Public lands are owned by various entities and are distributed widely across Vermont. Most of these lands are open to hunting, fishing, and other forms of wildlife-based recreation.


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Wildlife Management Areas

The Fish & Wildlife Department currently owns more than 80 Wildlife Management Areas totaling more than 133,000 acres throughout Vermont.

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Conservation Easements

The Fish & Wildlife Department holds more than 50 easements that protect more than 9,800 acres across the state. In the majority of cases, these easements allow public access. However, these lands are still privately owned and though access is protected, the department does not maintain these lands in any formal way. Therefore parking and signage in many cases does not exist.

Conservation easements can be viewed using our interactive mapping tool...

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Riparian Lands

The Vermont Fish &Wildlife Department owns many miles and hundreds of acres of land along rivers, streams, lakes and ponds throughout Vermont known collectively as “Riparian Lands.”  These lands provide public access to our waters for fishing, hunting, trapping, fish and wildlife viewing, photography and other fish and wildlife-based activities.

Riparian lands are widely distributed throughout Vermont and tend to be relatively small and often long narrow parcels. Some parcels have small, gravel parking areas while others provide no formal parking or rely on parking just off the road shoulder.

Riparian lands can be viewed using our interactive mapping tool...


The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources manages more than 345,000 acres as wildlife management areas, state forests, and state parks. The Agency also holds easements on over 128,000 acres of conserved commercial forestlands that guarantee public access.

view maps of state lands



There are 55 TNC natural areas in Vermont and all are open for fishing, and all but one are open for hunting. The majority are open for hunting without permission, but some have restrictions and/or require permission.

rules for hunting on TNC lands

download a map and list of conservancy lands


Landowner permission is not required for hunting on private land in Vermont, except on land legally posted with signs prohibiting hunting. Permission is also required on all private land during the Youth Hunting Weekends for deer and turkey.

The department strongly encourages hunters to seek permission from landowners. The privilege of using private land is extended by generous landowners, and most landowners allow hunting when asked.

Hunters or anglers must show their license and leave the land immediately if requested by a landowner, whether the land is posted or not.

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