Hikes in Vermont with a lake or stream to swim in

Summer is heating up in Vermont, with temperatures expected to hit the mid-80s this weekend. There are dozens of hiking and swimming spots throughout the state to enjoy the weather, and even a few places that combine the two activities.

If you’re looking to burn some calories and dip your feet or your head in water, here are six places to check out.

Abbey Pond Trail, Middlebury

This four-mile course out and back trail starts with a steep incline but flattens out after about a mile and a half. Waterfalls and streams trace the trail, providing countless opportunities to cool off on a hot day. At the top, enjoy the view of the serene Abbey Pond.

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Lana Falls, Salisbury

Falls of Lana Trail, which stretches for about four miles, is in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area. The hike is steep in places, but features various cascades and falls with scenic views and swimming opportunities. Nearby, enjoy the view from the cliffs overlooking Dunmore Lake and Silver Lake.

Indian Brook Park, Essex

This 740-acre community park has something for everyone on a hot day. There are multiple trails, a 60-acre reservoir perfect for swimming, and even a non-motorized boat launch. The relatively flat terrain also makes Indian Creek Park a great place to walk your dog.

Fall foliage surrounds Lake Elmore, seen from the top of Elmore Mountain.

Mount Elmore, Elmore

There are several trails at Mount Elmore, which vary in distance. At the top, you can climb one of Vermont’s few remaining fire towers, offering panoramic views of the Green Mountains, Worcester Mountain Range, Lake Elmore, and Lamoille County. Be prepared for a technical climb at the end if you’re aiming for the fire tower.

Before or after your hike, cool off in 219-acre Lake Elmore, located at the base of the mountain.

A view of Lake Willoughby in Westmore in August 2014.

Mount Pisgah, Westmore

Three trails, approximately 1 to 4 miles apart, all lead to the summit of Mount Pisgah, located in the Willoughby State Forest in the northeastern kingdom of Vermont. There are two viewpoints near the top, which offer breathtaking views.

After the hike, take a swim in Lake Willoughby, located at the base of the mountain.

A hiker descends stairs added to part of the trail around Sterling Pond in Jeffersonville, VT on June 23, 2019.

Sterling Pond Trail, Jeffersonville

This 2-3 mile route in Smugglers Notch climbs 880 feet and leads hikers to a mountaintop pond that offers swimming, fishing (license required) and wildlife views. The hike has both steep and flat portions with the majority of the hike being under tree cover.

After:A hike for all seasons: Sterling Pond

There are also several additional hikes that leave from the pond. If you head up Long Trail North, you’ll end up at the top of the Madonna chairlift at Smugglers’ Notch; taking Long Trail South will take you to the top of the Sensation chairlift.

Contact Blaise Siefer at 978-505-4363 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @Blaise_Siefer.