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Recommended Tent Camping Locations - VT
Vermont Tent Camping Trip
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Vermont’s US-7 starts in the state’s southwest corner and winds its way northwards through some of the finest landscape in New England. Rolling hills and bucolic farmland mark the southern reaches as the terrain changes to lush evergreen forests of the Green Mountains and northwards into the White Mountains.
Begin your Vermont tent camping trip in the historic town of Bennington. Coming into town you’ll pass the Bennington Battle Monument, a large obelisk reminiscent of the Washington Monument, commemorating the Bennington Battle. This was one of the first and most important Colonial victories over the British in the War for Independence. Poet Robert Frost spent a good portion of his life here and you can tour the Robert Frost Stone House to learn more about the life of this important American figure. And what do you imagine when someone says “Vermont”? Covered bridges of course! Here in town you can visit the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum to learn about haunted bridges and battlegrounds through interactive exhibits, dioramas, and other displays. Make a pitstop at Woodford State Park, one of the great Vermont tent campgrounds to stay at in this area.
Continuing north on US-7 you’ll eventually end up in Arlington where you can experience nostalgia in art form at the Norman Rockwell Exhibition. Fans of the quintessential American artist’s work can view more than 500 of the master’s Saturday Evening Post covers on display.
Up the road a piece you’ll find Manchester Center, the quintessential Vermont village, loaded with quaint shops, great eateries, and wonderful scenery. The village is located near the historic Battenkill River, the capital of trout fishing in the northeast. Try your own hand at fly fishing at the impressive Orvis flagship store. Manchester Center could also be an excellent ”base camp” for you to tour the nearby Green Mountain National Forest, a natural retreat loaded with campgrounds in picturesque New England mountains.
Migrating north on US-7 you’ll enter the state’s highlands, within range of the Northeast’s premier ski resort, Killington. If you end up here during the off-season, don’t freak out. You’re still in mountainous Vermont where there are plenty of opportunities to hike, fish, and just enjoy the beautiful scenery around the resort.
Stay on Hwy. 7 and soon you’ll enter the majestic Lake Champlain Valley. The first town within this region is Rutland where you can find seven covered bridges in the immediate area, each one more picturesque than the next. Rutland, like so many others in the state, is a quaint town with a charming town centre to explore on foot. One favorite stop is the New England Maple Museum where visitors can learn about the history and industry of maple syrup in New England. Also in town is the Norman Rockwell Museum, with even more examples of the master artist’s depictions of early-20th century American life on display.
Like many other Vermont villages, Middlebury offers excellent opportunities to exercise the legs a bit, and the imagination, with a walk through its historic district. Visit the courthouse, the Middlebury Inn, and see the roaring Otter Falls in the midst of the downtown area. There are a couple Vermont tent campgrounds to check out in the area here.
Further north, stop in the town of Shelburne. There you’ll find one of the most impressive little museums in the Northeast at the Shelburne Museum, showcasing fine local folk art as well as works by Degas, Monet, and Rembrandt. Also, be sure to visit the impressive Shelburne Farms, a 3,800-acre property landscaped by the great Frederick Law Olmsted. Today the farm hosts many educational exhibits, plus provides a petting zoo and hay rides for the young ones to enjoy. A family favorite in Shelburne is a tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. This is where the world- famous custom teddy bears are ”born”, and for many it’s almost like venturing into a cute, cuddly version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Your final stop on this Vermont tent camping trip along US-7 is going to be in the capital city of Burlington, located along the banks of chilly Lake Champlain. North Beach Campground is one of choice Vermont tent campgrounds to check out in the area. The town now features a wonderful waterfront with shops and art exhibits in a public space. The newest addition to the waterfront area is ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. (ECHO stands for ecology, culture, history, and opportunity, FYI.) This is without a doubt, a unique and world-class science center and aquarium with constantly changing exhibits that the whole family can enjoy and learn about the environment. Also in town, visit the Ethan Allen Homestead where the Revolutionary War patriot, the state’s most popular hero, spent the final years of his life. Hwy 7 continues north through St. Albans, along the shores of Lake Champlain to the Canada border.
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