Things To Do Recreation
For the outdoor lover, it is no surprise that Bennington is often referred to as the Outdoor Capital of the Northeast. State parks, mountain lakes, swimming holes, and hikes for all ages and abilities abound. Bennington is nestled into the southwest corner of the Green Mountains and is a favorite stopping point along the Appalachian and Long Trails. For the casual walker there is no shortage of beautiful scenic walks with pastoral views and historic sites.
When temperatures drop, some of the best cross-country skiing and snow shoeing in the Northeast has brought the U.S. National Snowshoe competition to Prospect Mountain twice in the past five years.
Breathtaking mountain views abound from every hole on our 18-hole championship golf course. For rainy day activities, Bennington has indoor golf simulator, a tennis bubble, bowling alley and more.
Bennington and the surrounding area offer a plethora of easily-accessible scenic hiking venues for all different ages and fitness levels. Ranging from easy country strolls to gnarly scrambles up steep mountains, visitors will find there are wonderful hiking opportunities for everyone.
This scenic private preserve, adjacent to the historic Park McCullough House, is dedicated to conservation and agricultural uses. It offers a network of easy walking trails for ages 2-92 and is open to the public during daylight hours. Also known as ‘McCullough Woods’.
Bennington College’s beautiful bucolic campus is ideal for a relaxing country stroll. The Blue Trail, at the north end of the campus, connects to the McCullough Woods via the Aldrich trail.
Off Route 7, just over a mile south of downtown Bennington is a 96-acre preserve consisting of beautiful meadows, wetlands and woods. The preserve features a network of easily accessed trails.
This is a fun two-mile trail that connects Lake Paran in North Bennington to the historic Robert Frost House Museum on Route 7A in Shaftsbury.
Downloadable trail maps, trail conditions and year long family friendly hiking and biking events. This volunteer run organization is also a great way for new residents to meet fellow outdoor-loving neighbors and get connected to the community.
A few blocks from East Main Street in downtown Bennington, this preserve features a series of trails set in 168 acres of uplands, wetlands, and streams.
Travel a few miles east of downtown Bennington heading up Route 9 into the Green Mountain National Forest and you’ll find any number of wilderness hiking trails. The best known of these trails is the Appalachian Trail—which is also the Vermont Long Trail in this part of the state. Park at the trailhead and give it a shot, heading north or south. Get ready to climb!
There is a trailhead for Bald Mountain (aka White Rocks) right in town, off of North Branch Street Extension.
Enjoy one of Bennington’s many well-maintained parks scattered throughout town.
The Bennington area has many easily accessible State Parks with abundant hiking trails and beautiful lakes and rivers for fishing, swimming, and boating.
A favorite local park offering a beach, swimming, boating, and easy hiking on a beautiful nature trail. Located on scenic Route 7A 12 miles north of Bennington.
Lake Paran is an undeveloped 35-acre lake that provides swimming, boating and fishing opportunities for the local community. There is a full service facility on the north end with a beach, lifeguarded swimming area and clubhouse.
Only 11 miles from downtown Bennington, Woodford State Park is like another world. Located at a significantly higher elevation than Bennington in the valley below, Woodford State Park offers cool breezes and a refreshing swim in summer and LOTS and LOTS of snow in winter. Beautiful scenery and campsites and a wonderful trail around the lake.
This is a wonderful family friendly park for swimming and boating. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the water. Emerald Lake State Park is off of Route 7 in East Dorset, 32 miles north of Bennington.
Enjoy this beautiful state park located on Route 9, 24 miles east Bennington. The park offers camping and a variety of hiking trails including one that leads to nearby Hogback mountain. Enjoy the views en route from the fire tower.
Road Cycling and Mountain Biking
Tennis, Pickleball and Bowling
Southern Vermont has some of the best downhill and cross country skiing on the East Coast
World class Nordic skiing right next door to Bennington at Prospect Mountain in Woodford