Best Boating in Vermont

Sailboat anchored near fall foliage in Vermont.
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For those seeking the very best boating experiences in Vermont, the Green Mountain State offers a wealth of stunning options to explore its pristine lakes and rivers. From the iconic Lake Champlain, surrounded by the Adirondack and Green Mountains, to the tranquil and crystal-clear waters of Lake Willoughby, Vermont boasts some of the most picturesque boating destinations in the Northeast. Whether you’re an avid sailor, water sports enthusiast, or simply looking for a serene escape, these 10 best boating locations in Vermont promise unforgettable adventures and breathtaking natural beauty.

Lake Champlain

Surrounded by the Adirondack and Green Mountains, Lake Champlain stands as a picturesque haven for boating enthusiasts. Its remarkable scenery, diverse array of activities, historical sites, and a multitude of islands make it a captivating destination for anyone seeking a memorable boating experience in Vermont.

Reasons to Boat in Lake Champlain:

  • Spectacular Scenery: Lake Champlain offers boaters breathtaking views of both the Adirondack and Green Mountains, creating a stunning backdrop for your boating adventures.
  • Variety of Activities: Whether you’re into boating, fishing, water sports, or wildlife watching, Lake Champlain has something for everyone. Explore the diverse range of activities this expansive lake has to offer.
  • Historical Sites: Discover the rich history of the region by exploring historic lighthouses and even submerged shipwrecks. These historical sites add a fascinating dimension to your boating experience.
  • Island Hopping: Lake Champlain is dotted with numerous islands, making it perfect for island hopping. Each island has its own unique charm and character, inviting exploration and relaxation.
  • Family Friendly: The lake’s accessibility and range of activities make it an excellent destination for family outings and picnics, ensuring a fun and memorable experience for all ages.

Recommended Gear: Life Jackets, Compass, Anchor, Tarps, Marine Radio, Cooler, Water Shoes

Lake Willoughby

Located in the heart of Vermont, Lake Willoughby is a well-kept secret renowned for its crystal-clear waters and stunning natural beauty. This glacial lake offers a tranquil escape where boaters can revel in the beauty of its calm, pristine waters. From kayaking and canoeing to exploring the dramatic cliffs surrounding the lake, Lake Willoughby provides a serene and picturesque setting for boating adventures.

Reasons to Boat in Lake Willoughby:

  • Crystal Clear Waters: The pristine, crystal-clear waters of Lake Willoughby are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. You’ll be amazed by the water clarity, which adds to the magic of your boating trip.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing: The lake’s calm waters make it a perfect location for kayaking and canoeing. Paddle at your own pace and enjoy the tranquility of this beautiful natural setting.
  • Scenic Cliffs: Surrounding the lake, you’ll find breathtaking cliffs that add an element of drama to your boating experience. Be sure to capture these stunning vistas.
  • Fishing: Cast your line into the lake’s waters and try your luck at catching brook and lake trout. Fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunities that Lake Willoughby provides.
  • Peaceful Atmosphere: Lake Willoughby offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Enjoy the peace and quiet, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder.

Recommended Gear: Rope, Water Shoes, Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Compass, Paddle

Lake Memphremagog

Lake Memphremagog, with its international appeal and magnificent setting, beckons boating enthusiasts to its serene waters. This long and narrow lake is a sailing paradise, with its steady winds providing an excellent experience for sailing enthusiasts. Water sports, scenic coves, birdwatching opportunities, and a unique cross-border experience make this Vermont gem a must-visit destination for boaters.

Reasons to Boat in Lake Memphremagog:

  • Sailing Paradise: The long and narrow Lake Memphremagog provides steady winds, making it a paradise for sailing enthusiasts. Set sail and enjoy the open waters in this stunning setting.
  • Water Sports: For those who love water skiing and wakeboarding, Lake Memphremagog is an excellent choice. The calm waters are perfect for adrenaline-pumping water sports.
  • Scenic Coves: Discover hidden coves and tranquil spots around the lake. These scenic coves are perfect for relaxation, picnics, and intimate moments with nature.
  • Birdwatching: Birdwatchers will be delighted by the opportunity to observe various bird species in the area. Keep your binoculars ready and enjoy the birdwatching experience.
  • International Appeal: What makes Lake Memphremagog unique is its extension into Canada. You can experience cross-border boating adventures and discover the international charm of this waterbody.

Recommended Gear: Sunglasses, Paddle, Sunscreen, Dry Box, Waterproof Phone Case, Anchor

Lake Bomoseen

Situated in the heart of Vermont, Lake Bomoseen is the state’s largest inland lake, offering a range of exciting water activities for boating enthusiasts. Its motorboat-friendly environment, abundant fishing opportunities, sandy beaches, nearby campgrounds, and charming lakeside dining options make it a well-rounded destination for waterborne adventures.

Reasons to Boat in Lake Bomoseen:

  • Water Sports Hub: Lake Bomoseen is a hub for water sports enthusiasts. It’s popular for motorboating and water skiing, providing an exciting playground for those seeking high-speed water adventures.
  • Fishing: The lake is teeming with a variety of fish, including bass, pike, and panfish, making it a haven for anglers. Cast your line and reel in some impressive catches.
  • Sandy Beaches: The lake’s sandy beaches are perfect for relaxation and swimming. Enjoy a leisurely dip in the refreshing waters or bask in the sun on the shores.
  • Campground Access: If you want to extend your boating experience, there are convenient campgrounds nearby, allowing you to combine your boating trip with a camping adventure.
  • Lakeside Dining: After a day of boating, you can dine at lakeside restaurants and cafes, savoring delicious meals with a scenic view of the water.

Recommended Gear: Sunscreen, Cooler, Paddle, Sunglasses, Marine Radio, Waterproof Phone Case, Dry Box

Lake Morey

Lake Morey, located in a serene and idyllic setting, presents a haven for paddlers and water enthusiasts. Its calm and clear waters are ideal for paddleboarding, rowing, and kayaking. In addition to being a peaceful retreat, it offers fantastic fishing opportunities and the convenience of resort amenities, making it a complete destination for boating and relaxation.

Reasons to Boat in Lake Morey:

  • Paddleboarding Paradise: Lake Morey’s calm and clear waters create a paddleboarding paradise. Glide across the tranquil surface and soak in the peaceful atmosphere while engaging in this popular water activity.
  • Rowing and Kayaking: If you prefer non-motorized boating, Lake Morey is ideal for rowing and kayaking. It’s a serene and picturesque setting for these activities, allowing you to connect with nature.
  • Peaceful Retreat: Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and find tranquility along Lake Morey’s shores. It’s a serene retreat that encourages relaxation and unwinding.
  • Fishing Opportunities: Anglers will appreciate the diverse fishing opportunities offered by Lake Morey, where you can catch bass, trout, and more. Don’t forget your fishing gear.
  • Resort Amenities: For those seeking additional amenities, Lake Morey is home to a resort where you can enjoy dining and lodging options, making it a well-rounded destination for a boating getaway.

Recommended Gear: Compass, Anchor, Cooler, Rope, Tarp, Snacks, Sunscreen

Lake Dunmore

Embraced by the Green Mountain National Forest, Lake Dunmore offers a tranquil setting for boating adventures. The lake’s serene waters are perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty and abundant fishing opportunities, making it a great escape into Vermont’s wilderness.

Reasons to Boat in Lake Dunmore:

  • Green Mountain Setting: Nestled in the beautiful Green Mountain National Forest, Lake Dunmore offers a unique boating experience immersed in the stunning natural surroundings of Vermont’s Green Mountains.
  • Tranquil Waters: The calm and tranquil waters of Lake Dunmore make it a perfect spot for kayaking and canoeing. Paddle through the peaceful environment and connect with nature.
  • Swimming: The crystal-clear waters of the lake invite swimmers to take a refreshing swim. Enjoy the cool, clear lake and bask in the natural beauty of the area.
  • Picnicking: Numerous spots around Lake Dunmore are perfect for lakeside picnics. Pack a basket and enjoy a meal in the great outdoors, surrounded by the lake’s serene beauty.
  • Fishing: Anglers have the opportunity to reel in bass and trout, making Lake Dunmore an excellent location for a day of fishing.

Recommended Gear: Life Jackets, Compass, Anchor, Tarps, Marine Radio, Cooler, Sunscreen

Lake St. Catherine

Set in a peaceful and unspoiled environment, Lake St. Catherine stands as a quiet retreat for boating enthusiasts. This non-motorized lake is perfect for kayaking and canoeing, offering a pristine setting for paddle enthusiasts. Wildlife watching opportunities, varied fishing options, and an atmosphere of pure relaxation await visitors to this picturesque lake.

Reasons to Boat in Lake St. Catherine:

  • Quiet Retreat: Lake St. Catherine is a peaceful and non-motorized lake, providing a serene escape for boaters seeking tranquility and a quiet retreat.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing: Ideal for paddle enthusiasts, the lake offers the perfect setting for kayaking and canoeing. Paddle at your own pace and enjoy the serenity.
  • Wildlife Watching: Observe the local birds and animals that call the area home. Bring your binoculars and camera to capture the natural beauty and wildlife of Lake St. Catherine.
  • Fishing: Anglers will find a variety of fish species in the lake, making it an excellent location for fishing. Cast your line and enjoy a day on the water.
  • Relaxation: Lake St. Catherine provides a serene environment, making it the perfect place to unwind, read a book, or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Recommended Gear: Rope, Compass, Paddle, Cooler, Sunglasses, Snacks, Anchor

Lake Carmi

Lake Carmi, known for its motorboat-friendly policies, invites boaters to explore its pristine waters. With a wide range of water sports options, including powerboats and jet skis, the lake promises an exhilarating adventure. Abundant fishing opportunities, family-friendly activities, and stunning scenic views complete the experience.

Reasons to Boat in Lake Carmi:

  • Motorboat Friendly: Lake Carmi has no restrictions on motorized boats, making it a welcoming destination for powerboats and jet skis. Enjoy the freedom to explore the lake with your motorized watercraft.
  • Water Sports: It’s an ideal location for water sports enthusiasts, with ample space for powerboats and jet skis. Get your adrenaline pumping with thrilling water activities.
  • Fishing: The lake is home to an abundance of panfish and pike, making it a hotspot for anglers. Set out on the water and try your luck at catching some impressive fish.
  • Family Fun: Lake Carmi is perfect for family outings and water activities with friends. Create lasting memories with loved ones on this picturesque lake.
  • Scenic Views: The surrounding landscapes add to the beauty of Lake Carmi. Enjoy the natural splendor and take in the scenic views as you explore the waters.

Recommended Gear: Anchor, Dry Box, Sunscreen, Marine Radio, Paddle , Compass, Rope

Connecticut River

The Connecticut River meanders through picturesque landscapes, providing a long and scenic route for boaters. Its tranquil waters offer abundant wildlife viewing opportunities and camping spots along the riverbanks. For non-motorized boating enthusiasts, kayaking and canoeing on this historic river provide a serene way to explore Vermont’s natural beauty.

Reasons to Boat in the Connecticut River:

  • Long Scenic Route: Boating along the Connecticut River offers a long and picturesque journey, allowing you to savor the natural beauty of the area at a leisurely pace.
  • Wildlife Viewing: As you navigate the river, keep an eye out for opportunities to spot various animals along the riverbanks, including birds, mammals, and aquatic life.
  • Camping: If you wish to extend your boating adventure, there are designated spots along the river for camping, enabling you to combine your love for boating with outdoor living.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing: The meandering path of the Connecticut River makes it an ideal location for non-motorized boating. Explore the river’s twists and turns with kayaking and canoeing.
  • Historical Sites: Along your journey, you can discover historic landmarks and bridges that offer insights into the rich history of the region.

Recommended Gear: Sunscreen, Cooler, Paddle, Sunglasses, Marine Radio, Waterproof Phone Case, Dry Box

White River

Boating along the White River offers a gentle and calming experience for canoe and kayak enthusiasts. This river’s peaceful course is set against Vermont’s serene countryside, providing the perfect backdrop for leisurely exploration. With ample fishing opportunities, riverside picnicking spots, and a tranquil atmosphere, the White River promises a tranquil escape for boaters.

Reasons to Boat in the White River:

  • Gentle River: The White River provides a gentle, meandering course that is perfect for canoes and kayaks. You can leisurely paddle along the river and appreciate the calm surroundings.
  • Natural Beauty: Boating along the White River offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in Vermont’s serene countryside. Enjoy the peaceful and unspoiled beauty of the area, while you birdwatch at the same time.
  • Fishing: Fishing enthusiasts will find a variety of fish species in the river, making it a rewarding location for anglers. Spend your day casting your line into the river’s waters.
  • Picnic Spots: The riverbanks offer numerous spots that are perfect for riverside picnics. Pack a lunch and enjoy a meal in the outdoors while taking in the serene river views.
  • Tranquil Escape: White River provides a tranquil and relaxing setting, making it an ideal place to unwind, disconnect from the daily grind, and reconnect with nature.

Recommended Gear: Life Jackets, Compass, Anchor, Tarps, Marine Radio, Cooler, Swim Bag

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