Winter Activities

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Winter Activities Overview

Contrary to what you might think, Vermont State Parks stay open for use all year long. Parks are great places to go for skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, fat biking, snowmobiling and more.

There are no fees during the off-season, and staff, restrooms and drinking water are also unavailable.

Winter Use Guidelines

Here are some guidelines to make your trip more enjoyable:

  • Please park only in a manner that allows access by others and please drive only on established roadways or parking areas.
  • Water supply, restroom or refuse removal services or facilities are closed for the season.
  • Leave No Trace: Carry in/ carry out
  • Have a plan. Snow plowing arrangements vary by location. Be prepared to dig yourselves out in the event of inclement weather.
  • While hunting is not permitted in developed recreation areas like state parks during the regular operating season, hunting is allowed on most state lands in the parks off-season.
  • Access is free of charge.
  • Park staff are only present sporadically during the off season. We invite you to be our "eyes and ears" by please reporting to parks@vermont.gov anything you notice or discover amiss or out of the ordinary (vandalism, break-ins, inappropriate facility use, etc.).

Off-season Access and Parking

Northwest

Alburgh Dunes State Park: West gate (Coon Point entrance) is open beginning in October; East and center gates open for VAST trail during snowmobile season; East gate (Poor Farm entrance) opens for ice-fishing access.

Grand Isle State Park: Open through town road but gate is closed at Rt. 2; Plowed to boat launch for ice fishing access.

Kill Kare State Park: Gate is open and road is plowed to parking lot. Port-a-let toilets available during ice fishing season.

Knight Point State Park: Gate is open and access is plowed to maintenance shop area; Partial plowed parking for ice fishing and trail access. Port-a-let onsite.

Lake Carmi State Park: Gate is open and one bathroom opens early to accommodate walleye fishing; Plowed to boat launch area for ice fishing access. Campground access road is part of a VAST trail.

Niquette Bay State Park: Gate is open. Entrance and parking lot plowed; Port-a-lets are provided in parking lot.

North Hero State Park: Access at the main gate which is closed before first snowfall. Please do not block the gate.

Sand Bar State Park: Gate is open; parking lot is plowed and port-a-lets are provided.

Underhill State Park: Gate remains open until first snow. Thereafter, road is plowed to within one mile of the gate; turn-around and some parking space provided.

Northeast

Brighton State Park: Open for deer and moose hunting, then the gate is closed; a VAST trail connects with the park near the beach area.

Crystal Lake State Park: Gate is open and is plowed around the contact station.

Elmore State Park: Lower access is open and plowed for events by organizers; park is open for deer season.

Green River Reservoir State Park: Gate is closed. Upper parking may be plowed.

Kettle Pond State Park: Gate is closed. Plowed parking in day use parking area and in front of park entrance gate.

Little River State Park:Gate is closed until November 14, then it opens for deer rifle season and camping. Gate will be closed November 29 – December 4. Gate will reopen for the season December 5.

Maidstone State Park: Gate is open for VAST trail; day use parking is open and plowed for ice fishing access.

New Discovery State Park: Parking area is plowed. Park is open for deer season.

Seyon Lodge State Park: Park is open

Smugglers' Notch State Park: Park is plowed to contact station.

Groton Nature Center: Plowed parking.

Groton Overlook: Plowed parking.

Northern Parking Area in Groton: Plowed parking.

Southwest

Bomoseen State Park: Fishing access is plowed throughout the winter.

Branbury State Park: Fishing access is plowed throughout the winter; Port-a-lets are provided.

Button Bay State Park: State park is plowed as far as the front office for winter use.

Emerald Lake State Park: Plowed to day use parking lot and port-o-potty available.

Lake St. Catherine State Park: Fishing access is plowed throughout the winter; Port-a-lets are provided.

Mt. Philo State Park: Plowed parking in winter; Port-a-lets are provided.

Taconic Mountain Ramble State Park: Plowed to winter parking area.

Woodford State Park: Plowed parking is available on Route 9 across from park for ski and snowmobile access.

Southeast

Allis State Park: Access either from the gate at the end of State Park Road or from the intersection of State Park Road and Rt 65 if State Park Rd is not plowed.

Camp Plymouth State Park: Plowed parking available just south of park entrance.

Coolidge State Park: Plowed parking is VAST parking lot on Ranger's Road .4 miles from intersection of Coolidge State Park Road and Route 100A.

Fort Dummer State Park: Access at the main gate. Please do not block the snow plow turnaround or the gate.

Gifford Woods State Park: Access open through off season access at maintenance shop, 515 VT Rt. 100.

Jamaica State Park: Plowed parking, port-a-let onsite.

Lowell Lake State Park: Plowed parking.

Mt. Ascutney State Park: Brownsville, Windsor and Weathersfield trailheads are plowed; parking for campground access is provided from a plowed pull-off just outside the entrance.

Muckross State Park: Plowed parking at the park entrance (26 Muckross Road).

Quechee State Park: Access and parking is available at the Quechee Gorge Visitor Center.

Wilgus State Park: Park gate is locked. Do not block the gate or entrance. Parking available .1 mile south on the opposite side of Route 5.

Off-Season Camping

Off-season camping is available at no cost from November 1st through April 1st. The maximum stay is three consecutive nights. You must apply for a permit at least three days before your expected stay. For detailed off-season park accessibility, view our Off-season Access Guide (PDF).

Please Remember:

  • There is a maximum stay of 3 nights for off-season camping
  • Campsites cannot be accessed by RV’s or vehicles. Access is hike-in only.
  • Please park only in a manner that allows access by others and please drive only on established roadways or parking areas.
  • Water supply, restroom or refuse removal services or facilities are closed for the season.
  • Leave No Trace: Carry in/ carry out... everything, even human waste.
  • Have a plan. Snow plowing arrangements vary by location. Be prepared to dig yourselves out in the event of inclement weather.
  • While hunting is not permitted in developed recreation areas like state parks during the regular operating season, hunting is allowed on most state lands during the parks off-season.
  • Access is free of charge.
  • The maximum stay is 3 days.
  • Park staff are only present sporadically during the off-season. We invite you to be our "eyes and ears" by reporting to parks@vermont.gov anything amiss or out of the ordinary (vandalism, break-ins, inappropriate facility use, etc.).

Off season camping in Vermont State Parks will resume November 1st, 2020.

Parks offering off-season camping:

Snowmobiles and ATV's

ATVs are only permitted on frozen bodies of public water.

Snowmobiles must be registered and display a valid TMA (Trail Maintenance Assessment) decal to operate on the VAST (Vermont Association of Snow Travelers) trails network, unless operated solely on frozen bodies of public water.  Snowmobile operators must carry liability insurance.  Off-VAST snowmobile operation in state parks is permitted only on non-plowed roadways and on frozen bodies of public water.  See www.vtvast.org for more info.

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