We travel a lot to Vermont, but this was our first time visiting Quechee Gorge, which is an impressive place! (Update – we went back for a visit summer 2019).
Getting to Quechee Gorge is easy. I recommend trying to park at the Visitor’s Center, but there are other parking lots around the trailhead to the gorge.
We stayed at Queechee State Park (read about that here). You can walk to the Gorge from the state park using a trail for those who are camping there, and you can also access it from the Visitor’s Center which is located right on the main road.
Right next to the Visitor’s Center is a bridge going over the Gorge with a nice pedestrian walkway on each side (so that you have a railing on both sides of you). We took the kids on the bridge and it was nice to have the security of the railings not only to see over the side but also between us and traffic. The views are impressive!
The trail down to the Gorge from the Visitor Center is very well maintained. I have to say I am impressed that I didn’t see any garbage on either of our walks to the gorge, and the trail was in great shape.
It is downhill all the way, and along the Gorge, there is chain link fence on your right, as there is a steep drop.
You can’t really see the gorge during the hike down as it is pretty sheer over the edge. Where the fence ends nearer to the bottom of the gorge, there are lots of places where you can go explore.
We wore suits and brought towels, water shoes, goggles, sunscreen, and an underwater camera.
There are lots of little spots to explore, and we found fish, frogs, and crayfish.
My kids are strong swimmers, so we had no worries about swimming in the gorge, as there were other young kids swimming there. There were plenty of parents with very young kids there.
There is a very deep section where you can also swim upstream a bit, and on the right, people were jumping off the rocks. (You can’t see the rocks in this picture, but they were pretty high. The kids said it was high enough that it hurt to hit the water, but enjoyed jumping several times!)
The kids had fun jumping off ledges and swimming across.
We were very careful with the kids as far as where it was safe to jump in, and made sure they were wearing water shoes. (On our second visit, my daughter forgot her water shoes, and it was harder for her to walk on the rocks, but it was fine).
Downstream, there are some little rapids and the gorge becomes shallow. There are plenty of places for kids to wade and explore, and there were lots of people with younger kids and dogs. This is looking downstream towards the end of the gorge.
The hike back up is all uphill, but there are plenty of benches to stop. Just keep in mind that going back may be a bit slow going especially if you are tired from swimming.
Quechee Gorge is a beautiful place to visit. The trails were very well maintained, the view from above is amazing, and it was fun to explore at the bottom. There is also a lot to check out nearby, from the Visitor’s Center to shopping, food, museums, and more.
Things to bring:
~ Water shoes
~ Water shoes
~ Water & snacks, especially for kids
Check out our other Vermont blog posts: