Lakes and rivers are an important part of outdoor recreation and tourism in the Basin. Sailing, motorboating, kayaking, canoeing, and sport-fishing are among the popular lake and river activities. A number of land-based activities are also important, including camping, hiking, rock climbing, bicycling, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Winter activities include skiing (downhill and cross country), snowboarding, bobsledding, luge, and ice fishing. Ecological and cultural heritage tourism are also increasingly popular. The Recreation Sites and Lake Champlain Access Points Map [508 KB] shows many public recreation areas on water.
While many types of recreation are available, water-based recreation provides the primary attraction for visitors. Bike paths, scores of municipal and state parks, beaches, ski trails, boat launches, and part of the Green Mountain National Forest are all located in the Basin. Protection and enhancement of the environmental, cultural and historic resources is clearly important to many recreational users as these resources are the main focus of the recreational experience.Fishing Privileges on Lake Expand
On January 1, 2004, a new agreement went into effect, which allows anglers with either a New York or Vermont fishing license to fish most of Lake Champlain. The agreement allows reciprocal fishing in the "Main" and "South" portions of the Lake between NY and VT. The locations are shown on the Where Can I Fish? graphic. Four bays, lying wholly within their state's borders, are not included. South Bay in NY is not open to VT license holders. NY license holders may not fish in waters on the east side of the railroad fills at Malletts Bay, the Gut, and Pelots Point. (These areas are also known as the Inland Sea). Rivers and streams that flow into Lake Champlain from both states are excluded from the agreement.
The regulations and catch limits of the state fished must be abided, regardless of the state license possessed. Please refer to each state's fishing regulations for the details of the agreement, which are available by calling: VT Dept. of Fish & Wildlife at (802) 241-3700 or NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation at (518) 897-1333.
The LCBP continues to support local efforts to improve and enhance public access to Lake Champlain and its lower tributaries. Recent projects have included replacing riverbank stairways and installing kayak and canoe slides at the Ethan Allen Homestead and Millyard canoe launches on the Lower Winooski River.
The challenge that remains is to continue to provide additional recreational opportunities in ways that do not significantly worsen water quality or degrade the environment that draws visitors to the region.Learn More...
Design: Nicole L. Ballinger (LCBP) | Maps: Northern Cartographic and LCBP