Pets allowed
Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
Yes
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Somerset Reservoir is a large lake in southern Vermont that is nestled deep within the Green Mountain National Forest. The lake is actually a dammed section of the Deerfield River, and is roughly 6.5 miles long and covers 1568 acres. The shoreline is totally undeveloped, but there is a small boat launch, some picnic tables, and a porta potty for those who come to recreate. The lake sits at 2,000 feet above sea level, so it’s a great place to cool off in the summer. The winter snows don’t melt here until May. Winds can be fierce here, and it’s an excellent spot to bring a small sailboat, fishing boats, canoes, or kayaks. Boats with motors can not exceed speeds of 10 miles per hour.

Paddling around Somerset on a rare calm day is an amazing experience. You may see loons, ducks, or mergansers, and moose, deer, and black bears are also common along the shore. Anglers come from all over to fish for smallmouth bass and trout. You will find the boat launch at the southern end of the lake, and if you go during the week, you may not see another boat or another person. Summer weekends can be busy, but because the lake is so big, you will always find solitude on the water or hiking trails.

There is an extensive trail network in Green Mountain National Forest, and the East Branch Trail runs along the east side of Somerset Reservoir, all the way to Grout Pond, which is just north of Somerset. Mountain bikers use the trail, and it is part of the Catamount cross-country ski trail that runs the length of Vermont.

The lake remains an unspoiled treasure in Vermont, perhaps because you must travel 10 miles on a dirt road to get there. Whatever the reason, this beautiful Vermont lake is definitely worth a visit.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Very quiet and wild. Chance of seeing wildlife.

Cons

Quite windy for paddling.

Features

Vault toilet
Boat ramp(s)
Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.