Thrill seekers and nature lovers, rejoice — the outdoor activities you only had time for “every now and then” live year-round in Rutland County, Vermont. Whether you’re facing a leisurely hike through the woods or staring down one of six 3,000-plus-foot vertical drops on skis, Killington Valley has a bounty of outdoor activities for all who want to log some time outside.
9 Things to Do in Rutland, VT for Outdoor Lovers
Whether you’re a casual hiker or a seasoned summit-chaser, Killington Valley is home to hiking trails for all abilities. For a full day exploring the great outdoors, consider tackling the hiking trails at Killington Mountain — Vermont’s second tallest peak at 4,235’. Mendon Peak (3,839′) and Pico Peak (3,957′) are also nearby for hikers who’re ready for a steady uphill climb. Alternatively, spend an afternoon following one of two famed trails that run through the state — the Vermont Long Trail and Appalachian Trail both cross Rutland County.
If you find falling asleep to the smell of campfire, the sound of crickets, and a view of the night sky as your ceiling appealing, head out on a camping trip. Killington Valley’s camping options range from tent, RV, and lean-to sites at state parks like Bomoseen and Gifford Woods State Park to more primitive, backcountry camping within the Green Mountains.
Killington Resort’s 45-mile trail system and Pine Hill Park’s 16-mile trail system easily make Killington Valley a top destination for mountain bikers (with even more to be explored at Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield). Thanks to a variety of terrain, road riders also have a diverse mix of routes to choose from — ranging from challenging uphill mountain climbs to rolling country roads perfect for logging miles.
For one of the more leisurely outdoor activities in the area, collect the clubs and play a round at one of several golf courses in Rutland County. Enjoy a game at the semi-private Rutland Country Club, one of the best in the state, or take a swing at Green Mountain National in Killington or the 18-hole Proctor-Pittsford Country Club.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Take your outdoor activities to the water’s edge and spend a day paddling one of Killington Valley’s lakes or ponds. Chittenden Reservoir offers scenic solitude on 674 acres of water surrounded by the Green Mountains. If you don’t have your own boat in-tow, many state parks like Bomoseen in Castleton, Half Moon Pond in Hubbardton, or Lake St. Catherine in Poultney, offer rentals for everything you need right on-site.
Whether you’re out to wade in the water on a summer day or set up a shanty on a frozen lake, fishing in Vermont spans all four seasons. From fly fishing to a regular rod and reel, fishing opportunities in Rutland County’s lakes, ponds, and streams provide plenty of potential to snag trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and more.
Upgrade that walk through the woods and opt for a horseback riding experience. Pond Hill Ranch in Castleton and Mountain View Ranch in Danby both offer horseback riding lessons and group or individual rides by appointment.
Skiing and Snowboarding
They didn’t give Killington Resort the nickname “Beast of the East” for nothing — with 1,509 skiable acres and 155 trails to choose from, snow sport lovers flock to the area when winter rolls around. Pico Mountain, owned and operated by Killington, is just five miles away and provides a more classic New England experience — though both mountains have options for advanced and beginner skiers and snowboarders.
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
If you’d rather trade the downhill slopes for a more easygoing snow experience, glide or stomp through the trails on a cross-country skiing and snowshoeing outing. Mountain Meadows XC in Killington offers rental equipment and a network of trails, including three snowshoe specific paths to peruse.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities to get your adrenaline pumping or simply want a quiet escape to enjoy the great outdoors, Killington Valley has every activity imaginable right in our backyard. Have another activity (or spot to enjoy it) to add to this list? Share your insight on RealRutland.com and use #RealRutland to join in the conversation on social media.