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The Best Destinations for Outdoor Summer Fun in Vermont


Published August 25, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated August 29, 2017 at 4:34 p.m.

Andy A-Dog Williams Skatepark - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Andy A-Dog Williams Skatepark

Andy A-Dog Williams Skatepark

Waterfront Park, Burlington,

Bummed that you can't skate down the Church Street Marketplace? Don't worry, there's a consolation prize. Hit up Burlington's world-class concrete skate park, located just off the waterfront bike path, for its rails, ramps, boxes, half-bowl and half-pipe. In June 2016, skate legend Tony Hawk dropped in to help dedicate the park to late local DJ and skateboarder Andy "A-Dog" Williams. You might catch local pro Collin Hale (see page 76) here, too.

ArborTrek Canopy Adventures

1239 Edwards Rd., Jeffersonville,

Get a bird's-eye view of the Green Mountains while shooting down 4,500 feet of zip lines at Smugglers' Notch Resort. Don't have a need for speed? Try the treetop obstacle course.

Bristol Falls

Lincoln Rd., Bristol

When Lake Champlain inevitably sprouts an algae bloom, head to Bristol Falls — one of the state's more scenic and safe spots to cool off. Its 15-foot waterfall empties into a deep, chilly pool.

Center Chains Disc Golf Course

116 Maple St., Waterbury Center

Disc golf courses are popping up all over Vermont, but this spot is the gold standard. It was one of the first courses in the state, and it remains one of the most popular and best maintained. Plus, the mountain views are hard to beat.

Island Line Trail

This 14-mile bike trail runs along Lake Champlain from Oakledge Park all the way to the Colchester causeway — a narrow old railbed that extends three miles into the lake. A bike ferry connects you to the Champlain Islands in summer.

Mount Mansfield

At 4,393 feet, Mount Mansfield is the tallest mountain in the state. There are numerous climbs to the summit, but we prefer the Sunset Ridge Trail from Underhill State Park. Much of the 3.3-mile trek is above the treeline, which guarantees truly jaw-dropping views.

Mount Philo State Park

5425 Mt. Philo Rd., Charlotte,

Mount Philo is the perfect high-altitude spot for a picnic with friends. There's a steep trail to the top, but your less adventurous buds can drive up the 968-foot peak from late May to mid-October.