Killington, VT 05751
Park Updates & Alerts
Go a half mile north on Hwy 100
With its location at the base of Killington and Pico peaks and its close proximity to the Appalachian and Long trails, Gifford Woods State Park is a favorite of hikers. Many through-hikers pass the park on their Appalachian Trail journey from Georgia to Maine. The park is also a popular destination during the fall foliage season for its dramatic autumn colors.
Established in 1931 when the state purchased 13 acres of land from Lee Pearsons, the park grew over the next two decades with a land donation from Walter K. Barrows and various land purchases. Mr. Barrows noticed that many passing motorists stopped at the spot to admire the large old trees growing on his property and decided that it should be protected by adding it to the newly established state park.
Development of Gifford Woods State Park began in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a nation-wide public works program created during the Great Depression of the 1930’s to provide jobs and training for thousands of unemployed Americans. In 1933 and 1934, CCC crews constructed the park office and ranger’s quarters, picnic area, stone restroom building, trails, the park entrance and parking area. In 1939 the CCC constructed a camping area. A new section was added to the campground in 1959. The park continued to grow throughout the 20th Century, and reached its current size of 285 acres in 2003, when 171 non-contiguous acres were acquired from the Green Mountain Club to protect the Long Trail corridor.
Today, Gifford Woods contains one of the few old-growth hardwood tree stands remaining in Vermont. The stand has many grand-sized sugar maple, beech, yellow birch, white ash and hemlock. The understory is rich with native wildflowers. In 1978, seven acres of forest in this area was designated the Gifford Woods Natural Area. An additional 13 acres was designated as Gifford Woods National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1980 because of the exemplary quality of the old-growth forest. To preserve the natural state of the Natural Area, no trails are permitted nor development of any kind.
Facilities / Amenities
There are 4 cabins, 21 tent/RV sites and 19 lean-to sites situated in two camping loops. Each loop has a restroom with flush toilets, hot and cold running water and coin-operated hot showers. There is a trailer sanitary station, but there are no hookups. Firewood and ice are available for sale. A wooded picnic area is located behind the ranger's quarters with a play area. Day hikes are available and there is an easy hook up with the Appalachian Trail.