Boating in Vermont

Going boating in Vermont? This state has so many lakes, ponds and reservoirs to get out and explore. Here are just a few top lakes to discover.


Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is the largest lake in the state and the sixth-largest body of freshwater in the entire country, making it a prime spot for boating in Vermont.  It stretches 120 miles from north to south and 15 miles from east to west. It runs north into Canada and west into the state of New York.

The lake boasts a 600 mile shoreline that is home to cities, historic sites and parks, and also happens to be home to around 80 islands. It offers swimming, boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and picnicking, amongst other things. There are also a few campgrounds, sandy beaches and wildlife refuges, making Lake Champlain a lake that anyone can enjoy.  There are so many things to see and do at Lake Champlain that you could easily spend a week here.

Notably there are more than 300 shipwrecks laying at the bottom of the lake dating back to the 1700s. You can experience shipwreck tours offered by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Several of the shipwrecks have been designated as historic sites in the states which are accessible to scuba divers.

The Champlain is also home to Champ, Vermont’s Loch Ness monster. 



Lake St. Catherine

Lake St. Catherine in the towns of Poultney and Wells, is a lake known for its relaxing atmosphere due to a very pictureseque shoreline. It’s a very clean like and popular with outdoor activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, water skiing, boating and swimming.  Lake St. Catherine State Park can be found at the north end of the lake where you can access two sandy beaches, a picnic area and a boat launch.

There are campgrounds at the state park for both tents and motorhomes. There are also many lakefront cottages to rent for those who desire a more comfortable stay.


Lake Willoughby

The Willoughby State Forest surrounds the entire south end of the lake and is an excellent way to experience the awesome scenery of Lake Willoughby. From the north shoreline of the glacial lake you can admire the spectacular views of Mount Pisgah and Mount Ho. Trails on Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor offer beautiful views of Vermont’s glorious northern mountains.

Lake Willoughby sits at an elevation of 357 metres above sea level and is 56 metres deep and as a result it is very clear and freezes much later in the year then other lakes in the area, giving visitors more time to experience the lake before autumn descends. It is more than 300 feet deep and has two popular beaches at both ends of the lake along Route 5A.

The lake offers swimming, hiking, camping and fishing and nudists can enjoy the nude beach on the lake’s southern shoreline in the State Forest, while families flock to the north ends Willoughby Lake Beach.


Lake Bomoseen

Lake Bomoseen, is the largest lake entirely within Vermont’s borders and runs nine-miles long along the Taconic Mountains. It is located in the towns of Castleton and Hubbardton in Rutland County located near the state’s eastern boundary just south of Highway 4. Bomoseen State Park is found on the western shoreline. 

The lake is popular for water skiing, windsurfing, fishing, boating and scuba diving and swimming at public beach areas including Crystal Beach and Bomoseen State Park.  The State Park is home to several quarry holes and slate rubble piles as it was a place for slate mining in the past. Visitors can take tours of the Slate History Trail to learn more.

Visitors that would rather stay on land can go hiking, camping, play volleyball or go wildlife watching.

There are over 1,000 private cottages along the lake as well as many restaurants for locals and visitors. The lake also features many recreational accommodations, like a public beach, public boat launches and marinas. 


Silver Lake

Silver Lake is located in Barnard Village and is about 10 miles north of Woodstock. It’s a 34 hectare lake and is a popular destination and considered of the prettiest lakes in Vermont. It is popular in both the summer and throughout the winter months thanks to its year-round fishing opportunities.

The Silver Lake State Park is the lake’s main feature thanks to its sandy beach, picnic area and camping grounds. The State Park was established in 1955 and was once part of several farms. A farm homestead was located near the current park entrance and the remains of a barn foundation are still visible in the park’s campground.

Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boating and fishing are all offered, as are land-based activities like hiking, horseshoes and volleyball. There is also a playground for the kids and a food concession.