside to enjoy it. State Park entry is free on New Year’s Day (and all winter long). You’ll discover a whole new world in winter.

Please dress for the weather and bring traction aids and/or snowshoes depending on conditions. Please bring beverages and snacks. Contact hike leaders to pre-register. Hike leaders will contact you with more details and information about your hike.

Check out our Facebook and Twitter feeds for more information and more hikes as they are added.


Guided Hikes to Join

Allis State Park Hike

Guide: Rebecca Roy, Interpretive Program Manager, Rebecca.roy@vermont.gov

Meeting time: 1:00pm

Meeting Location: Gate on the access road to Allis State Park, 284 Allis State Park Road, Randolph

Hike Description: 2 miles, moderate difficulty, 2 hours

We will hike up on the road into the day use area of Allis State Park, explore the rich history of this special park together, and hike up the fire tower to enjoy some beautiful and expansive views (conditions permitting). Please bring traction aids, snacks, and water. 

Owl's Head, Groton State Forest

Guide Name: Walter Opuszynski, Forest Recreation Specialist, walter.opuszynski@vermont.gov 

Meeting Time: 1:00PM 

Meeting Location: Parking at the gate just off Route 232

Hike Description: 2 miles, moderate difficulty, 1 hour

The access to Owl’s Head is located off Route 232 in Groton State Forest. There are two ways to get to the top of Owl’s Head; a 2-mile hiking trail or by hiking ¾ mile up the access road. We will be walking up the access road; parking at the gate just off Route 232. There is enough room at this location for 8 cars. If we have more cars we can shuttle people from the Kettle Pond parking area a mile south on Route 232. To RSVP, to ask questions, or to confirm the hike is still occurring call Walter at (802) 522-6022.

CCC Road Loop on Mt Hor

Guide Name: Cathi Brooks, GMC NEK Section, nektrecker@gmail.com 

Meeting Time: 9:00am

Meeting Location: Mt Hor Trailhead on 5A in Orleans

Hike Description: 5 miles, a loop hike up and around, moderate terrain, approximately 3 hours. Weather will determine if spikes or snowshoes are needed. Please contact hike leader. 

Hike to Butler Lodge

Guide Name: David Hathaway, GMC Volunteer, David.hathaway.78@gmail.com  

Meeting Time: 9:00AM 

Meeting Location: Butler Lodge trailhead on Stevensville Road in Underhill

Hike Description: 3.6 miles, moderate difficulty, 2 hours

We will hike up to Butler Lodge on the Butler Lodge Trail. It is approximately 3.6 miles and moderate difficulty. Please bring micro spikes or other good traction aids (and snowshoes if there is snow). The hike will take approximately 2 hours. Group size is limited, please contact leader to preregister.

Abandoned Underground Marble Quarry at Mt Aeolus in East Dorset

Guide Name: Peter Hildick-Smith, GMC Volunteer, peter@hildick-smith.com 

Meeting Time: 9:00 am

Meeting Location: Quarry Road entrance off Dorset Hill Road in East Dorset

Hike Description: 2 miles, moderate difficulty, kid friendly, 2 hours.

Way back in 1808 a new marble quarry was first opened halfway up the east flank of Mt. Aeolus in East Dorset, and continued in operation there for over a century. Long since abandoned, the Freedleyville Quarry is a dramatic “underground” quarry, a natural ice rink in winter, and a symbol of Vermont’s heritage. Proof of COVID vaccination required for all participants.

Need a little winter hiking primer before your hike? 


Check out the recording of Know Before You Go: How to Prepare for Winter Hiking program.

Check out Green Mountain Club for more advanced hiking tips:

For park access and off-season use info, check out our winter activities page: https://vtstateparks.com/winter-activities.html

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