Nestled in a valley at the confluence of two rivers and sheltered by surrounding hillsides, Montpelier offers ample recreational opportunities. A bike path follows the Winooski River. The North Branch River Park offers almost 200 acres of gentle trails and access to miles of challenging cross-country skiing or walking. Hubbard Park, the city's premier forested park, with great views, a stone observatory, and trails, is a short walk from the State House.
Hiking & Walking
Hubbard Park and North Branch Park have extensive hiking trails. For easy walking and jogging, try the ever-expanding Montpelier Bike Path that follows along the Winooski River for over two miles; easy entry point and parking at the high school or along Stone Cutters Way. Visit TrailLink by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to find the top rated trails in Montpelier.
Try the Montpelier Bike Path, or you can join the local runners club in the summer for informal “fun runs” on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm, beginning and ending at the parking lot of the Vermont State Liquor Warehouse at the end of Green Mountain Drive off the access road to I-89. Check their website for special races/events throughout the year.
Check out the Montpelier Bike Path, as well as the mountain bike path in North Branch Park. For more extensive road and mountain biking, pick up a biking map at Onion River Outdoors on Langdon Street.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Paddle on the Winooski River from the boat launch at the Gateway Park on Lower State Street across from Green Mount Cemetery, or head up the North Branch from the Mill Pond Park on Elm Street. You can also launch your boats for an easy lake paddle at Wrightsville Reservoir. Follow Route 12 North to the boat launch sign on the right.
Skiing & Snowshoeing
Hubbard Park and North Branch Park have an extensive trail system that is groomed in the winter. Montpelier is within an hour’s drive of more than half of Vermont’s famed alpine ski resorts and nearly two-thirds of the 45 cross-country ski areas.
Tennis & Skateboarding & Basketball
There are four public tennis courts at the Elm Street Recreational Area as well as a skateboard park and outdoor basketball courts. Numerous playing fields are available for pick up games of softball, baseball, soccer and volleyball. Visit the Montpelier Recreation Department website for more information.
In addition to the public swimming pool at the Elm Street Recreational Area and the beach at Wrightsville Reservoir just north of town (which also offers boating, disc golf, mountain biking trails, and more!), there are many swimming holes along the Winooski and North Branch rivers. Explore the area and ask the locals for their favorites.