The next best thing to snow is melted snow, and Northern Vermont has plenty of that to go around as well. From glacial lakes to trout-filled brooks, you can always find something to do on the water. The many wonderful lakes and ponds in the Northeast Kingdom offer boaters a wide range of options. The beautiful Lake Willoughby has amazing views above the water and is clear enough to entice divers to brave the chill. Approximately three miles long and a mile wide, nearby Crystal Lake gives boaters the ability to roam without disturbing swimmers and sunbathers at the park’s mile-long beach. 

Whether you want to take in the unspoiled scenery of the north on slow waters or have your breath taken away on the faster rivers or streams, paddlers have it all up here. You can rent canoes or kayaks from area outfitters who can also guide you to the best spots to drop in. You can even go land and sea with a bike and kayak package. Looking for a longer adventure? Island Pond, to our immediate north, is in Section 6 of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, mid-way through the New York-to-Maine trek that celebrates the old forest trails used by Native Americans.

Rent a boat and head onto the chilly waters of Crystal Lake and Lake Willoughby  that make them perfect for rainbow and lake trout. Lake Willoughby especially is known for growing 20+ lb lakers. Atlantic salmon, rainbow smelt, burbot, yellow perch and the elusive Willy (the area’s own lake monster) are other species that make Willoughby an angler’s dream. Visit one of the countless ponds that dot the landscape for, arguably, the best brook trout fishing in the Northeast. Looking for browns? With its East Branch flowing right through East Burke,the Passumpsic River is, literally, out our front door. Whether you prefer fly, cast or bait and bobber fishing, you’ll find what you’re looking for. And if you can’t, local guides will be happy to take you out and show you (almost) all of their secret spots. VT fishing license required ages 15+. 

Boating, swimming, paddling, fishing should be plenty, but for more to do on H2O, visit the Vermont Outdoor Guide Association (VOGA).


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