Gorgeous displays of white, blue, and purple native wildflowers pop up every spring to complete their life cycle before the forest canopy unfurls.  Late April to mid to late May is the best time to catch this spring  phenomenon, although some plants seed and persist long into the summer. Now is a great time to get outside and explore our natural areas. And what could be better than a spring hike with Lake Champlain views! Gather up your friends and family, grab your camera, and head out to these staff-favorite spring wildflower hikes. Happy trails!

  1. Niquette Bay State Park – This park, which the Lake Champlain Land Trust helped expand in 2000, features a well-developed trail system that takes full advantage of it’s diverse terrain, passing through rich hardwood forests, deep sandy ravines, and scenic ridgelines.  Check out the short Allen Trail to the Lake for great displays of white trillium (pictured above). (Note: A nominal day use fee starts in the spring.)
  2. Butternut Hill Natural Area – Located in North Hero, VT, every spring this natural area (and particularly the adjacent Camp Ingalls recreation area) feature an astounding array of colorful wildflowers.  A two mile round-trip trail leads to a scenic bluff overlooking the Lake. (Note: Trail can be wet when the Lake is high. Check the lake level available on our website.)
  3. Eagle Mountain – This family-friendly destination in Milton, VT offers gentle grades, winding paths through hayfields, and an impressive Lake Champlain overlook. Check out the staff-favorite Hoyt Lookout Trail for spring wildflowers and the best views.
  4. Round Pond State Park  – Located in South Hero, VT, this easily-accessible natural area features scenic fields, small and large wetlands teeming with wildlife, and an impressive shoreline forest.  As you walk the short trail from the parking area to a beautiful shale beach, keep an eye out for forest-dwelling wildflowers including white trillium.
  5. Upper La Platte River Natural Area – Spectacular wildflowers abound but are largely hidden along the woodland edges above the La Platte River in Shelburne, VT. This gentle hike through mowed hay fields and picture-perfect Vermont hardwood forests is sure to please leisurely strollers and aspiring artists.

We hope you enjoy hiking these trails. For more spring hiking adventures, visit our Hike and Paddle Page. And don’t forget to send along your wildflower photos! We’re happy to share them on our website.