Vermont’s western shores provide an aquatic venue for exploring bays, rocky coves and riverways. Venture north and 253-acre Burton Island, a Vermont State Park that’s boat-access only has paddler-only campsites perfect for kayak or canoe camping. Not to miss for committed paddlers: The Northern Forest Canoe Trail where it winds down the Missisquoi River, and through the Champlain Islands and Vermont’s Inland Sea before it crosses Lake Champlain and continues through the Adirondacks.
To the southeast, the waters of Waterbury Reservoir warm earlier in the season than the open lake. It’s a peaceful place to explore and watch for herons skimming the reservoir surface in the early morning fog. Shelburne Pond is a quiet oasis with a boat launch a short drive from Burlington, and a serene spot to paddle, fish, and birdwatch. Choose any one of Vermont’s hundreds of boat launches—they all lead to extraordinary adventures that will leave you dreaming up your next outing.