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Top 7 Spots for Summer Fun Near Burlington

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Mt. Mansfield - COURTESY OF JUSTIN LAJOIE
  • Courtesy of Justin Lajoie
  • Mt. Mansfield

Mt. Mansfield

vtstateparks.com

At 4,393 feet, Mt. Mansfield is the tallest mountain in the state. It's also one of only two areas in Vermont with alpine tundra — the other is Camel's Hump. There are numerous climbs to the summit from virtually all sides of Mansfield. We prefer the Sunset Ridge Trail from Underhill State Park. Much of the 3.3-mile trail is above the treeline, which means you won't need to wait to reach the top for some truly jaw-dropping views.

Bristol Falls

Lincoln Rd., Bristol

Swimming holes are everywhere in Vermont, which is a good thing when Lake Champlain inevitably sprouts an algae bloom. Bristol Falls is one of the more scenic — and safe — spots to cool off. It features a 15-foot waterfall that empties into a deep, chilly pool.

Andy A-Dog Williams SkatePark

Waterfront Park, Burlington, enjoyburlington.com
Andy A-Dog Williams Skatepark - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Andy A-Dog Williams Skatepark

Hit up this brand-new, world-class concrete skate park, located just off the Burlington 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 a late local DJ and skateboarder.

Community Sailing Center

234 Penny Lane, Burlington, communitysailingcenter.org
Six new art sails - MICHAEL SIPE
  • Michael Sipe
  • Six new art sails

Old salts who know the difference between a jib and an mainsail can rent sailboats at this community-oriented sailing center from May through October. You can also take lessons or test your skills in the weekly races.

Island Line Bike Trail

localmotion.org
The causeway on the Island Line Trail
  • The causeway on the 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.

The Long Trail

greenmountainclub.org
Catherine Robbins, Hilda M. Kurth and Kathleen Norris, 1927 - PHOTOS COURTESY OF WILL D. CHANDLER / VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY ARCHIVES
  • photos Courtesy of Will D. Chandler / Vermont Historical Society Archives
  • Catherine Robbins, Hilda M. Kurth and Kathleen Norris, 1927

Into thru-hiking? This 270-mile footpath extends from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border, and there are 175 miles of side trails.

Mt. Philo State Park

5425 Mt. Philo Rd., Charlotte, vtstateparks.com
View from Mt. Philo - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-brodeur
  • View from Mt. Philo

Mt. 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.


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