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.

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Recent Vermont Free Campsite Reviews

Stratton, VT

Kelley Stand

Sep 23, 2022

"Beautiful "

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Pull In Spots No Drive Through a, But Drive Through Spots Near By In Bear Den On Here. Not Enough Sun For Solar Power. AT&T Wifi Worked Well Here. Gets A Little Soggy When It Rains. If This Spot Isn’t Open Keep Driving There Are Tons Of Sites! But far enough away you don’t hear any one else.

2 reviews
Aug 27, 2022

"Good dispersed camping"

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There are several sites along FR 71 and 2 sites on FR 86. We stayed at the end of FR 86- was able to get the van level. Buggy. Short trail

41 reviews
Pittsfield, VT

Michigan Brook Road

Aug 01, 2022

"In The Woods, By A Creek"

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The road is closed in winter but we had no trouble accessing these sites in July. No 4x4 needed, but I’d suggest high clearance and would not bring a trailer. Some sites are excellent, and those were taken, some are so small they’re maybe just for motos? We did find a great, secluded site down by the brook - this and the site across the street...
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34 reviews
Aug 01, 2022

"Best Green Mountain Views"

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This campsite has the greatest Green Mountain Views! Note-4x4 required and I wouldn’t attempt bringing a trailer up here. You need high clearance and also low clearance as there were some downed trees overhead spanning the road. But…if you’re up for the drive there are some great spots at the top of this hill! Only drawback? there was a lot of...
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34 reviews
Jun 25, 2022

"Great Hidden Gem"

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Didn't stay here ( went up the road to Mt. Moosalamoo campground instead ) but in pinch this place would be fine, only 4 sites that I seen....

2 reviews