7 Amazing Hikes in Vermont That You Don’t Want To Miss Out OnApr 16, 2021 06:54AM ● By Jessica Wagner
Photo Courtesy of Niquette Bay State Park's Website
Spring is in the air and that means plenty more outdoor time than the past few months have allowed. If you’re looking for a good day-hiking spot, check out these 7 incredible paths that can be accomplished within a few hours. With options all around Vermont, you’ll want to lace up those boots and venture out today!
Near the Winooski
With a few different loops to choose from, your scenery can change from the marshes to the Winooski River to the beautiful meadows. Be sure to keep an eye out for the different wildlife you may come across - don’t be surprised if you get to watch a beaver or river otter enjoying the day, too.
Muddy Brook Park is located along the Winooski River in South Burlington near the Burlington National Airport. This trail loop is just under two miles that takes you along the river and back along the edge of the open agricultural fields. The perfect day hike for those looking for a shorter walk.
The Muddy Brook is a very important part of the ecosystem in this area, serving as a linkage for animals such as deer, moose, bears, and bobcats to move through. In addition, the park protects open land, wetlands, shrublands, shoreline, and forests. The Muddy Brook also makes for a great place for lunch with picnic areas in the forest and fishing spots along the way.
Bikes and pets are allowed along the trails, with swimming access for your favorite furry friends in Calm Cove. The limestone cliffs along the western border of the park offer quite the view from over 60 feet high. Along the trails are benches for you to take in the incredible views and rest for a bit while in awe of your surroundings.
Sunny Hollow Natural Area is also located in Colchester along Hercules Drive. This 3-mile trail is typically meant for mountain biking, but those seeking flat ground to walk on find this trail perfect, as well. The 80-acre park runs similar to Route 7 with different trails for all types of skill levels, ranging from beginner to intermediate to advanced.
The trails in Sunny Hollow loop around the ridges and swamp areas, which make a great opportunity for watching beavers. Sunny Hollow may become a favorite of yours if you like to cross-country ski in the wintertime, as the mountain biking trails offer the perfect setup for skiing trails with the Vermont snows.
Oakledge Park is where the Burlington Bike Path starts with amazing views of Lake Champlain. The bike path also offers smooth walking for those that need better footing. During the summer months, Oakledge also offers paddleboard rentals for those wanting to expand their hike to the water.
For more information, check out the Oakledge Park page of the Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront website.
If you’re looking for a further walk, try continuing your hike with the Winooski Gorge Overlook and the Overview Trail. They are close enough together to provide a longer hike, while also giving you even better views of the limestone bluffs.
For more information about the trail and fishing experience, visit the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s website.
The Mount Calvary Red Maple Wetland is located in the New North End of Burlington. This 12-acre park offers a variety of ecology, from dry forests to swampy lowlands. You’ll marvel at the difference a few feet can make as you cross from the dry soils to the murky waters of this park throughout your hike. No rain boots needed, though, as the boardwalk offers a dry walk across the wettest parts of the trail.
Offering plenty of historical development, this park is a wonder to learn about prior to your hike. You can check out the Burling Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront website to read about its origins and development over the years.