Craig Whipple, Director of Vermont State Parks, recently sent out an excellent short summary of places you can walk in the Vermont parks to enjoy fresh air and gorgeous views of the foliage. Below is a roundup of the hiking locations and tips offered by Director Whipple.
Mount Olga Loop, Molly Stark State Park in Wallingford — This hike takes you up Mount Olga. This trail includes a fire tower to where you can see mountains in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. 1.7-miles. Trail Map.
Deer Leap Overlook, Gifford Woods State Park in Killington — This challenging hike travels through and old growth northern hardwood forest. Deer Leap offers beautiful views, and it is near the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail. Trail Map.
Healing Springs Nature Trail, Lake Shaftsbury State Park in Shaftsbury — This three-quarter-mile loop winds along Lake Shaftsbury. If you had lived in the 19th century, you might have bought Lake Shaftsbury bottled water from the lake’s mineral springs. Trail Map.
Owl’s Head Trail, New Discovery State Park in Groton State Forest — Owl’s Head is a moderately difficult that you can reach from New Discovery State Park road. Head to the peak to see Kettle Pond, Lake Groton, and the Green Mountains. 1.5-mile. Trail Map.
Stevenson Brook Trail, Little River State Park in Waterbury — Stevenson Brook Trail offers several side trails you can add or choose not to add to your hike. Explore what is left of old homesteads, sugar houses, barns, sawmills, and a cemetery. Trail Map.
Northeast Kingdom Nature Trail, Brighton State Park in Island Pond — This wild park on Spectacle Pond has wonderful water birds to see, like great blue heron and osprey. The Loggers’ Loop, Main Loop, Red Pine, and Shore Trails are good viewing places to see wildlife and brilliant fall colors. Trail Map.