Vermont is known for its amazing nature and endless outdoor activities. While many hikes in the state are intense and long, just 20 minutes from downtown Burlington is the stunning Mount Philo State Park. The Mt Philo hike is a bit steep, but it’s still a trail all ages can enjoy. Join us as we make the short climb up Mount Philo and explain why it’s the best easy hike in Vermont!
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Vermont Travel Inspiration
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Mount Philo State Park Information
- Location: 5425 Mt Philo Rd, Charlotte, VT, 05445
- Cost: $4 Adults – $2 Kids
- Time Needed: 1-2 Hours
- Camping: Yes
- Dogs: Yes
Welcome to Vermont’s first state park! Mount Philo became an official state park in 1924. It’s made up of 237 acres and the area has been welcoming travelers for over a hundred years now. The original road to the summit was built by the owners of the Mount Philo Inn in 1903.
Back then, customers could ride from the hotel in horse-drawn carriages to the top of Mount Philo Vermont. Today the historic Inn has been turned into condominiums. However, the Mount Philo hike is close to Lake Champlain and many more outdoor activities in Charlotte!
6 Tips For Your Mt Philo Hike
1. Early Start: The Mount Philo hike can get busy, especially during summer and on the weekends. For this reason, it’s best to get there as early as possible!
2. Footwear: Bring shoes and activewear on this hike. Although it’s short, the path is steep and can be a bit slippery if it’s rained.
3. Driving vs Hiking: Not up for hiking or don’t have enough time? There is a road that goes to the top of Mount Philo VT!
4. Camping: You can camp at Mount Philo State Park. The north side of the mountain features 7 tent sites and 3 lean-to shelters.
5. Picnic: Mount Philo is the perfect place to bring a picnic. We loved having lunch at the top with a view.
6. Sunset: If you’re unable to get an early start we highly recommend catching the sunset from Mount Philo. Watching the colors change over the mountains and lake is so magical!
Mount Philo VT Trail
Elevation: 967 feet
Time Needed: 20-30 minutes
The Mt Philo hike starts at the base of the main parking lot. The trail snakes its way up the mountain and is a mix of dirt and small wooden steps. At a good pace, you should be able to reach the top in less than 30 minutes. About halfway up you can choose to take an alternate trail that wraps around the other side of Mount Philo.
While it’s known as one of the most leisurely hikes in Vermont, it does get quite steep. Most of the trail is shaded which especially nice in the summertime when the trees are in full bloom. It’s also very beautiful in the fall when the leaves are changing colors!
View From the Top of Mount Philo
There are several different lookouts once you reach the top of the Mount Philo hike. The best is straight out over Lake Champlain! On a clear day, you can see the Adirondack Mountains of New York in all their glory.
It’s quite fitting that they have Adirondack-style chairs on top of Mount Philo to take in the views across the water. This is a great place to enjoy a picnic, relax, and take in the stunning nature of New England. There is also a 1930’s lodge up here that is still used for events and gatherings.
Wildlife of the Mt Philo Hike in Vermont
Mount Philo State Park is home to a diverse group of animals and plant life. Here you can see everything from turkey vultures to white-tailed deer, and even moose!
Its location in the Champlain Valley also makes it one of the best places for bird watching in the spring and fall. Mount Philo Vermont lies directly in the migratory path of numerous species of birds including falcons, songbirds, and Canada Geese.
A good portion of trees were cleared after the arrival of Europeans to Vermont for sheep grazing. Fortunately, there was a big push to re-forest the state at the beginning of the 20th century. The Northern White Cedar trees will be all around you on your Mt Philo hike. They can grow up to 70 feet tall and live for over 800 years!
Long Stroll Back on Mount Philo Road
After our latest Mount Philo hike we decided to walk the paved road on the way down. This route is slightly longer as it winds around the mountainside but equally as gorgeous. This is a great option if you’re looking for a more leisurely walk or using a baby stroller.
Have any questions about our Mount Philo Vermont hike or want to share your own tips for the trail? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Where to Stay in Burlington Vermont
Fun Vacation – Hotel Vermont Burlington – This rustic yet modern hotel is in the heart of downtown Burlington. Enjoy a stay close to Church Street, Lake Champlain, and all the great Vermont outdoor activities.
Lake View – Courtyard Burlington Harbor – This gorgeous Marriot is located perfectly on Cherry Street in between downtown and the lake. Take in the views of Lake Champlain, eat at the onsite restaurant, and relax by the pool during summer.
Great Location – Hilton Garden Inn Burlington Downtown – Spacious rooms and close to all the best things to do in Burlington Vermont. Also, amazing lake and mountain views!
Suites – Green Mountain Suites Hotel – Green Mountain Suites is a relaxing boutique inn situated just outside the city. Experience the Vermont country life while still being just a quick drive from downtown.
For more places to stay in Burlington Vermont you can explore the latest prices here!
USA Travel Planning
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