Green Mountain National Forest | Outdoorsy

Green Mountain National Forest
Guide

Introduction

Located in the scenic Green Mountains of Vermont, Green Mountain National Forest offers quiet woodlands scattered with winding woodland streams and deep lakes. At almost 400,000 acres in size, this National Forest teams with wildlife from grouse and turkeys to deer and bear. With eight federally designated wilderness areas, you can immerse yourself in nature all the while located less than 50 miles east of Albany, New York. As only one of two National Forests in New England, this gem of a woodland provides recreational opportunities for the numerous big cities in the vicinity.

Three long trails thread through this National Forest, including a section of the Appalachian Trail, the Long Trail, and the Robert Frost National Recreation Trail. Plus, there are nearly 900 miles of multi-use trails to explore via horseback, mountain bike, cross-country skis or snowmobile. So if you want to leave your camper behind, this park will provide plenty of idyllic recreation opportunities no matter the season. Two campgrounds are suitable for your RV, although many other dispersed sites are scattered throughout the forest if you are on foot or horse.

RV Rentals in Green Mountain National Forest

Transportation

Driving

The Green Mountains give the Green Mountain National Forest its name and character. A few major roads run north to south, and only one transects the mountains east to west. The rest of the roadways are smaller secondary roads which run up the flanks of these northeast mountains and along stream filled valleys. No matter what type of route, these roadways wind through the hills of the forested mountains and over their elevations.

Expect steep grades with curves that will require caution even in good weather. Fog, especially in the fall, can make some sections dangerous so go slow. The state numbered routes are the best bet with larger RVs. Smaller, local roads offer scenic vistas of mountains and woodland streams, but are also narrower and may cross narrow bridges. If traveling in a larger rig, use caution and watch for signs of low underpasses, small bridges, and even the occasional covered bridge. Parking is available throughout the park at trailheads and within campgrounds. Some spots might be tight for larger campers, especially if crowded.

In the winter, be sure to have snow treads and even chains to stay safe on the roadways, which may be icy or slushy depending on the New England weather. Keep your speed prudent to the weather and road conditions and remember it is best to enjoy the beautiful scenery and enjoy watching for wildlife than hurry to your destination.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Green Mountain National Forest

Campsites in Green Mountain National Forest

Reservations camping

Hapgood Pond Recreation Area

Located just a stone’s throw from paved Hapgood Pond Road, this lovely campground on 12-acre Hapgood Pond is a summer oasis set amidst the beautiful forest. With 28 campsites, this lovely little campground offers woodland quiet, trails, and a swimming beach. The day-use area open to campers contains historic buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

The camping spurs are fairly short, making this campground best for short RVs under 24 feet. The campground loops through the woods to the west of the pond, and a short trail provides access to the pond, beach, and day use area. Within the campground, there are four water spigots, a dumpster, and latrine style toilets, but no showers.

All campsites are naturally surfaced and may not be level. They come with fire rings and picnic tables. There are no electric, sewer, or water hookups available in the campground, so arrive with your water tanks full and holding tank empty. The nearest facilities with dump stations are over 20 miles away and you’ll hardly want to spend your day away from this lovely little campground and park.

First-come first-served

Greendale Campground

Located on babbling Greendale Brook, Greendale Campground offers a deep woods feel despite being located only three miles from paved route 100. The dirt road to the campground is narrow and winding. Be sure to watch for overhanging branches if you are traveling in a larger campervan.

All campsites are naturally surfaced and require backing in. This campground is best suited to smaller rigs under 24 feet due to the short length of the parking spurs. The campsites have picnic tables and fire rings, but there is no electric, sewer, or water hookups on-site. The nearest facility if over 15miles away outside of Ludlow, so it is best to come with your water topped up and holding tanks empty, especially as there is no water pump available in the campground. Latrine toilets are available.

There is a registration kiosk with a fee tube as you enter the campground. Pick up a fee envelope before checking out the 11 first-come, first-served sites.

Seasonal activities in Green Mountain National Forest

Off-Season

Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snowshoeing

The Green Mountain National Forest is like a winter festival for outdoor enthusiasts. With plentiful mountains, it boasts three alpine ski areas, seven Nordic ski areas, and 20 trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. So whether you want to stay on groomed slopes or head into the depths of the snow-filled forest, you’ll find an excursion to entice you out-of-doors. If heading out on trails, be prepared for the rugged terrain of the mountains and bring extra layers as well as food.

Hunting

During appropriate seasons and with valid licenses, hunting is allowed in the Green Mountain National Forest. From waterfowl to grouse and big game such as moose and deer, you can stalk your favorite game species through the forest. Temporary hunting stands are allowed as long as no damage is done to trees. However, no ATVs or OHVs are allowed in the forest and you cannot drive off of forest roads in a vehicle.

Hiking

From simple walks to stretch your legs to rugged, multi-day treks, there are numerous trail options if you are seeking some time away from your camper to enjoy the idyllic forests and mountains of Green Mountain National Forest. With nearly 900 miles of trails within its borders, including sections of the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail, as well as eight non-motorized Wilderness Areas, you can enjoy the splendor of the mountains, streams, and forests and leave your rig behind.

In-Season

Mountain Biking

If you want to utilize the rolling terrain of Green Mountain National Forest on your mountain bike, the good news is you have nearly 150 miles of trails available on nine different routes. Several campgrounds such as Silver Lake have trails leaving from the campground so you can park your RV and head out into the hills. Some trails and the designated Wilderness Areas do not allow mountain biking, so be sure to check local regulations before putting your tires in the dirt.

Horseback Riding

Between June and October, over 100 miles of trails are open for horseback riding in Green Mountain National Forest. The Forest Service asks that you ride in good weather and avoid muddy trails, which can easily be damaged. Backbone Horse Camp, located in the nearby Finger Lakes, offers horse camping options so you can ride straight from your trailer and into the mountains for a day of exploration through the forested mountains.

Fishing

If you love to drop your line in the water, Green Mountain National Forest offers not only wonderful fishing opportunities, but dazzling ponds and streams to do so. For stream fishing, check out the Joseph Battell Wilderness in the northern section of the forest for non-motorized solitude, as well as some great angling. There are over a dozen other fishing streams and seven reservoirs where you’ll find a variety of fish from brook trout to yellow perch.

Find the perfect campsite.