Back Road Ramblers

Small Towns, Back Roads, and Outdoor Adventures

Adventure, camping, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, New England, photography, State Parks, United States, Vermont, winter sports

Woodford State Park: A Vermont Park for all Seasons

Woodford State Park

The little slice of wilderness called Woodford State Park is nestled in the mountains of Southern Vermont. It’s not exactly a tourist destination, but it beckons certain people with its quiet waters, secluded trails, and waterfront campsites. I am definitely one of those people. This park is my happy place — A place my family and I have been exploring for more than ten years.

Woodford State Park

The centerpiece of the park is a small, shining lake called Adams Reservoir. The lake is surrounded by forest, with pretty campsites nestled into the trees along the shore. At 2,400 feet in elevation, this is the highest campground in the state. The park itself is just 398 acres, but it’s bordered by the George Aiken Wilderness and the Green Mountain National Forest, so there are unlimited opportunities for exploring.

Woodford State Park is officially open from Memorial Day until Columbus Day, but visitors are welcome to explore in the off season, provided they park their vehicle outside the park gates. We love Woodford’s beauty in all four seasons, and recommend it to everyone who visits southern Vermont. Let’s take a little photographic journey, shall we?

Spring in Vermont is for Hiking and Fishing

Fishing in Woodford State Park

Hiking in Woodford State Park

Woodford State Park

There’s nothing like the brisk days of late spring for an exhilarating hike, and actually, sometimes it’s a snowshoe trek or a skiing expedition because the snow sticks around until at least May.

The lake is stocked with trout some time in April, and then you’ll find the locals with their tackle boxes and picnic baskets lining the shore. The more patient fisherpeople will sit on the banks from morning till the sun sets hoping for a good catch to stock the freezer.

Summer at Woodford State Park is for Camping and Water Sports Woodford State Park

Swimming in Woodford State Park

Woodford State Park

Woodford State Park

This is the place to be in the summer. We live fairly close to the park, in the valley below. When it’s 90 degrees at home, we can count on it being 10 degrees cooler at Woodford State Park. If you’re planning a camping trip on the mountains, bring your woolies! Also, this is one of the few state parks that allows leashed dogs year-round. That’s a huge plus for us.

You can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats from the park rangers for an itty-bitty fee, but the best is the swimming. On the hottest days, there’s nothing like a dip in this mountain lake to restore the senses and fall in love with the world. Try it. I know you’ll agree!

Fall in Woodford State Park is for Leaf-Peeping

Fall Foliage Photography in Southwestern Vermont

Adams Reservoir, Woodford State Park

Fall Canoeing Woodford State Park

 Foliage Woodford State Park

Late September brings oranges, reds, and yellows to the forests of Vermont. It also brings leaf peepers from all over the world.  At Woodford State Park, you’ll find some visitors, but because the forest is mostly Birch, Spruce, and Fir, it doesn’t explode with color like some other parts of the state. It still makes a fabulous home base for exploring Autumn in Vermont. The campground is still open in the fall, and if you’re not sure about camping in the cold, reserve one of the four cabins in the park.

Winter at Woodford State Park is for Skiing and Snowshoeing

Winter Woodford State Park

Winter Woodford State Park

Winter Woodford state Park

Skiing Woodford State Park

Skiing Woodford State Park

Skiing Woodford State park

Skiing Woodford State Park

This is the best time of year to head to the back country. Cross-country ski trails criss-cross the Green Mountain National Forest, and during snowy winters, there’s a pretty well-marked trail through Woodford State Park and the surrounding wilds. The frozen lake makes a fine playground, skating rink, and ski-track all rolled into one.

Are you convinced that this is the sweetest little hidden spot in Vermont? Then come on up for a visit — I’ll meet you there!

For trail maps and campground reservations, check out Woodford State Park’s official website. 

For more about my home, the beautiful Green Mountain State, check out these posts:

A Leaf-Peeping Road Trip in Southern Vermont

More than Leaf Peeping: How to Spend Autumn in Vermont

Cabin Camping at Merck Forest and Farmland Center

An Autumn Walk Around Lake Shaftsbury

Our favorite books about exploring Vermont (click on the photo for more info):


The above links are affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and decide to make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting Back Road Ramblers.

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Explore Vermont in all four seasons at Woodford State Park. It's especially nice during fall foliage season, but Vermont State Parks never disappoint.


  1. This state park is so astonishing and wonderful, Tara! Your pictures totally convinced me to add it to my bucket list. Is winter the best season to go there?

    • Hi Agnes – It truly is a wonderful park. We like it in every season. If you like snowshoeing or cross country skiing, winter is perfect. Just note that there aren’t any amenities in the winter.

  2. I’ve never been to Vermont, but I definitely want to visit in the Fall. Taking photos of the changing leaves is one of my fav shots. I’ve been exploring state parks in Louisiana and they are such gems that we seem to miss sometimes. Great post!

  3. It’s so nice to have a place that can be fun to visit at any time of the year! The fall foliage photos are gorgeous!!

    • Thanks for visiting, Lisa. Fall is definitely my favorite time to explore the parks in Vermont.

  4. Your photos are cute and beautiful at the same time. Makes me want to live in a place were the four seasons are noticeable.

  5. we feel the same way about our state parks in Illinois and visit them as often as possible

    • Now there’s a state I’ve only driven through a few times. I’d love to hear your recommendations for parks in Illinois!

  6. So many people live near resources like this and never use them. It’s wonderful how you use this park all year round! thanks for linking up! #wkendtravelinspiration

  7. I agree, Tara: this is the sweetest little hidden spot in Vermont. A lovely spot to make family memories – one that I’m sure your children will remember and take their kids to.
    Love secluded spots like these.

  8. You can really do a lot here! wonderful! #weekend travel inspiration

  9. Such a wonderful place, Tara!
    Lakeside locations are the best for outside adventures with a family …
    A bunch of memories coming back as I look at your beautiful images – from days by the lake with the family!

  10. Jen

    I would absolutely love to come camping and playing in your park! I enjoy being outdoors and it would be amazing to be there exploring, and just enjoying it. I do not miss the snow, not at all lol! I think that the older I get, the more time I spend away from colder the weather, the harder it is for me to take.

    Thank you for sharing with us at Photo Friday!

    • That’s how I feel about the heat, Jen. In the winter, I love playing outside and than hunkering down by the woodstove afterwards. In the summer, I have to be near water to enjoy myself…

  11. We were there in Green Mountain National Forest a couple of weeks ago and yes it was amazing. Great shots of all seasons.

  12. I do love New England, and I agree that Vermont is gorgeous in all seasons! I just had to pin your image!

  13. It is such a bonus having a mountain area close to your home where it is ten degrees cooler. We have such a place near us and although it is not ten degrees different it is noticeably so. It is also wonderful to visit a place in all seasons and get to know it like an old friend. Gorgeous photos and I wish I was close enough to pack up our tent and visit.

  14. Beautiful pictures and it looks like your family really knows how to enjoy every season.

  15. How beautiful! We don’t get 4 seasons where we live now so we are trying to figure out where to go for a little bit of “winter” 🙂

  16. It looks like a great place to visit no matter what time of year it is!

  17. Visiting from Photo Friday – I enjoyed your post very much! It was nice that you organized it according to the seasons. We live in South Africa and our youngest child who will be 8 years old in February has never felt snow. It’s still on her wish list. (My kids are South African and American.) We live in a pretty part of the world. You can check out this post of mine:

    • Thanks for visiting, Christina, and for following me on Google+. I lived in Florida when I was young, and what a dream it was to feel, see, and taste the snow. Sometimes I get tired of it now, but definitely not this year!

  18. So beautiful all year long! Heading east is on our to-do list for an upcoming family vacation.

  19. We have been watching Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks and wow I forget how lucky we are to have so much beauty here. Your State Park looks amazing and it’s so nice seeing families out enjoying nature.

    • Wasn’t that a great series? We loved it. I love the national parks, but there’s not many in New England, and the state parks are pretty quiet, which I love.

  20. Wow- looks like a great place for hiking exploring whatever the season!

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