What to do in Gifford Woods State Park

Gifford Woods State Park was established in 1931 with much of the initial development being completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. A second development phase took place in the 1950's and 60's with the work being completed by the park's department.

The park is well known for offering visitors wonderful views of fall foliage. The Appalachian Trail passes through the park offering a place for the hikers to shower and overnight. Fishing is available at Kent Pond. A playground, picnicking, hiking and hunting are enjoyed as well.

Gifford Woods State Park was established in 1931. In 1933 and 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built the picnic area and ranger's quarters. In 1939, the CCC constructed a camping area. During 1959-60, a new camping area was built by the Forests and Parks Department.

The Appalachian Trail runs through the park and joins the Long Trail about 1.5 miles from the camping area. Many "through hikers" pass through the park on their journey from Georgia to Maine or vice versa. This section offers a wonderful opportunity to view songbirds and forest mammals including black bear, white-tailed deer and red fox.

The park is a very popular spot during the fall foliage season for its northern hardwood fall colors. There are spectacular views from Deer Leap Mountain and lovely waterfalls where Kent Brook enters Kent Pond and along Thundering Brook Trail.

Across SR 100 from the developed campground lies Gifford Woods Natural Area, a 7-acre stand of virgin hardwoods. It is perhaps Vermont's best known old-growth northern hardwood stand, with many grand individual trees of sugar maple, beech, yellow birch, basswood, white ash and hemlock. The understory is rich with native wildflowers. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1980 and a State Fragile Area in 1982. No trails or development of any kind has been done in the stand in order to preserve its natural state.

Visitors to Gifford Woods State Park enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, picnicking and a playground. Cross-country skiing is available for free on all groomed trails within state lands and Kent and Colton Ponds when conditions permit. There is a private ski touring center located on Thundering Brook Road that maintains the trails and charges a fee for the use of ski trails on private lands.

Nearby attractions include Killington Gondola and Pico Alpine Slide, Shelburne; Vermont Marble Exhibit and Wilson's Castle, Proctor; and the Maple Museum in Pittsford.

From the junction of US 4 and SR 100, travel .5 mile north on SR 100 to reach the park.

Winter daytime temperatures average between 16 and 18 degrees Fahrenheit (between -9 and -8 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures average between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 21 Celsius). Much of the state's precipitation is the result of snow, particularly throughout the mountains. The Heart of Vermont Travel Region has diverse precipitation totals ranging from 40 to 44 inches (102 and 112 centimeters) in the center area of the region decreasing to less than 36 inches (91 centimeters) along the state lines of New York and New Hampshire.

Killington, VT 05751

Phone: 802-775-5354

  • Gifford Woods State Park Travel Q&A