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3 (EPIC) Vermont National Parks for Your Visit to the Green Mountain State

Looking for the best Vermont national park? Vermont National Parks include beautiful historic sites, stunning scenic trails, and more.

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Vermont National Parks

marsh billings rockefeller vermont national parks
We’re going to give you three reasons to make Vermont your next vacation destination | Vermont National Parks

Vermont National Parks! We’ve got three incredible national park sites for you to see on your next visit to the Green Mountain state.

Vermont National Parks include historic sites, scenic trails, and more.

To be clear, these are national park sites (as in managed by the National Park Service) but they are not capital letter National Parks. There are only 63 of those (so far).

We’re going to give you three reasons why you’ll want to make Vermont your next vacation destination.

Vermont National Parks Table Of Contents

  1. Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  2. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
  3. North Country National Scenic Trail
  4. Green Mountain National Forest

Vermont National Parks List

1. Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Appalachian National Scenic Trail | Vermont National Parks
Appalachian National Scenic Trail | Vermont National Parks

It’s the longest hiking trail in the world. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a marked hiking trail that runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Just how long a hike is that? Approximately 2,200 miles.

The original concept for the Appalachian Trail was the brainchild of Benton MacKaye. MacKaye was a forester, planner and social reformer who wrote a 1921 article in the Journal of the American Institute of Architects first proposing it.

RELATED: 19+ Hiking Apps RANKED By Experts (From Best To Worst)

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

-Henry David Thoreau

Benton MacKaye | Vermont National Parks

The longest trail in the world was the brainchild of forester, planner and social reformer Benton MacKaye | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In MacKaye’s original vision, the Appalachian Trail would put back together the various parts of American life that were rapidly coming undone in the early 20th century.

It would fuse leisure and industry, environment and labor, community development and wilderness preservation into an interrelated project.

“Let us assume the existence of a giant standing high on the skyline along these mountain ridges, his head just scraping the floating clouds. What would he see from this skyline as he strode along its length from north to south?”

-Benton MacKaye

RELATED: 30+ Best National Parks Books (Great Gifts For Park Lovers) 2021

Giving City Dwellers An Escape | Vermont National Parks

City dwellers can escape to the Appalachian Trail | Vermont National Parks
Benton MacKaye wanted to give city dwellers an escape | Vermont National Parks

MacKaye wanted to give city dwellers an escape from their humdrum urban existences. His bold proposal was nothing less than a wholesale reinvention of social life, economic organization, and land use.

The trail was built by private citizens and completed in 1937. It is currently managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.

It’s a truly magnificent hiking trail traversing the scenic, wooded, pastoral and wild lands of the Appalachian Mountains.

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

-Rachel Carson
In July of 2021, five year-old Harvey Sutton became the youngest ever to hike the complete Appalachian Trail | Courtesy of Josh Sutton

The Teago General Store & Woodstock, Vermont | Vermont National Parks

Teago General Store in South Pomfret, VT. | Photograph courtesy of Robert Sutherland

The Teago General Store at 2035 Pomfret Road in South Pomfret, Vermont, is a great place to refuel if you’re hiking in Vermont.

It’s a short walk to the south from where the Appalachian Trail crosses Woodstock Stage Road and Bernard Brook, and a few miles north of Woodstock.

Teago General Store is open for conversation, food and free directions — every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas — from 6 AM to 6 PM during the warmer months and 7 AM to 6 PM the rest of the year. (Source: AppalachianTrail.com)

RELATED: 6 Epic Maine National Parks For Your Next Visit To The Pine Tree State


2. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

marsh billings rockefeller vermont national parks
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park | Vermont National Parks

George Perkins Marsh was one of the first environmental leaders, some would argue the very first, to challenge the idea that human activity is always beneficial to the environment. In 1864, he published his groundbreaking work, Man and Nature.

Marsh charted the rise and fall of great civilizations such as the Roman Empire. He saw a connection between how these civilizations managed their natural resources and their long-term survival.

Marsh warned that humankind could destroy itself if it did not protect these precious resources.

RELATED: A Woman Started The Modern Environmental Movement (Can It Continue?)

The First To Document The Effects Of Humans On Their Environment

George Perkins Marsh | Vermont National Parks (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

George Perkins Marsh was the first to document the effects of humans on their environment. Through his insightful writings, he influenced many people including John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and Theodore Roosevelt.

RELATED: George Perkins Marsh-The Father Of Climate Change

Learn More About George Perkins Marsh At The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

marsh billings rockefeller vermont national parks
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park | Vermont National Parks

Today, the legacy of George Perkins Marsh can be explored at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Institute in Vermont or at The George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University. Both of these places celebrate the legacy of this extraordinary man.

At Woodstock, Vermont, you can visit the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park which the Rockefellers donated to the National Park Service in 1992.

The park includes Marsh’s birthplace, a carriage barn which is the visitor center, and more than 500 acres of managed forestland on Mount Tom overlooking the village of Woodstock.

Things To Do & See At The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park

marsh billings rockefeller vermont national parks
Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park Map | Vermont National Parks

During the open season (May – Oct) the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP offers the visitor the opportunity to explore the formal gardens in full bloom and also guided tours of the Mansion.

Annual Peak to Peak Hiking Event at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP takes place in October when Fall foliage creates a spectacular backdrop.

The community event offers a variety of hikes and activities for all ages and levels. The challenge hike includes scaling both peaks: Mt. Tom and Mt. Peg in the same day.

(Source: National Park Service)

The Marsh Legacy Lives On | Vermont National Parks

marsh billings rockefeller vermont national parks
Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park | Vermont National Parks

At the George Perkins Marsh Institute, Marsh’s legacy lives on. Much of their work revolves around examining one of the most fundamental questions confronting humankind: What is and ought to be our relationship with nature?

To learn more, I would recommend David Lowenthal’s outstanding biography titled, George Perkins Marsh: Prophet Of Conservation.


3. North Country National Scenic Trail

North Country National Scenic Trail | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The North Country National Scenic Trail provides visitors opportunities from bird watching to backpacking.

The trail traverses eight northern states and connects a host of natural, historic and cultural sites. You can see everything from small towns to larger cities, valleys to hilltops and much more.

The History Of The North Country National Scenic Trail

Hikers can experience the brilliant fall colors on the North Country National Scenic Trail | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In 1980, the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) was authorized by Congress. It stretches 4,600 miles from upstate New Hampshire to its western terminus at Lake Sakakawea State Park.

The trail actually traversed seven states until 2019 when Vermont was added. The Vermont section is only about 70 miles long. From the Middlebury Gap, the NCT follows Route 125 into Middlebury and joins around Middlebury.


Green Mountain National Forest (managed by USFS)

green mountain national forest vermont fall
Green Mountain National Forest | Vermont National Parks

Our specialty is more than just parks so we’re adding a forest our list.

The Green Mountain National Forest in western Vermont is Vermont’s only public, federally managed national forest.

If you’re looking to escape the crowds then keep in mind that national forests are typically much less crowded than national parks.

RELATED: GREEN MOUNTAIN National Forest: An Epic Guide to Vermont’s Gem

Five Wonderful Places To Explore in the Green Mountain National Forest

Thundering Brook Falls is is a lovely waterfall that goes through the Green Mountain National Forest. It only takes a short hike to get there off of River Road. There is a short trail and viewing area. It’s well worth a visit and takes very little time to see.

Warren Falls is another wonderful place to explore. A short path leads to stepped waterfalls with deep, natural swimming holes noted for cliff jumping. Remember to bring your swimsuit.

Moss Glen Falls is a wonderful scenic hike to a spectacular waterfall. It’s only a 5-minute drive from Stowe’s historic Village. The highlight of this hike is the actual Moss Glen Falls, which is only about a quarter-mile from the trail head.

green mountains national forest vermont will pattiz
More Than Just Parks Co-Founder Will Pattiz, with his wife Antonina, at Green Mountain National Forest

The Texas Falls Recreation Area offers opportunities for viewing cascading falls along scenic gorges, a loop trail for hiking and snowshoeing, a large picnic pavilion, and dispersed recreation, including fishing, along Hancock Branch and Texas Brook. (Source: USFS)

If you’re traveling with children, which is actually a series of three falls along the Branch Brook in Okemo State Forest, then Buttermilk Falls is a great place to go. The pools are deep enough for swimming and it’s a great place for children to explore.

RELATED: Gifford Pinchot: A 2021 Lesson From America’s First Forester


Map Of Vermont National Parks


List Of Vermont National Park Sites

  1. Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  2. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
  3. North Country National Scenic Trail

Tony Pattiz

Tony Pattiz is a retired history teacher currently researching and writing articles for More Than Just Parks.

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