Bordering Canada, Vermont is in the heart of snowshoeing country in the Northeast United States. The entire state is covered in beautiful rolling hills and mountains as well as public parks and state and federal land. Most of Vermont is high elevation and plenty far North making for cold winter temperatures, so be sure to check the weather forecast before leaving home. Warm winter gloves and hats are important to keep your extremities warm until the natural act of snowshoeing warms you naturally.
The good news is that snow is aplenty and it stays cool enough in Vermont that you can snowshoe virtually anywhere you can hike in the summer! In addition, publicly accessible land abounds and many locations exist where private landowners give public free access to winter trails.
All trails below don't require an entry fee and are free to enjoy! We also note where dogs are allowed and what rules apply.
Top Free Snowshoeing Trails in Vermont
Spanning 5 counties, 18 towns and 93 miles, it would take a truly dedicated snowshoer to cover this former railroad line along the Lamoile River connecting St. Johnsbury to Swanton. Trail parking is available throughout the length of the rail trail, which averages 10 feet wide. The trail averages 10 feet wide and other than snowmobiles, non-motorized use only. Dog sledding is common and may be encountered if you’re lucky!
Located in extreme Northern Vermont, snow cover shouldn’t be an issue by early December. Be sure to check local conditions before embarking on your adventure.
Since it’s a previous rail line, elevation gain is very minimal, and hard-packed conditions are common. It would be hard to draw up a better trail than this for a foam snowshoe – just hook, loop and off you go!
For a great family-friendly winter hike Five Tree Hill Park rewards the little ones with a beautiful panoramic view of the Champlain Valley. The trail is flat other than the final 200 yards to the overlook. Bikes aren’t allowed, only cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Be mindful of staying near the trails as private property is scattered about the area. A great way to introduce your children to snowshoeing would be to start them young with our kids foam snowshoes that can fit a variety of children shoe sizes due to the unique binding system that is highly adjustable (fits 11Y, 13Y and 5SZ).
Thanks to the generous landowners and local volunteers around Hartland, this trail system that meanders through classic New England fields and back woods is popular for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. To keep the trail system peaceful, snowmobiles, ATVs, horses and dog teams aren’t allowed. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on leash and off of the prepared tracks. In order to ensure the future of the trial system, please follow common snowshoe etiquette, such as staying off to the side of the trails as to not disrupt cross country ski tracks.
All of the trails here are open to snowshoeing, and off-trial snowshoeing is permitted for those wanting to break their own trail or put their Crescent Moon Men’s Backcountry or Women’s Backcountry snowshoes to use. Although there isn’t a fee to use trails here, consider donating $5-$10 after your visit to help support the trail system. If you are looking to test out your new snowshoes or start easy, the Beginner’s Loop is a winter use only trail that’s 3 miles long and very flat. If you have children with you, check out the Beaver Dam Loop that is full of beaver ponds and a quick hike. For something a little more challenging, Hogback Loop is 2.8 miles that loops around Hogback Mountain. Various unmarked trails are available to summit the mountain for a great view.
A very peaceful and quiet trail that surrounds Grout Pond – a high elevation pond in the Green Mountain National Forest near the town of Stratton that is about 30 feet deep. Those interested in ice-fishing could couple their trip to chase the abundant perch located in the spring-fed pond. As for snowshoeing, blue diamonds mark the trail that surrounds the entirety of the pond. The winter parking lot is on the Stratton-Arlington road and finding a spot should be easy. The mellow trail takes about two hours to complete if you take your time enjoying the serenity.
Vermont Snowshoeing with Northern Lites
From the Champlaign Valley in the Northwest corner down to the Green Mountain National Forest in the far Southwest corner, snowshoers have wandered around just about every turn in one of New England's prettiest states. With the lightest snowshoes around you won't have to worry about your legs getting tired during your adventure.
Our premium lineup of Ultralight Trekking Series snowshoes are a sheer joy to use starting at less than 2.5 lbs/pair! With a 25" model (users up to ~180lbs), 30" model (users up to 250 lbs), and 33" model (users up to 280 lbs) there is sure to be a snowshoe for you!
At less than 2.5lbs, the 25" Elite with Speed Binding would be a great option for users up to 180lbs.
If you are just getting into snowshoeing, consider our Day Hiking / Beginner Quicksilver. Don't let the category fool you! These are still incredibly light and durable snowshoes for beginners and experienced snowshoers alike! Available in 25" and 30" models.
The 25" Quicksilver is an amazing entry-level snowshoe for users up to 180lbs.
No matter where you end up in Vermont you are sure to be surrounded by beautiful settings, rolling hills and mountains, and plenty of opportunity to hit the winter trails. Up to 50% lighter than competitors, be sure to explore as much of the state as possible with the lightest snowshoes around by far!