The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Walkable and bikeable natural areas in Burlington

Molly Parker
Molly’s illi for the outdoor spaces column

It can be frustrating to be in a city surrounded by mountains, and yet experience much difficulty accessing them to hike and get outdoors. 

Especially as a person without a car, it’s very tough to find accessible outdoor activities in and around Burlington

Since so many UVM students love to hike and be outside, it makes it even more difficult: while the various hiking and outdoor clubs are wonderful, the trips are often exhausting to get on due to their popularity. 

However, there is a solution. There are many natural areas around Burlington that are within walking or biking distance of UVM. While the well-known Centennial Woods is one of them, there are many more lesser-known areas that offer a variety of fun and accessible outdoor activities.

All of these natural areas are part of Burlington Wildways, an organization that protects wild areas and trails in Burlington. 

Located on the bank of the Winooski River, the Salmon Hole is a river overlook and a patch of small woods that is just a 25-minute walk from campus. At the top of the Salmon Hole park is a beautiful overlook that provides a sweeping view of the Winooski River.

Further downstream is the River Walk Trail, which leads all the way down to the rocky riverbank. The trail is a short hike through the woods and down to the river. 

While not a hike in the sense of summiting a mountain or gaining elevation, this trail still provides a relaxing stroll through the trees and an easy way to get outside that is in close proximity to UVM. 

Located on Intervale Road, and just a 24-minute walk from campus, The Intervale houses a non-profit farm and a collection of trails and natural areas. 

These short trails circulate through the woods and around waterways. The trails and open spaces at The Intervale are open to public use and are a great community area to explore. The trails are short and flat, and provide a refreshing walk through a wooded area. 

The open spaces are a great place to hang out when taking a break from schoolwork or hanging out with friends. The Intervale even has an open space that has picnic tables, which can be a great study spot to work and experience nature at the same time. 

Crescent Woods is located in the South End of Burlington. Tucked in between and behind houses, the woods have a small network of trails and a little brook. The trails are accessible from the sidewalk. 

The wooded, colorful trees and the streaming brook feel like a different world from the busy roads and sidewalks beside it. Just a 13-minute bike ride from campus, Crescent Woods is a great place to stop to explore a piece of the outdoors within the city of Burlington. 

Oakledge Park provides a beautiful biking and walking path, as well as beach and park access. This park is located on Flynn Avenue, in close proximity to Crescent Woods and is just a 17-minute bike ride from campus. 

Oakledge Park provides very easy pedestrian-friendly beach access, a park, a biking and walking path adjacent to Lake Champlain and a natural area and wetland for pedestrians to explore. 

This park is a beautiful addition to Burlington’s natural areas and provides an easy and relaxing stroll or ride overlooking the lake and amongst trees and wetlands. 

Overall, Burlington houses a plethora of natural areas in close proximity to campus. UVM students can explore the local outdoors through these Burlington Wildway natural areas.  


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About the Contributor
Molly Parker
Molly Parker, Illustrations Editor
(She/her) Molly Parker is a senior studio art and anthropology double major from Hopedale, Mass. She had been a member of the illustrations team since the spring of 2020 before becoming editor of the section in the spring of 2023. Molly also creates prints and zines that she displays in the Burlington area as well as her hometown. Apart from illustrating and creating art, she loves watching horror movies, cooking and crocheting. Email [email protected] to get in contact with Molly.