Using State Lands for Recreation

State Lands are wonderful places to play, and we welcome the public to use these lands in a number of different ways. Here you can find resources and policies which can help you do business, bring groups and know where, when and how to get out there!

Plan Ahead and Prepare: Being Safe While Recreating

With thousands of acres and miles of trail available for recreation of all kinds and for all abilities, it is important to prepare ahead for your trip!

First, know where you're going by looking at and bringing along a map. See our Trail Maps for more information.

Second, think ahead and prepare. The most important considerations are:

  • Your ability. Many trails in Vermont's mountains are rugged and steep. Many activities require planning and training, so if you're looking to get into something new, click on our partners page to find a group and resources.
  • Your gear and supplies (such as food, water, clothing and footwear). Click here for an updated list of the Ten Essentials, developed by The Mountaineers
  • The weather. It might be sunny when you start your trip, but mountain weather can be wild! Check out the latest weather before you go, and always bring layers.
  • Bring and/or Tell a Friend..or two! Always let someone know where you are going and when you'll be back. Cell service in Vermont can be very spotty, so relying on your phone is not safe. Bringing along the right number of people for the activity is a wonderful way to share a great experience. And please sign in at a register box if one is available!

For more information on safety, see:

US Forest Service Outdoor Safety Page
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Hunter Education Courses
US Forest Service Winter Safety Guide
Leave No Trace

Groups & Events on State Lands

Group Day Use in State Parks
School groups
Municipal Camp Groups 
Scout Groups
Weddings
Family Reunions or Parties
Special Events (races, concerts)
Group Camping in State Parks

Using State Lands for your Recreation Business

Would you like to run paddling, rock climbing, nature tours, a triathlon or some other recreation-based activity on state-owned  lands?

We share your mission with getting people outdoors, but you will need to apply for a Commercial Use License or Special Use Permit.

Generally, a special use permit or license is required for any use of state land if any of the following criteria apply:

  • The activity is organized or publicized.
  • The activity involves a fee or if a donation is requested (charged to or requested from participants). (Note: guided fishing, hunting, and trapping involving groups of less than ten people on ANR lands does not require a license or special use permit.)
  • The activity would significantly affect a site or may alter/remove/impact natural resources.

Special Use Permits are for short-term, non-recurring  activities or events by individuals or groups.

Commercial Licenses are for both for-profit and non-profit organizations for activities or uses for an extended or recurring period.

In both cases, proof of liability insurance is required. Fees start at $50 per permit. For more information visit our Leases, Licenses and Permits page.

New Recreation Projects on State Lands

Got a great idea for a new trail or use of FPR lands? We'd love to hear from you.

Here's our step by step guide to the process:

1. Get in touch with the right stewardship forester. Find more information here.

2. Submit a pre-proposal.

3. If invited to, submit a full proposal.

For more information, please contact Jessica Savage at jessica.savage@vermont.gov or 802-249-1230.

 

Jessica Savage

Recreation Program Manager
Land & Water Conservation Fund Program     
1 National Life Drive, Davis 2                                
Montpelier, VT 05620-3801
Work Phone: 802-249-1230
Fax 802-828-1399                                             
jessica.savage@vermont.gov