Set at the base of Pico and Killington peaks, Gifford Woods State Park combines stunning alpine scenery with a serene forest setting. The 285-acre park protects one of the last old-growth hardwood forests in Vermont, with a wonderland of towering sugar maples, beech, and hemlocks to admire. The park was founded in 1931 and is dotted with historic buildings constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Some are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, giving Gifford Woods State Park special appeal for history buffs.
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fresh air, whether you're exploring scenic trails, paddling on the lake, or roasting s'mores around the fire pit. Direct access to the Appalachian Trail makes Gifford Woods a favorite with long-distance hikers, with many travelers passing through the park on their way from Georgia to Maine. Planning a getaway to the Green Mountain State? Book an RV in Rutland County and you can explore this corner of New England at your own pace.
From sun-dappled forest trails to challenging day hikes, Gifford Woods State Park is a fantastic place to stretch your legs. The one-mile Kent Brook Trail winds through old-growth forest and is a great option for families. One of the best times to visit is fall, when the park explodes in a sea of reds, yellows, and golds. Throughout the park, interpretive signs offer information on local flora and fauna.
Want to hike a section of the legendary Appalachian Trail? It cuts through the campground, skirts Kent Pond, and continues south to Georgia and north to Maine. Gifford Woods is also a launchpad for the Long Trail, which stretches for 273 miles through the state of Vermont. On the east side of the park, Kent Pond provides a scenic backdrop for boating and fishing. Cast a line from the shore-fishing area along the dam and you could reel in largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, and trout.
Behind the ranger's quarters, a wooded picnic provides an ideal setting for lunch or afternoon tea. Fill your basket with Vermont staples like cheddar cheese, maple syrup, and wild blueberries.
Camping at Gifford Woods State Park
The compact campground at Gifford Woods State Park features 21 sites for tents and RVs shaded by mature maples. If you're not camping in an RV, get cozy at one of the four rustic cabins or 19 lean-to sites. The campground is set across two loops, both with modern restrooms equipped with flush toilets and coin-operated hot showers. There's also a dump station for RVs. Narrow roads and low-hanging trees make Gifford Woods suitable for small to medium-sized rigs.
There are no hookups, making Gifford Woods State Park a great option for a back-to-nature motorhome camping getaway. Picnic tables and fire rings make it easy to enjoy your meals outdoors. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are welcome to join you on your Gifford Woods State Park camping trip. Why not rent a pet-friendly campervan and bring them along for the fun?
Exploring the Area
RV camping at Gifford Woods State Park puts you in the heart of Central Vermont, a captivating pocket of the Green Mountain State where you'll find rolling farmland, lush forests, and character-soaked towns filled with cozy cafes, antique shops, and art galleries. A 15-minute drive from the park, the city of Rutland is anchored by a historic downtown core. You'll love peering into mom-and-pop shops, admiring the colorful public art installations, and stocking up on fresh produce at the famous Vermont Farmers Market.
As one of the largest maple syrup producers in the world, no trip to Vermont is complete without visiting a maple syrup farm. Sugarbush Farm is a firm favorite, with 550 acres of land and more than 9,000 maple trees. If you're road tripping with mountain bikes, don't miss Coolidge State Forest, which features a series of trails. For serious thrills, head to Killington Resort Mountain Bike Park, where three high-speed lifts unlock access to more than 30 miles of downhill trails.
Provisions and RV camping essentials can be found in Killington, a five-minute drive from the campground. Burlington, the biggest city in Vermont, is an hour and a half north and is a great place to kickstart a New England road trip. You'll find a good selection of RV rentals near Gifford Woods State Park, as well as shops, cafes, and restaurants in the pedestrianized Church Street Marketplace. Another option is Albany, the charismatic capital of New York State. Stay a spell to visit attractions like the Empire State Plaza and Albany Institute of History and Art.