Help us find a great spot to pitch our tent!
July 2, 2008 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Trying to find a good camping spot in Vermont...

My friend and I are looking to do some camping for a few days next week and are in the process of researching possible locations. We enjoy the wilderness / hiking but aren’t experts by any means and we haven't been camping in many years. We have the following criteria:

- We live near Burlington, VT and are willing to drive pretty much anywhere in the state (or New Hampshire / upstate New York if there is a really great spot) but I would ideally like to keep the driving time between 1-3 hours.

- We would prefer to be nicely isolated from everyone else that might be camping in the area but nixed the idea of finding a random place in the woods to camp because we would probably get lost forever. Is there any way of attaining a “happy medium” and going to a site that offers some degree of privacy from other campers or are we going to be surrounded by people no matter where we go?

- Great hiking trails, scenic views, a lake (especially a lake), etc are huge bonuses. Our goal is to go on a lot of cool hikes during the day and chill out by the campsite at night.

- We are aiming to arrive at the campsite by next Thursday afternoon and leave by next Saturday sometime during the day but these times are flexible.

So….any recommendations for a good place to camp? Thanks!
posted by Diskeater to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Groton State Park is pretty nice, not so much on the seclusion, but on the Lake and also a lot of great hikes. There are also a lot of nice rocks to climb, (no real equipment required) and from when I've been to the campground, most people are really friendly.

If you want seclusion and dont mind the bugs, then you could hike all the way up to Levi Pond. It is along a road, but it isn't a road you could even take a truck on I barely made it in a 4 wheeler from our camp.

Boulder beach park info
posted by koolkat at 8:30 AM on July 2, 2008

Also look at ricker pond it is more secluded I am guessing.
posted by koolkat at 8:31 AM on July 2, 2008

Less than a 3 hour drive to Newcomb, NY and if you don't mind a 5-mile easy hike in on a carriage road (or you can have your stuff brought in), the Santanoni Preserve has some great, secluded campsites around Newcomb Lake, just south of the High Peaks. You're five miles from the road and other than perhaps a few other campers and people hiking in and out during the day, you wouldn't be overrun with folks (although there is a small rehab crew that lives out there during the summer working on the camp).

Drop me a line if you have questions!

* I worked here a few summers ago as an architectural history intern.
posted by stefnet at 8:43 AM on July 2, 2008

Long Trail. Just came from there a few weeks back. Theres a small and detailed guide book you should be able to find in any outdoor store in the state of VT and probably some book stores. It's put out by the green mountain club (reference?) that maintains the trail. I highly reccomended you get this book.

(ps! make sure the trails are open before heading out on your adventure by reading signs carefully! ((oops on me)))
posted by thetenthstory at 9:09 AM on July 2, 2008

The following are all wins on the the pond/scenery/hiking front. Not so much on isolation. The problem is there arent' too many secret beautiful places, and these are all pretty popular. Going mid-week is to your advantage.

Drive-up: Grout Pond is just in your radius and a win on the lake thing and choice of hiking trails -- it lies at or near the nexus of several trails and what the linked map doesn't show is the proximity to the AT/Long Trail. Stratton peak, Stratton Pond and Glastenbury Mountain are within reach by foot. Seclusion -- well, you'll have visual privacy at just about any campground but you will hear other people.

Pack-in: Little Rock Pond is beautiful, and though the hiking choices aren't as great as @ Grout they're still pretty good. The bummer -- it's no secret that it's gorgeous so the area gets a lot of use. the fact you're packing out Saturday will help with that, though. My recollection (it's been about 5 years) is that there are camp sites and platforms set away from the shelter area.

Longer pack-in: Stratton Pond. Great lake, 4-mile flat hike in on the Stratton Pond Trail and steep but rewarding hike to Stratton peak from the campsite via the AT/LT. If you choose this or Grout Pond, approach from the east -- Kelly Stand road from Arlington is a long rugged dirt road that can offer variable conditions, especially after weather.

You know -- why don't you call the AMC and the Forest Service? Explain what you're looking for -- they will know where to find it.
posted by Opposite George at 12:53 PM on July 2, 2008

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