Geography of Grand Isle County, Vermont

Grand Isle County, nestled in the northwest corner of Vermont, is a picturesque region characterized by its stunning natural beauty, diverse geography, and vibrant communities. From its scenic lakeshores and rolling hills to its rich agricultural heritage and historic sites, Grand Isle County offers a wealth of attractions for residents and visitors alike. In this detailed exploration, we’ll delve into the geography, climate, rivers, lakes, and other notable features of Grand Isle County.


According to Payhelpcenter, Grand Isle County is located in the Champlain Valley region of Vermont, encompassing a series of islands in Lake Champlain, as well as a small mainland area. It covers an area of approximately 195 square miles (505 square kilometers), making it one of the smallest counties in Vermont.

The county is primarily composed of a series of islands, including Grand Isle (the largest island and namesake of the county), North Hero, South Hero, Isle La Motte, and several smaller islands. These islands are interconnected by bridges and causeways, providing easy access between them and the mainland.

The landscape of Grand Isle County is characterized by rolling hills, fertile farmland, and scenic lakefronts. Agriculture is a significant part of the county’s economy, with dairy farming, fruit orchards, and vineyards being common sights across the countryside.

The county seat, North Hero, is located on North Hero Island and serves as a hub for commerce, government, and tourism. Other communities in Grand Isle County include South Hero, Grand Isle, and Isle La Motte, each with its own unique charm and character.


Grand Isle County experiences a humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons characterized by warm summers, cold winters, and moderate precipitation throughout the year.

Summers in Grand Isle County are generally warm and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 18 to 27 degrees Celsius). Humidity levels are relatively low, making outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and water sports enjoyable.

Winters in Grand Isle County can be cold and snowy, with average temperatures ranging from the teens to low 30s Fahrenheit (around -9 to 1 degree Celsius). Snowfall is common, particularly in the higher elevations and along the lakefronts, providing opportunities for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Spring and fall are transitional seasons in Grand Isle County, with mild temperatures and colorful foliage making them popular times to visit. Spring brings the blossoming of fruit trees and wildflowers, while fall showcases the stunning hues of red, orange, and gold as the leaves change color.

Annual precipitation in Grand Isle County averages around 35 to 40 inches (890 to 1,015 millimeters), with rain and snowfall distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. Thunderstorms are common in the summer months, occasionally bringing heavy rainfall and gusty winds to the area.

Rivers and Lakes:

Grand Isle County is defined by its proximity to Lake Champlain, one of the largest and most scenic freshwater lakes in North America. Lake Champlain stretches over 120 miles (193 kilometers) in length and forms the western boundary of the county, providing abundant opportunities for recreation, fishing, and boating.

The lake is home to a diverse array of fish species, including bass, trout, walleye, and perch, making it a popular destination for anglers of all skill levels. In addition to fishing, Lake Champlain offers opportunities for sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming during the warmer months.

In addition to Lake Champlain, Grand Isle County is also home to several smaller lakes, ponds, and streams, which provide habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation. These waterways include Lake Champlain’s numerous bays and inlets, as well as inland lakes such as Lake Iroquois and St. Albans Bay.

Vegetation and Wildlife:

Grand Isle County’s diverse geography supports a variety of vegetation types, including hardwood forests, wetlands, and agricultural fields. The county’s islands and mainland areas are dotted with sugar maple, beech, birch, and oak trees, which provide habitat for a wide range of wildlife species.

The wetlands and marshes along the shores of Lake Champlain are important breeding grounds for waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and herons. The lake itself supports a rich aquatic ecosystem, with fish such as bass, trout, and salmon being common.

In addition to birds and fish, Grand Isle County is home to a variety of mammals, including white-tailed deer, beavers, muskrats, and raccoons. Coyotes, foxes, and black bears also inhabit the area, although they are less frequently seen.


In conclusion, Grand Isle County, Vermont, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and rural charm. From its scenic lakefronts and fertile farmland to its historic villages and vibrant communities, the county’s geography reflects the unique character of the Champlain Valley region. Whether exploring the islands of Lake Champlain, sampling local produce at a farm stand, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the Vermont countryside, Grand Isle County has much to offer for residents and visitors alike.