Underhill State Park

Underhill State Park

Quick Facts

Underhill State Park

Vermont

(802) 899-3022

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Underhill State Park is probably best known for its hiking. Four trails lead to the summit ridge of Mt. Mansfield from the park. The Sunset Ridge Trail, which is 3 miles to the summit, is the most popular. Vermont's Long Trail traverses the summit ridge and with several trails from the other side of the mountain, many loops are possible.

This mountain park contains a small campground with group camping, a log picnic shelter, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and a restroom facility with flush toilets and cold running water (no showers). Due to the park's hillside nature, it is not suitable for RVs or trailers. All campsites are walk-in. This off-grid park uses solar power for office functions and to operate the water system.

Underhill is within Vermont's 39,837-acre Mt. Mansfield State Forest. On the headwaters of the Brown's River, about 2,000 feet elevation, the park lies on the west slope of 4,300 foot Mt. Mansfield, the state's highest peak. The elevation and corresponding exposure to harsh climatic conditions have resulted in some relatively unusual vegetation types along the mountain's summit ridge. The low, fragile plants found in the alpine tundra near the summit are very rare in New England. They are more typical of types found on broad expanses of Arctic tundra a thousand miles farther north.

Map of Underhill (VT)

Latitude, Longitude: 44.529420, -72.831720

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Activities

  • Bird Watching

    Underhill is a great place for bird spotting. Species to keep an eye out for include: Hermit thrush, Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, American Woodcock, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and more!

  • Bicycling

    The secondary roads in and around the park make for great (and steep) bike rides. Your calves are sure to get a good workout with all the elevation changes.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Take a scenic drive on Route 108 through the historic Smugglers' Notch Pass. This dramatic drive from Smugglers' Notch to Stowe brings travelers through a rocky, alpine landscape with steep cliffs on either side. A great place to go for a ride or a stop for a picnic. Also, try Mt. Mansfield's auto road ($) which provides views of Stowe and beyond.

  • Camping

    Within Underhill, the campground is split. The upper camp area has 7 lean-to sites and 2 tent sites and is reserved for organized group use. This area is a 0.8 mile moderate walk uphill from the lower campground. There is a pit toilet that serves the group area. The lower camp area has 11 tent sites and 6 lean-to sites. There are cold water and flush toilets in the rest rooms, but no showers. This park is not recommended for RV or tent-trailer campers due to the steep terrain. Firewood is available for purchase. Pets are permitted.

  • Fishing

    In Underhill State Park, there are mountain streams with excellent trout fishing. Many require bushwhacking to gain access. Once entering the park, you will be able to hear the stream - so follow the noise the of stream to find your fishing spot.

  • Hiking

    The park is probably best known for its hiking. There are four trails to the summit ridge of Mt. Mansfield from Underhill State Park. Walking up the gated road from the park headquarters, the trails begin branching off shortly above the group camp area. The Sunset Ridge Trail, 3 miles to the summit, is the most popular. Vermont's Long Trail traverses the summit ridge and, with several trails from the other side of the mountain, many loops are possible. Hiking information and trail maps are available at the park headquarters.

    For detailed trail info and maps, click on the link below to visit the park web page.

  • Historic Sites

    There is much to do in the Underhill area. During the growing season, check out the local farmer's markets; Do a wine tasting at Boyden Valley Winery, a short drive away; Check out the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT; Take a gondola ride up the mountain or drive up Mt. Mansfield's Auto Road; Stroll through the Grist Mill Covered Bridge in Jeffersonville, VT; Pick up some historic facts from the Jericho's Snowflake Bentley Museum ("Snowflake" Bentley was the first person to photograph a single snow crystal!).

  • Picnicking

    Underhill has an historic open log picnic pavilion built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. Surrounded by rich woods, this pavilion can seat up to 50 people and offers a fireplace, picnic tables, and great access to hiking trails.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Wildlife abounds in Underhill State Park. Visitors common see animals such as white-tailed deer, fisher, coyote, beaver, turkey, ruffed grouse, porcupine, skunk, fox, squirrel, red-tailed hawk, and sometimes bald eagle. Reptiles and amphibians include wood frog, spring peeper, American toad, and yellow-spotted salamander.

  • Winter Sports

    Although the park is closed in the winter (no facilities or staff), visitors are encouraged to use the park for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sled riding, and off season camping. Also, just over the summit ridge is the Stowe ski area, one of North America's original ski resorts. Nearby Jericho connects with the VAST trails for snowmobiling.

Seasonality/Weather

Open Memorial Day Weekend - October 14. Open for day use: 10:00 AM - sunset.

Directions

Driving

From I-89 N: Take exit 11 and turn right at W Main ST/ US RT 2. Turn slightly to the right, onto River Rd./ VT Rte 117. In about 260', turn right onto Governor Peck Highway and follow to the end. At stop sign, turn left onto Browns Trace Rd and follow to the end, 5.3 mi. At the stop sign turn right onto Rte 15 for 1/2 mi. Turn right onto River Rd. Continue onto Pleasant Valley Rd (2.7 mi). Turn right onto Mountain Rd and follow for 2.7 mi to the end. At the stop sign, it is 1 mi to the park entrance.

From St. Albans and points north: From I-89, take exit 19. VT Route 104 E joins VT Rte 15 E in Cambridge. At the Shell gas station, turn right onto Lower Pleasant Valley Rd. After 8 - 10 miles, look for state park sign and turn left onto Mountain Road. Continue 3 miles to end of road.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(802) 899-3022

Campground reservations

(888) 409-7579

Links