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Mount Philo State Park VT

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Looking for a relatively easy mountain hike? Take a trip to Mount Philo State Park in Vermont! There are various hiking trails to the top at this beautiful state park. You’ll be rewarded with some stunning views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains at the top!

views from top of mount philo.
Views of from the summit Champlain Valley from the summit.

About Mount Philo State Park

Did you know that Mount Philo became the first Vermont State Park in 1924? This 968 foot mountain offers stunning views of the Lake Champlain Valley and New York’s Adirondack Mountains.

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The 237 acre state park is a favorite of hikers and picnickers. It also includes a small campground.

Getting To Mount Philo State Park

Mount Philo State Park is located in Charlotte, VT. It’s located just off of Vermont Route 7. From Route 7, you’ll take State Park Road to Mount Philo Road. The parking area is located just off of Mount Philo Road.

The parking area is a gravel lot. There are port a potties located in this lot. You’ll also find a board with information about the park. Additionally, you can access the summit road and the trailhead from here.

board at mount philo state park.

Mount Philo Hike

One popular thing to do at this park is the hike to the mountain summit. The most popular trail to take here is the Western Loop. This loop is moderately challenging due to some steep inclines. This trail includes trails, steps, as well as some paved road.

screenshot of my hiking path at mount philo state park.
This was the route I took when I hiked. I took the main trail up to the summit, spent some time at the top admiring the views, and then I took a different path down that took me to the paved road and I took the paved state park road to the bottom.

The total elevation gain to the summit is 551 feet. I’m someone who does not frequently hike mountains, and it was doable for me.

Starting the hike

The beginning of the trail makes some of the incline easier by zig-zagging instead of having it be a straight path up the mountain. But, be sure to wear proper hiking shoes and bring plenty of water for the hike up.

Wildlife At Mount Philo State Park

This hike is great for people who are nature watchers. You can expect to see a variety of wildlife along the trail like moose, deer, and owls.

On my hike up, I actually had an owl fly right in front of me as I was hiking on the path. It landed in a tree slightly off the path. I was actually able to spot the bird despite its excellent camouflage.

The experience was really quite impressive! It was my first time seeing an owl in the wild on a hike, which was awesome.

owl on a branch.
The owl that flew right in front of me on the trail! Thankfully, I had my camera with me!

The summit

When you get to the top of the summit, you’ll be rewarded with some stunning views. It makes the incline to the top worth it!

At the top you’ll find the summit lodge, a picnic area, and lots of chairs to relax in to enjoy the views. There are also bathrooms at the top! The top makes a great place to picnic and relax after the hike up.

views of lake and mountains from top of mount philo.
Stunning views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains in New York from the top of the mountain.

The Summit Access Road

If you’re not able to hike, there’s also a paved road that allows hikers to drive to the summit. The summit access road will take you to the top of Mt Philo.

Even if you drive, you still have the chance to see wildlife in the wooded areas as you drive up! Last time I went, I actually saw an owl as I walked the paved road back down to the parking lot!

owl sitting in a tree.
Owl I spotted as I walked down the summit road.


If you’re looking for a mountain hike that you don’t have to do a ton of training for, check out Mount Philo State Park in Charlotte VT! Whether you’re looking to do the hike, or drive up, the views at the top are absolutely breathtaking!


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