Outdoor Recreation

Water Sports

Ariel view of a large lake with a tree-covered island and surrounded by mountains.
A person kayaks on a lake with colorful foliage on a mountain in the background.

On the Water

Recreating on the water is a fun way to spend time and cool down during the warmer months in Vermont. Vermont’s lakes beckon, from Lake Champlain stretching along the western border to Lake Willoughby in the north and Spruce Lake in the southern region. Find a lake, river, or pond to kayak, canoe, sail, or paddleboard.

Vermont is home to more than 802 lakes and ponds.

More Vermont Facts

Two people kayak on a lake.
Sailboats on a blue lake on a sunny day.
Five people sit and talk on a boat at sunset.

Sailing and Boating

Whether you’re raising a mainsail and hoisting a jib or cruising around one of Vermont’s lakes on a motorboat, here’s how to get out on the water in Vermont.

Seen from above, a person swims in a swimming hole in a forest.
Two people sit on a large rock next to a river.


Dive into the crystal-clear waters of a pristine lake, enjoy the tranquility of a hidden swimming hole, or feel the rush of cool mountain streams. Surrounded by the picturesque landscapes of the Green Mountain State, each swim becomes a connection with nature, where the embrace of the outdoors enhances the sense of rejuvenation. Whether it’s the invigorating thrill of a brisk dip or the leisurely float under the warmth of the Vermont sun, swimming in Vermont is one of the best ways to enjoy the summer season.

The view between two trees of a person canoeing on a lake.


Whether gliding along the mirror-like surfaces of tranquil lakes, navigating winding rivers, or exploring hidden ponds nestled amid the mountains, each paddle stroke immerses you in the pristine beauty of the Green Mountain State. From the vibrant foliage reflecting in the water during fall to the lush greenery of summer, paddling in Vermont offers a unique perspective, allowing you to seamlessly blend with the serene landscapes.

Vermont’s Lakes and Ponds

From plunging northern lakes surrounded by rugged mountains to a southern river with fish aplenty, find a shore in Vermont to cast your line, dip your paddle, or just grab a book and relax with a picnic.

People launch canoes on a lake outside in the summer.

Vermont State Parks

Vermont’s 55 state parks offer a wide variety of outdoor recreation and exploration opportunities, from camping to fishing, backpacking to hiking, swimming to boating and just spending a nice long summer day outside.