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Primitive Camping

primitive camping

Primitive camping is available in state forests, at some undeveloped state parks as well as some Wildlife Management Areas. This is not car camping -- you must backpack in at least 1,000 feet from any road. There is no public drinking water or toilet facilities, no reservations or assigned sites. Vermont does not offer free, dispersed car camping on it's state lands.

For more information on primitive camping, please call the district office that manages the land. Permits are not required. 


Primitive Camping Guidelines and Information for State Lands


Primitive Camping Guidelines for FPR Lands

  • Primitive camping is allowed within designated areas of selected state lands.

  • Camping must be at least 100 feet from any stream or body of water

  • Camping must be at least 200 feet from any trail or property line, and 1000 feet from any traveled road.

  • Camping is allowed up to three consecutive nights in the same area.

  • Groups of eleven or more individuals must obtain a permit from the District Office in order to primitive camp.

  • Only dead and down trees or branches may be used for firewood.

  • Camping above 2500 feet in elevation is prohibited unless otherwise designated.

  • We require one responsible adult for every 4 campers under the age of 14.

  • If you carry it in - carry it out!

  • Leave your campsite so clean that no one else can find it.

  • The use of backpacker stoves with self-contained fuel is urged.

  • Some areas have remote lean-tos for overnight camping


Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation Primitive Camping Sites

Primitive camping on the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreations is allowed within designated areas of the following public lands. If you are interested in primitive camping on Fish and Wildlife Department Wildlife Management Areas, please visit their site.

Southeastern Vermont - (802) 289-0603 
Southwestern Vermont - Contact: (802) 786-0060
Northwestern Vermont - (802) 879-6565
Central Vermont - (802) 476-0171
Northeast Kingdom -  (802) 751-0110


Additional Opportunities

Other land management organizations offer primitive camping opportunities and information. For additional information, contact:

Green Mountain National Forest U.S. Forest Service 231 North Main Street Rutland, VT 05701 (802) 747-6700

The Green Mountain Club 4711 Waterbury-Stowe Road Waterbury Center, VT (802) 244-7037