BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING
GREEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST
Consisting of two tracts in the beautiful Green Mountains of central and southern Vermont, this scenic National Forest has a few elevations over 4,000 feet, with steep cliffs, rocky ledges, as well as some gentler terrain. It’s by far the largest area of public land in the state.
Included is the 36,400-acre White Rocks National Recreation Area. In the region are lakes and ponds, streams with waterfalls, a section of the White River, and forests of mixed hardwoods, plus hemlock, spruce, and fir. Among the wildlife are white-tailed deer, moose, black bear, coyote, bobcat, and fox.
The forest has six designated wilderness areas: the 21,480-acre Breadloaf Wilderness, the 15,680-acre Lye Brook Wilderness, the 6,920-acre Peru Peak Wilderness, the 6,720-acre Big Branch Wilderness, the 5,060-acre George D. Aiken Wilderness, and the 3,740-acre Bristol Cliffs Wilderness.
Activities: There are over 500 miles of trails for backpacking and hiking. Included are about 125 miles of the 270-mile Long Trail (see entry page 282), which crosses both tracts, along with a section of the Appalachian Trail (see entry page 283) in the southern unit. Difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous.
Cross-country skiing is possible on some designated trails, and snowshoeing is another winter option. Horses are allowed on some trails and old roads. Canoeing and kayaking are available on the White River. Fishing is possible alongside a number of streams and ponds. Hunting is permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed freely throughout most of the National Forest, except near public use areas or where posted otherwise. No permits are necessary except for organized groups, which must obtain an Outfitter-Guide Special Use Permit. Campfires may be built, but a stove is recommended.
There are designated campsites in some areas. Included are lean-tos, located at regular intervals along the Appalachian and Long Trails. Campsites elsewhere should be at least 200 feet from trails, water sources, and roads.
For Further Information: Green Mountain National Forest, 151 West Street, P.O. Box 519, Rutland, VT 05702; (802)773-0300.