Article Summary: 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.
I grew up in the northeast and Vermont is one of my absolute favorite states to visit. While Vermont does not have many national park sites, each one is beautiful and worth a visit if you’re in the area.
I’ve been to so many of these amazing places since retiring from teaching in 2018. Did I mention that I taught history? I spent a lifetime teaching about the history behind these momentous sites. Then I got to see them firsthand. And now I’m sharing the stories of these incredible places with you. It doesn’t get any better than that!
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).
So, What Is A National Park?
We get asked that question a lot because there’s a difference between a “national park” and a “national park site.” To help you understand that difference you might want to check out our article titled: What Is A National Park Really?
If you’re planning a trip to the Green Mountain State then one book I highly recommend is: Scenic Driving Vermont: Exploring the State’s Most Spectacular Byways and Back Roads by Stewart M. Green.
We’re going to give you three reasons why you’ll want to make Vermont your next vacation destination.
Table Of Contents: Vermont National Parks
Vermont National Parks
- Vermont National Parks
- More Vermont National Parks
- More Vermont National Parks
- And There’s More Than Just Parks
- Check Out Our Wonderful Film
- Vermont National Parks FAQ
- Why Trust Us About Vermont National Parks?
- Meet The Parks Brothers
- Map Of Vermont National Parks
- List Of Vermont National Park Sites
- We Hope You’ll Follow Our Journey
Vermont National Parks
1. Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian Trail Conference
Over the next several years, a group of volunteers known as the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) worked to survey and mark the trail, and in 1937, the A.T. was completed.
The trail was placed under the management of the National Park Service (NPS) and the ATC, which is now the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), a private non-profit organization, who works in partnership with the NPS to maintain and protect the trail.
The trail has been used by hikers and backpackers for many years, but it did not officially become a National Scenic Trail until 1968, when the National Trails System Act was passed by Congress. This legislation also created other National Scenic and National Historic Trails across the United States.
One Of The Most Popular Long-Distance Hiking Trails In The World
The A.T. is now one of the most popular long-distance hiking trails in the world, and thousands of people attempt to hike the entire trail each year.
Many people hike the trail in sections over the course of several years, while others, known as “thru-hikers,” attempt to hike the entire trail in one trip, which usually takes around five to seven months.
The trail is considered one of the premier hiking trails in the world and it’s a unique opportunity for people to immerse themselves in nature and to experience the diversity of the Appalachian Mountains.
While Visiting, Check Out The Teago General Store & Woodstock
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)
More Vermont National Parks
2. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
Among the amazing Vermont National Parks is one which commemorates an environmental pioneer who was arguably the father of climate change.
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.
The First To Document The Effects Of Humans On Their Environment
George Perkins Marsh was the first to document the effects of humans on their environment.
Learn More About George Perkins Marsh At The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
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
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
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.
More Vermont National Parks
3. North Country National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian Trail is not the only legendary trail featured among the Vermont National Parks.
The North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) is a 4,600 mile long trail that runs from Crown Point, New York to Lake Sakakawea State Park in North Dakota.
The trail is one of the longest and most diverse National Scenic Trails in the United States, passing through seven states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.
It Began With The North Country Trail Association
The idea for the NCT began in the 1960s, when a group of individuals, including the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) and the National Park Service (NPS), began advocating for the creation of a long-distance trail that would highlight the natural, cultural, and historical resources of the northern United States.
After years of planning and development, the NCT was officially established as a National Scenic Trail in 1980 by the North Country National Scenic Trail Designation Act. The trail is managed by the NPS in partnership with the NCTA, a private non-profit organization that works to promote, protect and maintain the trail.
The NCT Offers A Wide Variety Of Recreational Opportunities
Today, the NCT offers a wide range of recreational opportunities, including hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. It passes through a variety of landscapes, including forests, prairies, wetlands, and mountains, and it offers visitors the opportunity to experience the unique natural and cultural resources of the northern United States.
The trail also passes through many historic sites, such as the historic towns, forts, and battlefields of the American Revolution, as well as many National Parks, Forests and Wildlife Refuges.
The trail is not yet completed and is still under development, but many sections of the trail are open to the public, and the NCTA and the NPS continue to work to complete the trail and connect the existing segments, making it accessible to even more people.
The History Of The North Country National Scenic Trail
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.
And There’s More Than Just Parks
Green Mountain National Forest (managed by USFS)
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.
Check Out Our Wonderful Film
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.
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.
Check Out Our Acadia National Park Film Too
MTJP | Acadia is the culmination of several weeks spent exploring Acadia National Park during peak fall color. This film is, in part, a celebration of Acadia’s upcoming centennial. It is dedicated to George Dorr.
Sculpted by Glaciers and landscaped by beavers, Acadia is full of wonderfully unique features. Rounded mountains, tranquil ponds, rocky coastline, & some of the most beautiful trails in the world comprise this marvelous wonder.
This film was shot entirely in 4K. Acadia National Park is unlike any other in the system sitting on Mt. Desert Island and the Schoodic Peninsula of Maine.
We chose to film the park during Autumn due to it’s reputation as one of the best places to see fall foliage in the world. What we witnessed and captured did not dissapoint.
Acadia is a quieter National Park that features one of the most beautiful road systems of any of the National Parks and boasts the first point in the United States the sun touches each morning.
Some of the locations we captured include: Jordan Pond, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Otter Cliffs, Cadillac Mountain, Beaver Ponds, Schoodic Peninsula, and more.
Vermont National Parks FAQ
Quechee State Park is, without a doubt, the most popular of all Vermont state parks. Located along Route 4 in Hartford, the park’s main attraction is Quechee Gorge, which happens to be the deepest gorge in Vermont.
Top Attractions in Vermont
Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home
Burlington Bike Path
Church Street Marketplace
Stowe Recreation Path
The following are a list of must-see historic sites in Vermont:
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
Bennington Battle Monument
Robert Frost Farm
The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
North Country National Scenic Trail
Brown Covered Bridge
Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium
Hildene Lincoln Family Home
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
Why Trust Us About Vermont National Parks?
We’re Jim Pattiz and Will Pattiz, collectively known as the Pattiz Brothers (and sometimes the Parks Brothers) and we absolutely LOVE the national parks.
You should probably know that we don’t just make this stuff up out of thin air. We’ve spent our entire adult lives exploring and filming America’s national parks and public lands.
We’ve worked with the National Park Service, the Department of Interior, USDA, and the U.S. Forest Service for years creating films on important places and issues. Our work has been featured in leading publications all over the world and even some people outside of our immediate family call us experts on the national parks.
Meet The Parks Brothers
Map Of Vermont National Parks
List Of Vermont National Park Sites
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail
- Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
- North Country National Scenic Trail
We Hope You’ll Follow Our Journey
Our goal here at More Than Just Parks is to share the beauty of America’s national parks and public lands through stunning short films in an effort to get Americans and the world to see the true value in land conservation.
We hope you’ll follow our journey through the parks and help us to keep them the incredible places that they are. If you’re interested in joining the adventure then please sign up below!