Best Free Camping in Vermont

Free Camping in Vermont

By Nathan Swartz

A gorgeous state, with implications of green and mountains right there in the name, Vermont makes it easy to see the forest for the trees despite its small stature. Combine free camping with scenic drives, a state law limiting the height of billboards, and small-town charm budding around every bend in the road, and you've got weeks of exploration ahead of you.

See a map of all free camping in Vermont.

Free Camping in Green Mountain National Forest

400,000 acres of pristine hardwood forest, the kind that glows verdant all summer long and erupts into a masterpiece of autumn artwork come September. This is where you'll find the majority of free camping in Vermont. Paved, winding roads loop the national forest, and old barns, covered bridges, and small villages alike help guide the way.

Dispersed camping at Bear's End, near Somerset Reservoir, promises plenty of camping opportunities as well as a chance to bust out the kayak and explore the water. This is boondocking, true forest camping, so don't expect a formal campsite and bring everything you need–including drinking water–and note that not all forest roads are suitable for all RVs. If you're car camping or just looking for tent sites, this is prime real estate, with hiking trails and endless beauty easily accessible from any of these spots. Nearby, Kelley Stand is another option.

Another spot loaded with nearby outdoor activities which also involves rutted dirt roads to get to is Michigan Brook Road. You'll find more places to camp in a handful of locations along the road. No reservations are required. All of these areas are first-come, first-served.

In the southwestern corner of the national forest, Mt. Moosalamoo is layered in even more opportunities to gain a little elevation and turn your free camping dreams into a reality!

Given the proximity to New York City, don't expect complete solitude. The shortness of the summer season in New England also means that state park and state forest campgrounds fill up quickly, and the more adventurous campers may be eager to use the same forest road sites you are. With a little planning, some determination, and luck, you'll no doubt find the perfect site amongst the many Green Mountain camping spots out there.

Free Camping at a Distillery in Vermont

Does sipping on a nice beverage sound better than roughing it in the wilderness? Vermont Distillers has a parking lot where you can stay the night for free after sampling their wares. While it's just a large level parking lot, the price is right.

Nearby, Wilmington is a perfect example of small-town Vermont, too.

portable computer displaying map of camping locations
mobile device showing map of camping locations


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Recent Vermont Free Campsite Reviews

Sep 03, 2021

"Closed until further notice "

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There is a massive rock blocking the dump hole, and a sign that says “RV dump station closed till further notice.“ The rock was too big for me to move, so we were not able to dump here.

1 review
Aug 15, 2021

"Dump station is closed as of Aug 2021"

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Okay location but some big trailers may be tricky bc it is right off the road and not a lot of space to turn around. There was a sign that said “dump station closed until further notice”

Abigail Casals
4 reviews
Aug 12, 2021

"Love it miss it"

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We stayed with a tent/car in the second site and it was such a nice time we stayed a lil longer. It was super big and had a trail close by. The next site wasn’t very close and no one came while we were there. Would recommend. No picnic table but fire ring. We didn’t get cell service.

Audrey Metz
1 review
Jul 31, 2021

"Dump hole under rock confirmed June 2021"

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Did not find dump hole until moved big rock to reveal hole. It’s outside fence and accessible even if gate locked. I somehow missed this first time we went there but then reviews guided me to look for rock which I then found and saw hole when moved the rock the second visit.

1 review
Marlboro, VT

Vermont Distillers

Jul 06, 2021

"Boondocking "

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This was a nice, safe & semi quiet space to park for the night.