Niquette Bay State Park

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Colchester, Vermont

Niquette Bay State Park is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Colchester, Vermont that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.2 miles Elevation Gain: 521 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

cross country skiing

hiking

walking

bird watching

running

beach

forest

lake

wild flowers

wildlife

This Vermont State Park is named for Niquette Bay, the local name for an indentation along the northeastern shore of Lake Champlain's larger Malletts Bay. 4700 feet of scenic rocky and sandy shoreline along the bay comprise the park's southern boundary. Todays 553-acre park began with an initial land purchase by the State of Vermont in 1975. It is named for Niquette Bay, the local name for an indentation along the northeastern shore of Lake Champlains larger Malletts Bay. 4700 feet of scenic rocky and sandy shoreline along the bay comprise the parks southern boundary. The property, much of it farmed and pastured through the 1800s, is today predominately forested. Two long ridges with summits rising to over 400 elevation run parallel along either side of a flat, sandy terrace bisecting the property. This terrace, in turn, is bisected by a brook and associated ravine. This brook, over 1000s of years, has carried away sand and silt as the ravine was carved, depositing it into Lake Champlain and forming the sandy but shallow beach along the eastern half of the parks shoreline. Limestone cliffs form the headwall of the western of the two ridges that cut through the park. The parks trail system accesses high points along each of these ridges, from which impressive vistas overlook Malletts Bay to the south, the Green Mountain ridge line to the east, and the Lake Champlain Islands to the west. Management strategies at Niquette Bay work to support the vision of the park as an oasis for appreciating nature. Camping is not permitted. Day use hours are from 10 a.m. to sunset. There is no public drinking water supply, and fires are not allowed. The park trail system is comprised of three interlocking loops along which a variety of hiking combinations can occur. The complete loop around the Ledges, Muhley, and Island View trails is 3.5 miles. The shortest distance to the lakeshore is 0.6 miles, via the Allen trail. It is by design that parking is limited to 30 cars, in an area adjacent to the park office, at the entrance to the property. Niquette Bay is pet-friendly, although proof of rabies vaccination is required and pets must remain on-leash at all times. Pets are not permitted on the beach but are allowed to swim in the cove area. Pet owners are expected to clean up after their pets and are responsible for any damage caused. Parties hiking with pets are limited to a maximum of four (4) animals per group.

hiking
4 days ago

Love this place! Especially Calm Cove where the doggos can swim. Easy trails, well-marked.

hiking
bugs
11 days ago

hiking
fee
rocky
29 days ago

Nice trails and a good mix of fortune conditions. Rocky on the ledges trail, packed dirt most other trails with some roots and rocks pushing through. Stairs and boardwalks where needed. Family and dog friendly.

hiking
1 month ago

This is such a great hike anytime of the year. There are great limestone ledges, red stone cliffs and both deciduous and pine forests.

hiking
1 month ago

Niquette is a hidden gem! Plenty of trails to walk on. The woods you walk through are gorgeous and there are several lookouts that provide views of lake Champlain and Mount Mansfield! I always worry about mud this time of year but the trails were clear except for two little spots which were both easily traversed. Awesome little spot

hiking
1 month ago

Love this park! There are several different trails so you can make your hike as long/short as you’d like. The trails here are overall easy and very well-marked, though I would recommend taking a picture of the map due to the number of trails. Great views, enjoyable features like bridges and benches, and beach area. A bit muddy in some areas, though that’s to be expected this time of year. I would definitely recommend exploring this area!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail with views of the mountains and lake. Many spots to stop for a snack, including a beach access!

hiking
snow
4 months ago

the love people have for this place is obvious when you come here. Wicked awesome come walk on the frozen lake

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

First time on this trail for an easy afternoon hike. The highlights of this hike are the water views and access. The trails are easy going, some parts are rooty. On this day the mud had frozen so the trail was lumpy with small pockets of ice, but easy to step around. In dry conditions should be fine. Nice raised areas have been built to get the trail above the more marshy areas. Boxed in areas filled with gravel, rather than boardwalk style walk areas. Very sturdy. Good informative signage at the many junctions. As the photos show, the freezing bay made for beautiful views with the hazy winter sun.

hiking
6 months ago

Easy trail and well maintained. The “views” were covered by trees and shrubs; You might be able to see something in the winter. The poetry hike is a gem and there is a lot of beauty in this area.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Excellent hike with dogs. Went to the outlook area and to the dog swimming hole on a rock bed. Beautiful trails and well maintained.

hiking
10 months ago

Trails were nice and well maintained. Particularly enjoyed the poetry walk. Views are pretty limited though, even at the designated overlooks.

hiking
10 months ago

Nicely maintained, loved the poetry loop!

hiking
11 months ago

Lots of choices. Well maintained.

hiking
11 months ago

One of my favorites. Take your dog to the beach and go for a swim with as well. Nice relatively level terrain and pine forest.

hiking
11 months ago

Enjoyed a hike around the park. There are some great views along the way. The water was still high by the beach but still accessible. I was glad we had bug spray on as the mosquitoes were tenacious. Looks like they did a lot of work recently to get the park open. Some parts of the trail were a little muddy but not bad considering all the recent rain, and I was in trail sneakers. While there were 20+ cars in the lot we often felt like we had the park to ourselves. We have a park pass and will be back. The ranger was super friendly and helpful.

hiking
Sun May 19 2019

This is a little state park that is well worth a visit. The entry fee is four dollars per person. We hiked the Burns Trail going in, did the beach bypass loop, and hiked the Allen trail going out and they are both relatively easy hikes. The beach bypass takes you to a pet swimming area called Calm Cove, and it certainly is. We had a picnic lunch on the wooden steps there, and lay in the sun on a big rock that juts out into the lake. The water level was very high when we were there, and the Ledges Trail was closed due to a bridge being out. No restrooms except for outhouses in the park. But there’s a little free library full of nature books right at the entrance. Sweet!

muddy
rocky
Sun Apr 07 2019

This was a wonderful walk/hike to do with my dog. We did the longest possible loop while also checking out some overlooks and swimming coves. It took just under 2 hrs but that includes pictures and a unintentional dog dip in the thawing lake. Similar terrain to Colchester pond but a bit longer of a hike. Some mud still at the start and end of the big loop at the beginning of April. This would be a wonderful trail once it dries out. I imagine it would be pretty busy here on a nice summer or fall weekend...it was upper 40s and overcast when I went and there were still about 10-15 other cars in the lot. If you have bad ankles or have difficulty balancing on uneven ground, I would not go here...the trail is almost full of rocks and roots that are partially hidden under fallen leaves/pine/dirt. Lastly: I think I did the burns trail to mulhery(sp?) to the beach access/bypass to allen to ledges trail...it was kind of confusing even though all the trails are well marked...too many signs pointing in several directions. Regardless, I would love to go again...not sure about the fee though since I went off season.

hiking
Sat Mar 02 2019

Hiked Muhley Trail. Fun hike with ups and downs. Used ice trekkers and glad we did. Nice view of Mount Mansfield.

Sat Jan 12 2019

Nice forest area with a beach overlooking the lake. Very pleasant, nice easy walk.

Thu Dec 13 2018

Marked well and different terrains.

Wed Dec 12 2018

Scenic yet some work involved. Trail in good order.

Mon Sep 24 2018

Nice trails and lovely lookouts.

Thu Sep 20 2018

We hiked the loop indicated on this map which circled the entire park and was about 2.5 hours, But there are a variety of shortcuts. The trail crosses a brook, descends to a beautiful cove on the shore of Lake Champlain that ideal for a swim (too cold in mid September) and ascends (about 550 ft.) to two lookout points, one that views the lake Champlain Islands and northern Adirondack Mountains in New York state to the east, and another facing west to view Mt. Mansfield. There is plenty of interesting terrain, rock formation and forest vegetation to keep the trail interesting. You're not likely to see too much wildlife, except maybe for groups of elementary school children, as we did and locals walking their dogs (my sense is that the park is quite popular.) There was a poetry walk on one of the trails, with poems set along the path. Also there is a $4 entrance fee per person so bring cash.

Wed Sep 05 2018

One of my favorite hikes..beautiful quiet. great for birding . you can hike up to overlook. and view Lake Champlain. love it.

Tue Sep 04 2018

Nice trails. Great swimming at the cove. Loved the poems along the trail, which changed monthly. Looking forward to going back.

hiking
Thu Aug 09 2018

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