Bringing Burlington to You: Top 5 BTV Green Spaces

Going to college in Vermont means there are endless ways to enjoy nature. Here’s our Top 5 spots right outside our front door.

Vermont is called the Green Mountain State for a reason. This little state is famous for its greenery, forests, having almost as many cows as people, and for its leaf peeping in the fall. Champlain College is located right in the middle of it all in our hometown of Burlington, VT. We’re right next to Lake Champlain, many local farms, and popular hiking trails like Mount Philo and Snake Mountain. We thrive on the beauty of our state—our official College logo even proudly features the green mountains. 

If you’re going to college in Vermont, there are endless ways to explore the outdoors. Here’s our list of some of the best green spaces near the Champlain College campus. 

5. Champlain College Community Garden & Apiary 

Champlain College Apiary Director Kirsten Woolf teaches local students about our bees and local honey.

There are chances to get involved and get outside right on our Burlington Hill Section campus. Champlain is known for our love of green living. Through our Center for Service & Sustainability—which develops programming to improve environmental efforts at Champlain—we have a community garden and apiary. At the garden, students and faculty alike can sign up for plots in the summer to grow farm-to-fork fruits and veggies. At the apiary, students can help learn about and protect our local bee population and produce local honey. 

Get involved on campus by starting your own garden plot or volunteering at the apiary.

If you’re looking for a really unique way to get outside while in college, look no further than these on-campus locations.

4. The Intervale

Living in Burlington means having access to the Intervale farm and outdoor space where you can explore, learn, and see something truly beautiful.

The Intervale is an outdoor space with 360 acres of farms, trails, and open fields near the Winooski River. The Intervale is on a mission to promote community food systems and land stewardship. If you’re looking for a local, active way to explore, the Intervale has you covered with three miles of groomed cross-country skiing trails, bike paths looping their farmlands, canoeing and kayaking access to the Winooski River, and wooded areas perfect for birdwatching. 

Environmental Studies & Policy majors and any interested student can study sustainable farming at the Intervale through their classes and our Center for Service & Sustainability.

Our students sometimes even volunteer at the Intervale and learn about community farming through our Center for Service & Sustainability and classes with our Environmental Studies & Policy major. Just a short drive from campus, you can learn, give back, and have fun at the Intervale. 

3. Oakledge Park

If you want to always be near a natural space while in college, look no further than the Burlington Waterfront and Lake Champlain.

The Burlington Waterfront is perfect for anyone who prefers a little blue over green. As featured in our Top 5 Must-See Spots for First-Years, watching a Burlington waterfront sunset is one of the best ways to spend a Vermont evening—and Oakledge is the ideal front-row-seat. One of many Burlington recreation spots, Oakledge is a homey park and beach. At Oakledge, students can have a barbecue, walk the nature trails, throw a frisbee, rent paddle boards and kayaks, swim, and even hang out in the one-of-a-kind Oakledge treehouse. 

Oakledge is just a short walk away from apartment style housing 194 Saint Paul Street. Grab a few friends and see what Oakledge has to offer. 

2. Burlington Greenway & Perkins Pier 

As a Champlain College student, you’ll have access to an amazing recreation path right outside of your front door.

Running along beaches like Oakledge is the Burlington Greenway—locally known as the Burlington Bike Path. This eight-mile paved path runs from just south of Oakledge all the way to the Winooski River, gives you one of the best views of the Adirondack Mountains in Vermont, and has stops along many waterfront beaches and parks. You could spend a beautiful Burlington day walking, biking, scootering, or skateboarding to each waterfront destination. The path even has a stop at the Burlington Boardwalk, a great Lake Champlain spot to sit and hang with friends. 

Walk, run, bike, scooter, or skateboard along the Burlington Greenway from sunrise to sunset.
Amazing lake views from one of the best small parks on the Burlington Greenway, Perkins Pier. The Pier is just steps away from Champlain’s 194 Saint Paul Street housing.

Our favorite stop on the Greenway is Perkins Pier. This small park is just a one minute walk down the road from 194 Saint Paul Street. Perkins Pier is the ideal park to have a picnic in or take pictures of the lake.

1. Champlain College Finney Quad 

Students gather on Finney Quad for events, music, Spring Meltdown, Parents Weekend, and everyday hangouts.

No campus is complete without a quad. Finney Quad, located in the center of our contemporary housing, is the best way to get outside without leaving Champlain. On the Quad, you can always find students skateboarding (no matter the season), kicking a ball around, or doing homework in the grass. 

Champlain College Ski & Ride host their annual Rail Jam on Finney Quad. Snow, food, and music are brought to straight to our campus every year.

And the best thing about the Quad? It’s a great way to be outside and connect with the Champlain community. Just step onto the Quad and you can meet friends or join in on a hacky sack game. Plus, the Quad is where we have community events like our winter Rail Jam and Spring Meltdown. We can’t think of a better place to soak in the VT sun. 

Want to learn more about what going to college in Burlington is like? Check out our Burlington info page, and even more in our Bringing Burlington to You series on The View.

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