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Camping Tips & Tricks:
Plan your Grand Isle State Park Weekend

grand isle state park

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Grand Isle State Park, located in the Lake Champlain Islands, makes a great base camp.

You can visit sandy beaches, ride bikes on scenic roads, swim or boat on Lake Champlain and visit the islands' many attractions.

Quick Links:

Park Web Page
Park Campground Map
Park Photo Gallery

Menu Ideas & Shopping Lists
Activities to do with kids
Checklists & Instruction Sheets


Make breakfast in camp; pack bagged lunches

Explore the park, walk down to beach, check out the playground, nature walk and nature center.Pack up bikes and a picnic lunch (1.5 hours)

Go for a bike ride (1 - 2 hours)
The Champlain Islands offer fantastic road biking on quiet lanes with views of farms and the lake. Here are a couple of suggested warm up rides:

Quick Loop (0.5 miles/20 - 30 min.)
From campground entrance road, turn right on East Shore Rd. Turn right on Lake Rd., then a quick left onto Coopers Bay View Rd. At the next T-intersection, turn left onto Cooper Bay Rd. South, then quick left onto East Shore Rd., then back to State Park road and the campground.

Longer Loop (3.16 miles/1 - 1.5 hours)
From campground entrance road, turn right on East Shore Rd. Turn right onto Old Marsh Rd., then left on East Shore Rd.; turn left onto State Park Rd. and return to campground.

There are many other options for biking in the Champlain Islands. See a map with suggested bike rides.

Leave the bikes at camp, grab lunch and beach gear and travel to Sand Bar State Park (1/2 hour)

Spend the afternoon at Sand Bar State Park (3 hours)
Sand Bar State Park, with its long, sandy beach and shallow water make it a favorite of families with young children. There are also plenty of shade trees and grassy lawns. Concession stand and boat rentals are available. And park entry is free to all registered campers from another state park.

Back to camp, showers, relax games

Dinner, campfire, S’mores, play in campground

garden at grand isle

grand isle map



Breakfast in camp

Kayak and Fish (1.5 hour)
You can rent single and double kayaks in the park, or bring your own if you'd like. Fishing from shore is also fun and kids under 15 can fish for free without a license. For adults, short term 1, 3 or 7-day fishing licenses are available. Fishing licenses can be purchased online or be purchased at the park.

Break camp and check out (1 hour)

Visit the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center. (2 hours)
Kids love seeing the huge aquariums and watching the live feeding demonstrations. They also enjoy playing with the many hands-on activities that teach about Lake Champlain and fresh water lake ecology in a fun way. There are special exhibits that frequently change and seasonal special events.

Grab an easy lunch at Sugarsnap Cafe located outside of the Echo Center.

Time permitting, visit the Burlington Waterfront
Enjoy lakeside walking and biking path, bike rentals, ferry cruises on the lake and special events.

Church Street Marketplace is a pedestrian mall in downtown Burlington that offers great shopping and dining options. There are also special events and a variety of street performers and vendors.


Rainy Day Options

Other Options

Get Pizza
McKee's Island Pub & Pizza
513 Route 2, South Hero 05486
(802) 372-5454
Have a nice meal inside this family-friendly restaurant that serves pizza, subs, salads and other pub fare.

Lake Champlain Byway
Take a road trip and let adventure be your guide. Explore without a destination in mind, stop whenever something piques your interest. See farms, museums, covered bridges, orchards and towns.

Alburgh Dunes State Park
151 Coon Point Road, Alburghh 05440
(802) 796-4170
This hidden gem has one of the longest sandy beaches on Lake Champlain. It less crowded than Sand Bar State Park and has great swimming, boat rentals, picnic tables and grills and some easy nature trails.

Ed Weed Fish Culture Station
VT Route 314, Grand Isle 05458
(802) 372-3171
This fish hatchery is Vermont's largest and newest, raising the majority of Vermont's stocked brook, rainbow and brown trout populations. Tour the hatchery and visitor center.

Allenholm Farm
150 South Street, South Hero 05486
Orchard, farm animals, petting farm, farm store, bike rentals, apples.


More Camping Tips & Tricks:

These fun videos walk you through some important camping skills
Weekend Itineraries
Wondering where to go and what to do? These sample itineraries figure it all out for you
Checklists & Instruction Sheets
What to pack, first aid kits, cooking tips, pets, rain and more!
Menus & Recipes
Seven camp-tested menus with recipes and shopping lists for any appetite
Fun Activities
Here we give you some ideas of fun things to do on your next camping trip
iPhone & Android Apps
Download one of our free smart phone apps to find parks for the activities you want to do
Park Events
All summer you can attend free concerts, nature and interpretive programs in the parks, see our schedule.

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