Lone Rock Point
Just a stone’s throw from Burlington’s beautiful waterfront is Lone Rock Point. A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, this thrust fault is evidence of the tectonic forces that created Vermont’s Green Mountains hundreds of millions of years ago.
Paddling to Lone Rock Point during sunset in the summer months is a special treat. The spectacularly light-colored dolostone jutting over the gray shale underneath seems to become almost luminescent as the sun sinks below the horizon.
The Connecticut River
Carving the border between Vermont and New Hampshire, the Connecticut River offers a myriad of options for both day trips and longer sojourns. The East Ryegate-to-Hanover section of the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail is a popular multi-day trip. This 51-mile, portage-free excursion sees the river grows ever wider and more picturesque; it also boasts a number of primitive campsites available along the way that are maintained by the Upper Valley Land Trust.
Green River Reservoir State Park
The Green River Reservoir is beautiful, tranquil, and boasts 28 remote campsites along its 19-mile shoreline. These campsites are accessible only by boat—some 1 to 2 miles from the boat launch site–so get ready to portage.
Located in Hyde Park, this wild and undeveloped place is perfect for early morning paddles after a night of camping. Watch the fog rise from the lake with only the sound of your paddles slipping through the water to break the calm.
More reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord than a lake, Lake Willoughby sits nestled in between Mounts Pisgah and Hor, and is known for the stunning clarity and depth of its water.
Carved from the surrounding landscape by glacial activity, Willoughby is impressively deep with some spots exceeding 300 feet. And the water temperatures remain cold even into the summer. Peregrine falcons nest along the sheer cliffs surrounding the lake. You might even get lucky enough to see one catch a fish.
The Winooski River
As the second-longest river in Vermont, the Winooski winds its way 90 miles through the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains. A trip down the Winooski will take you through pastoral landscapes, the state’s capital, and Vermont’s largest city, all before reaching an end at Lake Champlain.
A popular section of the Winooski to paddle is the length between Bolton and Richmond. It’s also the site of Friend’s of the Winooski’s annual Onion River Race and Ramble. Paddlers venturing down this portion of the river experience some of the Winooski’s more spectacular scenery, with the Green Mountains prominent to the north and south, and the rolling farmland of Bolton and Richmond consistently in view.
The Missisquoi River
High in the northern reaches of Vermont, near the border of Canada, runs the Missisquoi River. A beautiful 12.5-mile loop trip on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail through the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge will prove to be a treat for paddlers of the ecological persuasion. The Great Blue Heron rookery on Shad Island is home to the largest colony of Heron in Vermont.