Parks & Outdoor Recreation
Aside from the amenities you can enjoy while at Okemo Mountain Resort including golf, hiking, swimming, tennis, fitness classes, basketball, and racquetball, there are many more opportunities in the area. Here are some of the highlights:
Okemo's Trail Network
Enjoy some great views of the Black River Valley while hiking the trails on Okemo. Easy access from the base of Okemo or the Jackson Gore base. Visitors can hike up the trails or follow the 4 and 1/2-mile road to the summit. Walking along the villages of Ludlow and Chester are also very popular. Guests can pick up a complimentary map at the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce Office, located at the bottom of the Okemo access road, or call them at (802) 228-5830.
Hiking the Vista Trail
Located at Camp Plymouth State Park (7 miles from Ludlow) off Route 100 North. Turn onto Plymouth Tyson Road at the Echo Lake Inn, follow 1 mile to Boy Scout Camp Road turn left to Camp Plymouth State Park. Entry Fee charged Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Hike the Healdville Trail
The Healdville Trail climbs Okemo Mountain's 3,340-foot summit. The trail is 5.9 miles round trip offering a hefty half-day hike. Features along the trail include a fire tower and several lookouts, which offer sweeping views of the local ski area. Finding the Trail Head: From Ludlow Vermont, take VT Route 103 North toward Rutland. Approximately five miles from Ludlow, turn left on Station Road (by Wright Construction Company). Follow Station Road and cross over the railroad tracks. Turn left and there is a large parking area immediately at the end of a short drive.
The trail, blazed with blue paint leaves the parking area and crosses two small brooks before ascending gradually along the second brook through a scenic hardwood forest. It runs gradually uphill and passes a vista point at 2.5 miles where a fine view of Mt Holly and the main Green Mountain chain can be seen on good viewing days. At 2.8 miles, the trail ascends steeply to a small clearing, which was the site of the fire tower watchman's cabin. The only remaining structure on the site is the chimney. Just after the cabin site the trail merges with a work road, which runs from the end of the Okemo Mountain Road to the fire tower. The fire tower has been reconditioned by the State of Vermont and is open to hikers.
There are plenty of places to ride in the Okemo Valley region. The Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce has a listing of bike tours from 19 to 40 miles in length. Visit the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce website at for a complete listing of bike tours, complete with directions, or for more information on places to ride or renting mountain bikes and fat bikes, visit the Evolution Bike Park or Mountain Outfitters webpages or call 802-228-1419.
Fishing & Boating
The scenic drive along Route 100 in Ludlow has plenty of pristine lakes. Experience the "Zen" of "catch and release" or bring home dinner. Lake Pauline, Lake Rescue, Echo Lake, and Amherst are home to rainbow, brook, and lake trout, perch, bass, and pickerel.
Swimming Holes in Southern VT: Rivers and streams in the Okemo region such as Black, Williams, and Ottauquechee are local favorites. The Black River along Route 131 offers some of the Green Mountains' best rainbow and brown trout fishing. In fact, six miles of the river are designated as a "Trophy Trout Stream". Visitors can pick up a map of the area from the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce Office. They also track where the fish are "biting".
Fishing season begins on the 2nd Saturday in April and ends on the last Sunday in October. Any person under the age of 15 may take fish without a license. Resident and Non Resident licenses can be purchased at Sporting Goods Stores, General Stores, and Town Clerks offices.
The Camp Plymouth State Park beach and recreational area is located just outside of Ludlow on the east shore of Echo Lake. The total acreage is 295 acres of which 46 acres comprise the developed portion of the park. There are also 249 acres with hiking trails, fishing, hunting, gold panning, and primitive camping, but is largely forestry oriented.
The Park features a group camping area on the south side of Buffalo Brook consisting of six lean-tos, tent sites, pit toilets and a large field for activities. There is also a large picnic area, play area, sandy beach, horseshoe pits, concession, and boat rentals. The four rental cottages will be available through Columbus Day. There is a large enclosed picnic shelter including a kitchen for larger groups as well as two smaller open pavilion-style picnic shelters. The season runs from mid-May to September (Labor Day). For more information, call (802) 228-2025.This region is also well known for its swimming holes, including Buttermilk Falls - a must-see while in the area.
Vermont Institute of Natural Science Nature Center is located just west of Quechee Gorge on Route 4. The VINS Nature Center features over 30 live birds of prey native to Vermont, and is considered to be one of the most impressive collections of live raptors in North America. You'll find a beautiful winding nature trail that leads to the Ottauquechee River, featuring a bird blind, a vernal pool and several other natural points of interest. Programs such as Predators of the Sky and Fledgling Corner are both educational and entertaining. There is also a Nature Store filled with wonderful books, educational toys and games, bird houses and birdfeeders, clothing, art, jewelry and other gifts.
Billings Farm and Museum is located in nearby Woodstock, VT. One of the finest Jersey farms in America & a museum of Vermont’s rural past. Working farm, farmhouse, exhibits, hands-on programs & activities, afternoon milking. Daily, May-Oct; Weekends, Nov-Feb. Visit their website for more information at www.billingsfarm.org.
Ludlow Parks & Recreation Department
The Ludlow Parks and Recreation Department offers a host of summer recreational programs for residents and visiting guests. Activities include summer camps for kids, swimming lessons for all ability levels, soccer, basketball, junior tennis, archery, horseback riding, karate, water skiing, yoga, aerobics classes and much more. (802) 228-2655
Dorsey Park - Located on Pond Street
Dorsey Park is conveniently located just off the main street. Nestled in the trees, the facility features a lighted field for soccer, softball, a tennis facility with two courts, Skate Park, playground with swings, rest rooms and a concessions building.
The tennis courts are available on a first come, first serve basis and can be reserved in advance by making a reservation on the Court Reservation form, located at the tennis courts. Court time is limited to one hour for single and one 2 hour for doubles play. Be advised - the tennis courts are closed during all softball games due to foul balls entering the courts.
Ludlow Mini-Park - Located at the Corner of Main and Depot Street
It's Ludlow's epi-center. The municipal park features park benches for relaxation and "people watching". Garden Club flower planters adorn the park during the summer season.
Veteran's Memorial Park - Across from the Library on Route 103
Veteran's Memorial Park is one of the most photographed sites in Ludlow. The park features a performing arts gazebo for music concerts, art shows, chicken BBQs, tag sales and craft fairs. It's also home to the Vermont State Zucchini Festival in August. Summer lawn concerts are offered on selected Sunday evenings throughout the summer, starting at 7 pm. Bring your own chair, relax and enjoy the music.
West Hill Recreation Area - Located on West Hill
This recreational complex is a favorite in the summer. The facility features a lakefront beach for swimming, two basketball courts, in-line hockey rink, fishing area, sheltered picnic area, rest rooms, pool house, playground, barbecue grills, hiking trails, campground, horseshoes pits and playing fields. A limited number of sporting items are available for use and rental. These include horseshoes, volleyballs, soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, hockey sticks and in-line skates. There is a nominal fee to use the facility. The Annual July 4th Celebration is always held at the West Hill Recreation Center.