When people think of Vermont, they may think about small, historic villages with white clapboard buildings surrounded by scenic rural landscape. But make no mistake, you’ll also find plenty of water in Vermont.
Vermont is home to Lake Champlain, the sixth largest freshwater body in the United States. One of Vermont’s U.S. Senators even tried to have it declared the sixth Great Lake a few years ago. He wasn’t successful, but the effort focused a lot of attention on Lake Champlain and made people take a second look at Vermont and all the water sports it has to offer.
Lake Champlain covers 435 square miles and is just over 120 miles long with 212 miles of Vermont shoreline, while forming a major portion of Vermont’s western border with New York.
In total, Vermont has more than 800 lakes and ponds, 284 of which are larger than 20 acres. Vermont is also home to over 7,000 miles of rivers and streams. Rivers such as the Winooski, the Batten Kill, the Lamoille, and the West are excellent for kayaking, tubing, fishing, and canoeing.
There is even limited, seasonal white water rafting available on the West River.
While Vermont rivers will often provide an exciting setting for your water adventures, a number of our many smaller lakes and ponds are generally calm and quiet with no power craft allowed. (You can find a listing of these in this report.) Paddling your canoe or kayak on one of these still-water treasures is an ideal way to explore more of Vermont’s unique natural world, while giving yourself time to simply relax.
Chart your course for a leisurely paddle across one of our small ponds or set sail across one of our larger lakes. Cast out your line in search of more than 20 different species of game fish. Explore Vermont’s history as you dive among shipwrecks from its nautical past. Or you may simply want to spend a quiet summer day splashing around near the beach with your kids and acting like one yourself.
Whatever your aquatic passion, there is just the right body of water waiting for you here in Vermont.
For more information on watersports in Vermont go to:
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
Vermont State Parks
Vermont Outdoor Guides Association
Vermont Paddlers Club
Northern Forest Canoe Trail
Winooski River Paddling Guide
Green Mountain Water Skiers
Connecticut River Byway