Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of the Green Mountain State, Killington, Vermont, offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences for nature enthusiasts, adventurers, and those seeking relaxation alike. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast looking to explore picturesque trails or a foodie seeking out culinary delights, Killington has something for everyone. From cascading waterfalls and lush state parks to world-class skiing and vibrant nightlife, this charming town promises a diverse range of activities. Join us as we embark on a journey to discover the 19 best things to do in Killington, Vermont, and make the most of your visit to this idyllic destination.
1. Take a walk to the massive Thundering Brook Falls
Thundering Brook Falls, nestled in the scenic landscapes of Killington, Vermont, is renowned as the second-tallest waterfall in the state, with an impressive height of 125 feet. This majestic natural wonder is most vibrant in spring, when melting snow and runoff amplify its beauty, although it remains a captivating spectacle year-round. The falls, which include an 80-foot lower section viewable from a two-story observation deck and a 22-foot upper section, are easily accessible through a 0.4-mile hike along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in the Green Mountain National Forest. This family and dog-friendly trail provides a serene yet adventurous journey to one of Vermont's most stunning natural attractions. Much of the trail is along a wonderful boardwalk. Overall, Thundering Brook Falls is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and outdoor explorers visiting Killington.
2. Hike around the wonderful Gifford Woods State Park
Gifford Woods State Park, nestled at the base of Killington and Pico peaks in Vermont, was established in 1931 and has since become a cherished natural sanctuary. Originating from a 13-acre land purchase and expanded through donations and purchases, including a significant contribution from Walter K. Barrows, the park is a popular destination for hikers, especially those traversing the Appalachian Trail. Renowned for its stunning fall foliage, the park offers a variety of outdoor activities including camping, picnicking, fishing, and hiking along several trails, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail. It also features an old-growth forest, designated a National Natural Landmark, and has historical significance with parts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including facilities developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Gifford Woods State Park is a vibrant blend of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and historical preservation, making it a must-visit location in Vermont.
3. Ski at Killington Mountain or enjoy biking, hiking, and sightseeing during the warmer months
Killington Mountain in Vermont, often referred to as "The Beast of the East," stands as one of the most renowned ski destinations in the Northeastern United States. With its diverse terrain spread across six mountains, it caters to skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, from beginners to experts. The mountain boasts a long ski season, often stretching from November to May, thanks to its advanced snowmaking capabilities. Killington's impressive network of lifts, including the high-speed gondolas, efficiently transports winter sports enthusiasts to a variety of trails, glades, and terrain parks. In addition to the exhilarating ski runs, the mountain offers amenities such as ski schools, equipment rentals, and cozy lodges, making it a complete winter resort experience.
During the warmer months, Killington Mountain transforms into a hub of outdoor activities, offering a range of experiences for visitors who aren't there for skiing. The mountain's Adventure Center is a focal point of summer fun, featuring attractions like a mountain coaster, zip lines, and a scenic lift ride that offers breathtaking views of the Green Mountains. For those seeking a more grounded adventure, Killington provides extensive hiking and mountain biking trails that explore the beauty of Vermont's landscape. Additionally, golf enthusiasts can enjoy the high-altitude, 18-hole championship golf course, designed to challenge players while providing stunning mountain vistas. With events and festivals often scheduled throughout the summer, Killington Mountain becomes a vibrant destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts looking to make the most of Vermont's warmer months.
4. Enjoy a fresh baked pastry and a cup of coffee from Sunup Bakery
Sunup Bakery in Killington, Vermont, is a quaint and cozy counter-serve bakery, renowned for its delicious, healthy take-out options that cater to both the bustling outdoor adventurer and the relaxed morning dweller. Specializing in all-day breakfast and lunch fare, the bakery offers a wide range of choices for everyone, from scrumptious breakfast sandwiches and homemade pastries like raspberry cream danishes and sticky buns to wholesome oatmeals and top-notch coffee and espresso drinks. Ideal for those in a hurry to hit the ski slopes or hiking trails, as well as for visitors seeking a leisurely morning with a coffee on the deck, Sunup Bakery provides a warm, inviting atmosphere and a delectable selection of treats, making it a must-visit spot in Killington for a quick, satisfying bite or a relaxed start to the day.
5. Take in the epic views from Deer Leap Rock
Deer Leap Rock in Killington, Vermont, is a beloved hiking destination for locals and visitors alike, offering easy access to breathtaking views from just off Route 4. The trail meanders through a landscape dotted with glacial rocks and open woods, eventually ascending into a dense evergreen forest. This path, illuminated by speckled sunlight, leads hikers to the Deer Leap Overlook - a vast rock formation perfect for picnicking and soaking in the stunning vistas of Pico Peak and the Mendon Valley. The trailhead, located in the Long Trail Inn parking lot, offers alternative parking across the road at the Sherburne Pass Trail parking lot. The hike begins with a rocky, muddy path and a gradual incline, leading to a junction with the Sherburne Pass and Appalachian Trails. Veering left at this junction, the trail then intersects with the Appalachian and Deer Leap Mountain Trails, where hikers should continue on the Deer Leap Mountain Trail. This section features a series of duckboards and rooted ground, leading to the final junction where the Deer Leap Overlook Trail branches off. The one-mile journey culminates at the Deer Leap Overlook, where the expansive views provide a rewarding finale to the hike before retracing steps back to the trailhead.
6. Enjoy local spirits and eats at the Killington Distillery
Nestled at the base of Killington Mountain's ski area, the Killington Distillery is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique après-ski experience or a delightful celebration after a day of mountain activities like snowshoeing, hiking, or biking. As a small-batch distillery, the founders' passion for the outdoors is evident in every bottle they craft, reflecting a commitment to sustaining the natural beauty of the mountains they cherish. Whether it's their gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, tequila, or bourbon, each product is meticulously made to offer a premium taste inspired by the local region. With a dedication to excellence, they constantly refine their craft with every mash and distillation, ensuring that their spirits never settle for anything less than exceptional. Notably, the Killington Distillery offers unique varieties like their Maple Cask Bourbon, aged with locally sourced maple syrup and bottled at 90 proof, featuring complex notes of maple, vanilla, and oak that make it perfect for sipping neat or enhancing your favorite cocktails.
The Killington Distillery also houses Still On The Mountain, a craft cocktail bar and farm-to-table restaurant that complements the distillery experience. Here, you can savor fantastic flights and mixed drinks crafted using their own spirits, expertly paired with delectable food offerings sourced sustainably from local farms around Killington. From flatbreads and cheese boards to lasagna and burgers, this culinary haven adds an unforgettable dimension to your visit, ensuring that you don't miss out on the opportunity to enjoy both exceptional drinks and delicious dining at Killington Distillery.
7. Ski, hike, or ride at Pico Mountain Ski Resort
Pico Mountain is a year-round outdoor haven for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. In the winter, Pico Mountain Resort offers world-class skiing and snowboarding, boasting a diverse range of trails suitable for all skill levels. As the snow melts away, the mountain transforms into a summer paradise, inviting visitors to explore its lush green forests and scenic trails through hiking, mountain biking, and even rock climbing. The awe-inspiring vistas from the summit provide a breathtaking backdrop for sightseeing, and the resort's amenities and activities ensure a memorable experience for all seasons. Pico Mountain truly embodies the essence of Vermont's natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking outdoor thrills and tranquility throughout the year.
8. Play one of the best rounds of golf in the state at Green Mountain National
The Green Mountain National Golf Course stands as a shining gem in the state's vibrant golfing scene. Voted as the #1 public golf course in Vermont, it offers an unparalleled 18-hole championship golfing experience set against the backdrop of the Green Mountains' natural beauty. Carved out of the majestic mountain terrain, this course provides golfers with a sense of solitude and a "private" golfing experience that challenges players of all skill levels. Designed by Gene Bates and newly built in 1996, the 6,589-yard, par-71 layout boasts straight and narrow tree-lined fairways, along with quick, firm, undulating greens. Hosting Vermont's only professional golf tournament, the course accommodates golfers of all abilities with its four different tee levels on each hole. For warm-up and practice, Green Mountain National offers a putting green, sand and chipping area, and a driving range. The clubhouse complements the experience with a restaurant and full bar, making it a must-play destination for both residents and visitors seeking an exceptional golfing adventure in the heart of Vermont's scenic beauty.
9. Enjoy a classic breakfast at Back Country Cafe
The Back Country Café in Killington, Vermont, offers a cozy alpine atmosphere with traditional American cuisine. They serve a variety of rich American breakfast dishes, all accompanied by Vermont maple syrup, local hot sauces, and coffee. The menu includes pancakes, waffles, omelets, made-to-order eggs, burritos, sandwiches, and unique French toast and pancake creations. Specialty dishes like the Mexican scramble and banana bread French toast are highlights. You can pair your meal with juice, coffee, or even a cocktail or Vermont craft beer. The restaurant is open daily from 7:00am to 1:00pm, making it a must-visit spot for breakfast or brunch in Killington.
10. Go shopping at Darkside Snowboards
Darkside Snowboards in Killington, Vermont, stands as Vermont's premier snowboarding shop, founded in 1989 by Bill and Teeta Langlands during snowboarding's early days. With a passionate commitment to the sport, Darkside has grown alongside it, offering a unique and immersive experience to its customers. The shop exudes history, a distinct ambiance with the aroma of hot wax, and a knowledgeable staff who are avid snowboarders themselves. As a rider-owned and operated establishment, they focus on exceptional service and a wide selection of top snowboard brands. Over its three decades, Darkside has catered to legendary customers like Zeb Powell and the Redbull crew, offering the latest gear, expert advice, and a diverse range of snowboarding and outdoor products, making it a must-visit destination for snowboarding enthusiasts in Vermont.
11. Explore the beautiful Kent Pond
Kent Pond, located on the border of Gifford Woods State Park in Killington, Vermont, is a scenic natural retreat offering a wide range of recreational activities. This idyllic lake is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, providing opportunities for paddling, fishing, hiking, swimming, and lakeside relaxation. With its shallow and clear waters featuring diverse underwater terrain, Kent Pond is home to various fish species, including largemouth bass, yellow perch, and sunfish. Anglers can target trout along the dam and Kent Brook, which feeds into the pond. The pond has a concrete boat ramp and fishing access area on its western side, making it accessible for fishing and watercraft activities. Kent Pond's beauty shines year-round.
12. Hike the Long Trail
Hiking a portion of the Long Trail in Killington, Vermont, offers an opportunity to explore the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States, stretching from Massachusetts to Canada along the majestic Green Mountains. Built by the Green Mountain Club (GMC) between 1910 and 1930, this historic trail served as the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail and spans through Killington, welcoming hikers and their leashed dogs to explore its miles of pristine terrain. As you journey along this section of the Long Trail, you'll traverse the picturesque landscapes of the Green Mountains and have the chance to reach the summits of iconic peaks like Pico Mountain and Killington Mountain, providing an unforgettable outdoor adventure in the heart of Vermont's natural beauty.
13. Enjoy incredible views and food at Killington's Peak Lodge
The Killington Peak Lodge offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience at an elevation of 4,241 feet. The menu boasts farm-fresh dishes and daily specials, including the famous Robie Farms Peak Burger, along with fresh soups and made-to-order sandwiches. The Peak Bar complements the offerings with a selection of light fare, fine wines, signature cocktails, and local drafts. Despite its popularity, which can result in some wait times, it's one of Killington's top dining spots, particularly on weekends and holidays. Accessible via the K-1 Express Gondola, it's a must-visit for winter sports enthusiasts, and the stunning mountain views make it an unforgettable dining setting. Not a skier or snowboarder? No problem! Gondola passes can be purchased to bring you up to the Peak Lodge.
14. Dine like a local at The Lookout Tavern
The Lookout Tavern in Killington, Vermont, is the go-to spot for casual and fun dining. Housed in the historic building that was Killington Ski Resort's first lodge, this family-owned and operated establishment has been a local après-ski favorite since 2000. With a welcoming atmosphere, the tavern offers a U-shaped bar ideal for socializing, serving the best wings in Vermont, local craft beer, specialty cocktails, and steak burgers. Open daily for lunch and apres-ski, it's dedicated to providing exceptional service, making it the ultimate destination for a memorable dining experience in Killington.
15. Hike up Bear Mountain
Hiking Bear Mountain in Killington, Vermont, is an invigorating experience along the 4.9-mile Bear Mountain Loop trail, leading to the peak. This moderately challenging trail begins with vibrant wildflowers and babbling creeks, transitioning into a dense coniferous forest as you ascend. Accessible from Sunrise Mountain Road, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and Killington Peak. With 1,200 feet of elevation gain, the hike typically takes around 3 hours, although many hikers linger at the summit to savor the panoramic vistas. Best visited from May to October, the trail is dog-friendly, and during the fall, it offers unparalleled views of the vibrant foliage in Killington's landscape.
16. Enjoy paddling, hiking, and swimming at Colton Pond
Enjoying the tranquility of Colton Pond in Killington, Vermont, is a true hidden gem nestled just off the iconic Vermont Route 100. With its exceptionally clear waters covering 26 acres, Colton Pond offers a serene escape for outdoor enthusiasts. Kayaking and swimming are both welcome activities, making it an ideal spot to relax or set off on a paddling adventure. The pond's fishing opportunities are also a draw, with an abundant largemouth bass population, pumpkinseed sunfish, and springtime trout catches. Colton Pond provides anglers with a chance to reel in largemouth bass, yellow perch, and early-season brook trout. For those seeking natural beauty, a visit during the fall reveals stunning foliage surrounding the tranquil waters, creating a picturesque backdrop for a peaceful day by the pond.
17. Savor fine dining at The Foundry at Summit Pond
Situated on the serene Summit Pond in Killington, Vermont, The Foundry at Summit Pond offers an exceptional fine dining experience that transcends the traditional American Supper Club. Ideal for special occasions, business gatherings, or a memorable night out, this year-round culinary gem features chef-driven cuisine showcasing prime meats, fresh seafood, and homemade pasta. With appetizers, sides, and desserts crafted from the freshest ingredients, The Foundry engages all your senses. Knowledgeable servers and skilled bartenders elevate the experience with an extensive wine list and well-crafted cocktails. Diners can enjoy incredible views of the pond and mountains, particularly on the deck during warmer months. Menu highlights include Bacon Wrapped Dates, Chorizo Mussels, Chicken Marsala, and Porterhouse Steak, along with the must-try Tableside S'mores dessert. Due to its popularity, reservations are a must for those seeking a memorable dining experience at The Foundry.
18. Embark on a challenging hike up Blue Ridge Mountain
The Canty Trail leading to Blue Ridge Mountain in Killington, Vermont, is a classic 4.5-mile summit hike, the sole route to the striking 3,250-foot peak overlooking Mendon. Along the way, hikers can discover a side trail to an even more stunning overlook and a spur trail to a sizable cascade. While considered moderate for experienced hikers, navigating wet rocks, roots, and potential mud in spring can pose challenges. Parking is limited at the trailhead, requiring some road walking. The trail is generally well-maintained, with the initial mile being an easy forest stroll, but the ascent becomes steeper as you climb alongside a waterfall. Hiking poles can be handy. The best times to visit are May through October, and dogs are welcome on leashes.
19. Drink, dine, and party at the Wobbly Barn
Since its inception in 1963, the Wobbly Barn in Killington has been a favorite among locals and visitors of this epic ski town. The barn is known for its excellent dining and nightclub offerings. The name, Wobbly Barn, comes from the fact that the building that houses the restaurant was created using reclaimed wood from 10 barns that stood throughout New England. This unique build style has led to the Woobly Barn having a truly one-of-a-kind atmosphere and a great rustic charm. When it comes to dining, the Wobbly Barn showcases the finest beef and offers a tempting array of entrees, seafood, and salads, with prime rid being a long-standing specialty. Beyond its acclaimed dining, the Wobbly Barn's celebrated nightclub takes center stage, featuring the best live entertainment, parties, and dancing in Killington. With friendly and professional servers, the Wobbly Barn has solidified its reputation as Killington's go-to destination for enjoyable dining and high-altitude entertainment.
As our exploration of Killington, Vermont, draws to a close, it's clear that this charming town offers a diverse array of activities and experiences to satisfy every traveler's desires. From the awe-inspiring Thundering Brook Falls to the serene beauty of Gifford Woods State Park, the exhilarating slopes of Killington Mountain, and the tantalizing treats at Sunup Bakery, this destination captures the essence of Vermont's natural and cultural riches. Whether you're sipping on local spirits at the Killington Distillery, perfecting your swing at the Green Mountain National Golf Course, or dancing the night away at the Wobbly Barn, Killington invites you to create memories that will last a lifetime. So, plan your visit and immerse yourself in the 19 best things to do in Killington, Vermont, for an adventure that will leave you wanting to return.