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 The entrance to Grand Isle State Park.

The entrance to Grand Isle State Park. Photo: Royalbroil, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled along Lake Champlain and surrounded by woodlands lies Vermont’s most visited state park. Grand Isle State Park is located on South Hero Island, the largest of the islands in Lake Champlain, just 25 miles north of Burlington.

This picturesque 226-acre Vermont state park is home to a large waterfront campground with cabins. It’s a popular stopover for travelers on their way to Montreal, Quebec or those visiting nearby Burlington.

Guests enjoy stopping by to swim, boat, hike, bike, picnic, bird watch, fish, and camp. And for all registered overnight guests, free access is granted to nearby Knight Point State Park, Alburgh Dunes State Park, and Sand Bar State Park. These parks offer guests a chance to experience more outdoor activities in beautiful Vermont.

Activities

Spend a few days in beautiful Vermont. Grand Isle State Park’s close proximity to both Lake champlain and nearby Burlington make it a popular tourist destination during the summer.

Pack your bags and prepare to spend some quality time appreciating the great outdoors. In addition to the large lake and campground the park also features picnic areas, a playground, volleyball court, horseshoes, bike rentals, and nature programs.

Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Grand Isle State Park:

Boating at Grand Isle State Park

Beautiful Lake Champlain extends for 500 square miles, with Vermont on one side and New York on the other. It is by far the largest lake in New England and considered by many to be America’s sixth great lake.

This historic lake has been enjoyed by many over the years. Today it’s common to see a variety of vessels along this expansive waterway including kayaks, canoes, sailboats, cruisers, fishing boats, and ferries.

Grand Isle State Park has a boat ramp and launch for registered campers and kayaks for rent at the park office.

Swimming at Grand Isle State Park

Grand Isle State Park features some 4,150 feet of rocky shoreline with access points for swimming, boating, and shore fishing. The campground area has a small private beach for registered guests. And campers are also allowed to swim for free at nearby Knight Point State Park and Alburgh Dunes State Park.

Hiking at Grand Isle State Park

Grand Isle State Park features an easy 1 mile loop that winds through the wetland forest, past old iron wood trees, up a hill, and out to a 15-foot observation tower with beautiful views of the lake. This trail, The Iron Wood Nature Trail, also crosses several wooden bridges, placed over the wetter areas along the path.

Biking at Grand Isle State Park

Grand Isle State Park offers bicycle rentals for campers to make their way around the campground and island. The Lake Champlain Bikeways network, located within the nearby Champlain Islands region, boasts a network of trails that include more than 992 miles of theme loops.

Fishing at Grand Isle State Park

Planning to spend a few days inside Grand Isle State Park. If you’re interested in fishing you’ll want to be sure you pack your angling gear and pick up a Vermont fishing license.

Expansive Lake Champlain has more than 90 species of fish! Here you may catch trout (lake, rainbow, and brown), large and smallmouth bass, walleye, rainbow smelt, northern pike, channel catfish, yellow perch, landlocked Atlantic salmon, and so many more.

Birding at Grand Isle State Park

Grand Isle State Park is a favorite location for bird lovers of all ages. Its nature trail provides guests with amazing views of a variety of species, including warblers, thrushes, tanagers, grosbeaks, buntings, orioles, vireos, and flycatchers.

While visiting this serene area you may also see an Eastern Bluebird, Mourning Dove, American Robin, Common Merganser, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Common Loon, Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Goldfinch, Herring Gull, Barred Owl,
Eastern Wild Turkey, Bald Eagle, or a Peregrine Falcon.

And if you listen carefully, you may hear the beautiful call of the Hermit Thrush.

Nature and Wildlife at Grand Isle State Park

Grand Isle State Park showcases some of Vermont’s most beautiful landscape. The area around gorgeous Lake Champlain features wildflowers and woodlands of Tamarack, Paper Birch, Sugar Maple, and Eastern Hemlock.

Throughout this picturesque area you may see White-tailed Deer, Red and Gray Squirrels, chipmunks, Eastern Cottontail, Gray Foxes, beavers, moose, Black Bear, bobcats, and coyotes.

Pets

Grand Isle State Park is pet friendly throughout, except for the swimming area and most park buildings. Pets are allowed to spend the night in the Mansfield cabin.

Camping

Vermont’s most visited state park, lies along the scenic Lake Champlain, surrounded by pasture and woodlands. Grand Isle State Park is a favorite stop for visitors of nearby Burlington and as a popular stopover for travelers on their way to Montreal, Quebec.

The campground features 115 campsites for tents or RVs, 36 lean-to sites, and 4 cabins, all located within the woodlands and near the lake. Plus restrooms, hot showers, a private beach area, boat launch, playground, and a dump station.

The rustic cabins each have one room with bunk beds and a sleeper sofa or futon to accommodate up to 4 guests. Each cabin has a table and chairs, a covered front porch, and a picnic table and fire ring with a cooking grate. Cabin guests must provide their own linens.

The campground area is only open for registered overnight guests. Registered campers may visit Knight Point State Park and Alburgh Dunes State Park’s beaches for free.

Park Location

Grand Isle State Park
36 E Shore S
Grand Isle, VT 05458
Phone: 802.372.4300

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Grand Isle State Park: