Local Vermont State Parks

Allis State Park

Vermont state parks
The Allis State Park fire tower. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802.276.3175

284 Allis State Park Rd.

Randolph, VT 05060

https://vtstateparks.com/allis.html

Season: Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Day Use Hours: 10am – official sunset.

Pets are permitted throughout the park

 

Allis State Park was established in 1928 as Vermont’s second developed state park. The park is named for Wallace Allis, who willed his Bear Mountain Farm to the State of Vermont to be developed as a campground and recreational area.  It is located on the summit of Bear Hill, which provides sweeping views of central Vermont from a lookout tower once used to spot forest fires. On a clear day, Killington, Pico, and Mt Ascutney peaks are visible to the south; Camel’s Hump and Mt. Mansfield to the north; Abraham, Lincoln, and Ellen to the west; the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the east. The fire tower has an information panel explaining the view.

Activities

  • Camping: Allis State Park has 18 tent/RV sites and 8 lean-tos
  • Hiking: The Bear Hill Nature Trail is a .75-mile family friendly loop trail with scenic views. There is also a fire tower you can climb for a panoramic view of the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
  • Picnicking: There is a day use field with picnic tables. There is also a picnic pavilion that can be rented.
  • Horseshoes: There are two horseshoe pits at the park.

Facilities/Amenities

You can rent the pavilion at Allis. This open log pavilion seats up to 100 people, has electricity, a restroom and is universally accessible. Grills and fireplaces are available for use as well as 9 picnic tables. Hiking loops are nearby too.

 

Bomoseen State Park

Vermont state parks
Bomoseen State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-265-4242

22 Cedar Mountain Rd.

Castleton, VT 05743

https://vtstateparks.com/bomoseen.html

Season: Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Day Use Hours: 10am – official sunset

Pets are not permitted on the sandy beach, in the designated swimming area or in day use areas but are permitted elsewhere throughout the park.

 

Welcome to Bomoseen State Park. The 3,576-acre park is located in the Taconic Mountains on the shores of Lake Bomoseen, the largest lake entirely within Vermont’s borders. The Taconics are the slate-producing region of Vermont, and the area’s history parallels the rise and fall of Vermont’s slate industry. The park contains several quarry holes and their adjacent colorful slate rubble piles as reminders of this period. These quarries provided slate for the West Castleton Railroad and Slate Company, a complex of 60 to 70 buildings that stood between Glen Lake and Lake Bomoseen. Several slate buildings and foundations remain in the park. A self-guided Slate History Trail leads hikers through remnants of this bygone era.

Activities

  • Camping: Bomoseen State Park has 55 tent/RV sites and 10 lean-to sites.
  • Hiking: Several hiking trails, including one to Half Moon Pond State Park.
  • Swimming: Bomoseen has a sandy beach for swimming and a snack bar.
  • Boating: There is a boat launch at the park and boats are welcome. Boats are also available to rent (kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and row boats)
  • Fishing: Lake Bomoseen offers great fishing opportunities. Trout, perch and bass are among some of the species that can be found.
  • Picnicking: Plenty of good picnicking opportunities at this park. Bomoseen also has a picnic pavilion available for rent.
  • Nature Programs: This park offers nature programs.
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.

Facilities/Amenities

The campground contains 55 tent/RV sites and 10 lean-tos. Some sites are wooded and some are grassy and open, while others are located along the lakeshore. There are restrooms with flush toilets, hot and cold running water and coin-operated hot showers. There is also an RV sanitary station located at the park.

The park has a beach for swimming and a picnic area. A snack bar concession stand and boat rentals (canoe, kayak, row, and pedal) are available at the beach. Several hiking trails, including one to Half Moon Pond State Park, provide great hiking opportunities. There is fishing in Lake Bomoseen, as well as in nearby Glen Lake.

The park also has a picnic pavilion that is available to rent. This open pavilion seats up to 100 people and has electricity, grills and picnic tables. The pavilion is universally accessible. Restrooms are nearby. The cost is $100 Friday – Sunday and FREE Monday – Thursday (except holidays).

 

 

Branbury State Park

Vermont state parks
Branbury State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-247-5925

3570 Lake Dunmore Rd

Brandon, VT 05733

https://vtstateparks.com/branbury.html

Season: Memorial Day Weekend – Columbus Day Weekend

Day Use Hours: 10am – official sunset

Pets are not permitted on the sandy beach or in the designated swimming area or in the cottage. Pets are allowed elsewhere throughout the park.

 

Branbury is located on the eastern shore of Lake Dunmore at the base of Mt. Moosalamoo. The Green Mountain National Forest is its neighbor to the east. Historically, the 69-acre park operated as a farm at the turn of the century, then as a guesthouse, summer boy’s camp and private beach and picnic area. In 1945, it became Branbury (Brandon-Salisbury) State Park. The 1000-foot natural sandy beach, clean, clear Lake Dunmore, and the large open grassy areas make the area very popular for swimming, sunning, or picnicking.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 36 tent/RV sites and 7 lean to sites
  • Hiking: The park has a number of hiking trails ranging in difficulty.
  • Swimming: The park has a 1000 foot, natural and sandy beach on Lake Dunmore.
  • Boating: The park is great for boating. You can launch your own canoe, kayak or SUP at the beach. Canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and a rowboat are available to rent.
  • Fishing: There is great fishing on Lake Dunmore. Some species include rainbow trout, salmon, perch and pike.
  • Picnicking: There is a day-use field with picnic tables. The beach also makes a good spot for a picnic.
  • Nature Programs: There are nature programs and a park interpreter at this park.
  • Mountain Biking: There are mountain biking opportunities at the nearby Moosalamoo Recreation Area.
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.

Facilities/Amenities

The park is divided by Route 53. 19 tent/RV sites and 7 lean-to sites are on one side of the highway in a heavily wooded area, and 17 tent/RV sites are located along the perimeter of a grassy open area near the beach.

There are restrooms with flush toilets, hot and cold running water and coin-operated hot showers. There is also a concession stand selling snacks, drinks and beach toys.

Nearby hiking trails to scenic vistas, waterfalls, caves, mountain lakes and streams provide outstanding hiking opportunities. Mountain biking trails are also nearby. There is fishing and boating on Lake Dunmore (canoe, kayak, rowboat, and pedal boat rentals are available at the park).

The park has 2 shelters available to rent. The screened-in, wooden rooms can seat 40 people each and cost $25 per shelter to rent for the day.

 

 

Coolidge State Park

Vermont state parks
View from Coolidge State Park site. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-672-3612

855 Coolidge State Park Rd.

Plymouth, Vt. – 05056

https://vtstateparks.com/coolidge.html

Season – Memorial Day Weekend – Columbus Day Weekend

Day use hours – 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are permitted throughout the park

 

A trip to Coolidge State Park is a trip back in time; the park remains essentially the way it was when it was first created in the 1930s. Known for its rustic feel, hillside campsites that give way to dramatic mountain views, and authentic character, Coolidge State Park is the developed recreation centerpiece of the 21,500-acre Calvin Coolidge State Forest, the largest state-owned land holding in central Vermont. Coolidge State Park is the only Vermont park with an entire loop of lean-to campsites, some of which have sweeping views of the Black River valley and the Green Mountains. Many campers feel that sites at Coolidge have the best views in all of Vermont. The park also has a loop of forested campsites, restroom facilities with showers, a hilltop picnic area with a log picnic shelter, a group camping area, and several remote lean-to campsites for those wishing to really escape it all.

Within the park, there are miles of hiking trails to explore, several streams home to elusive brook trout, and abundant wildlife. Some visitors are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a barred owl, a moose, or a black bear. Nearby is the village of Plymouth Notch, the birthplace of Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States.

Activities

  • Camping: This park has 26 tent/RV sites and 36 lean-to sites.
  • Hiking: There are several hiking trails around the park.
  • Picnicking: There are plenty of places to picnic around the park. There is also a pavilion available to rent.
  • Mountain Biking: Easy access to many gravel roads and trails in Coolidge State Forest. Less than half hour to Okemo Mountain Resort’s Evolution Bike Park.
  • Horseshoes: There are two horseshoe pits at the park.

Facilities/Amenities

There are 36 lean-to sites and 26 tent/RV sites arranged in two camping loops. There are four restrooms providing flush toilets and hot water, two of which have coin-operated hot showers. There is a large picnic shelter and a group camping area. There is also a nature center, horseshoes and a play area. There is a sanitary dump station for RVs, but no hookups. There are also several hiking trails.

The picnic pavilion at Coolidge can be rented. This open pavilion seats up to 70 people and has electricity, grills, fireplaces, and picnic tables. The pavilion is accessible and a restroom is nearby.

 

 

Emerald Lake State Park

Vermont state parks
Emerald Lake State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-362-1655

65 Emerald Lake Lane

East Dorset, Vt. 05253

https://vtstateparks.com/emerald.html

Season – Memorial Day Weekend – Columbus Day Weekend

Day use hours – 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are not permitted on the sandy beach or in the day use area but are allowed elsewhere throughout the park.

 

Located conveniently between Manchester and Rutland, the park is popular for its wooded hillside campground, beach and swimming area, and nearby attractions and tourist destinations. The park surrounds 20-acre Emerald Lake, named for the emerald green color of its waters when viewed from above. Restricted to non-motorized watercraft, the lake is ideal for swimming and paddling. The lake also offers anglers an opportunity to catch yellow perch, small mouth bass, northern pike and other warm-water species. The park is a favorite destination of hikers, with the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail nearby, and trails on Dorset Mountain.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 66 tent/RV sites and 37 lean-to sites at the park.
  • Hiking: There are a number of easy-to-moderate trails throughout the park.
  • Swimming: There is a beach with great swimming areas at the park
  • Boating: Kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and a rowboat can be rented through the park. Note: Emerald Lake is restricted to non-motorized watercraft.
  • Fishing: Perch, pike, small-mouth bass, bullhead and panfish swim in the waters of Emerald Lake. This park also participates in the Reel Fun Program.
  • Picnicking: There is a hillside picnic area as well as lakeside picnic tables. There is also a picnic pavilion that can be rented for group use.
  • Stand-up Padding Boarding: SUP’s are available to rent at the park.
  • Nature Programs: This park offers nature programs. Please call the park directly for more information.
  • Mountain Biking: There are great mountain biking trails in the area. Click here for more information.
  • Horseshoes: There is a horseshoe pit at the park.
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.

Facilities/Amenities

The park, located on a heavily wooded ridge above Emerald Lake, has 66 campsites and 37 lean-tos. Flush toilets, coin-operated hot showers, and a dump station are provided. There is a small beach with a snack bar and boat rental facilities (canoes, kayaks, row and pedal boats). A hillside picnic area, as well as lakeside picnic tables are available. Trails throughout the park and in the surrounding area provide great hiking opportunities. Swimming, fishing, and boating (no motors) are popular in the lake.

The park also has a picnic pavilion that can be rented. The pavilion seats up to 100 people and has electricity, grills, picnic tables, and a pit toilet nearby.

 

Gifford Woods State Park

Vermont state parks
Gifford Woods State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-775-5354

34 Gifford Woods Road

Killington, Vt. 05751

https://vtstateparks.com/gifford.html

Season May 18 – October 15

Day use hours 10 a.m. –official sunset

Pets are permitted throughout the park but are not allowed in most cabins. Moose cabin is the only pet-friendly one.

 

With its location at the base of Killington and Pico peaks and its close proximity to the Appalachian and Long trails, Gifford Woods State Park is a favorite of hikers. Many through-hikers pass the park on their Appalachian Trail journey from Georgia to Maine. The park is also a popular destination during the fall foliage season for its dramatic autumn colors.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 21 tent/RV sites and 19 lean-tos. There are also 4 cabins available to rent.
  • Hiking: The Kent Brook Trail is a 1.1-mile loop. There is also easy access to the Appalachian Trail.
  • Picnicking: There is a wooded picnic area behind the ranger’s quarters.
  • Mountain Biking: Close to Coolidge State Forest, and only a short drive from Killington Mountain and their bike park. Nearby in Rutland, Pine Hill Park offers 16 miles of bike trails.
  • Fishing: Kent Pond across the road from the park offers fishing opportunities. Gifford Woods also participates in the Reel Fun program.
  • Horseshoes: There is a horseshoe pit at the park
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.

Facilities / Amenities

With its location at the base of Killington and Pico peaks and its close proximity to the Appalachian and Long trails, Gifford Woods State Park is a favorite of hikers. Many through-hikers pass the park on their Appalachian Trail journey from Georgia to Maine. The park is also a popular destination during the fall foliage season for its dramatic autumn colors.

 

 

Half Moon Pond State Park

Vermont state parks
Half Moon State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802.273.2848

1621 Black Pond Rd

Hubbardton, VT 05743

https://vtstateparks.com/halfmoon.html

Season: Memorial Day Weekend – Columbus Day Weekend

Pets are permitted throughout the park, but are not permitted in most cabins or in the cottage. At this time, only the Dragonfly cabin is pet- friendly

 

Nestled away in the forests of 3,500-acre Bomoseen State Park sits the quiet camping area of Half Moon Pond State Park. The park is located in the dense woods of a small, sheltered basin, surrounding Half Moon Pond. The campground offers camping for all tastes with its waterfront campsites and lean-to’s and five furnished cabins. For those seeking more creature comforts, Tall Timbers Cottage, with its waterfront location and private boat dock, offers all the amenities of home.

A perfect place for campers seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life, the park offers a vast trail system including a short walk or, for the more ambitious, a full day’s hike. Hikers are likely to see a variety of wildlife including white-tailed deer or an occasional moose.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 52 tent/RV sites and 11 lean-tos for campers. There are also 5 cabins and 1 cottage available to rent.
  • Hiking: The park has a vast trail system, offering hikes for all ages and abilities.
  • Swimming: There are two small, sandy beaches great for sunbathing and swimming.
  • Boating: Boats are welcome at the park. Kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and rowboats can be rented from the park office.
  • Fishing: Lots of great fishing opportunities on Half Moon Pond. This park also participates in the Reel Fun Program.
  • Stand-up Padding Boarding: SUP’s are available to rent
  • Nature Programs: This park offers nature programs. Please call the park directly for more information.
  • Horseshoes: There is a horseshoe pit at the park.
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.

Facilities/Amenities

With sites both on the water’s edge and in the woods, the 52 tent/RV sites, 5 cabins and 11 lean-to sites provide great camping opportunities in a quiet, peaceful environment. There are restrooms with flush toilets, hot and cold running water and coin-operated showers. There is also an RV dump station. There is a play area and hiking trails to High Pond and to Bomoseen State Park.

Motorized watercraft are not allowed on Half Moon Pond. Rowboats, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats are available for rent from the park office, and two small, sandy beaches provide locations for sunbathing and swimming. The pond also has excellent fishing, where anglers can catch panfish, yellow perch and largemouth bass. Other exceptional fishing opportunities can be found at nearby Glen Lake and Lake Bomoseen.

 

 

Jamaica State Park

Vermont state parks
Jamaica State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-874-4600

48 Salmon Hole Lane

Jamaica, Vt. 05343

https://vtstateparks.com/jamaica.html

Season – May 4 – Columbus Day Weekend

Day use hours – 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are permitted throughout the park but are not allowed at the Salmon Hole swimming area.

(Please note: The weight limit on the Depot Street Bridge leading into the park has a weight limit of 8 tons with no exceptions. Please be sure the total weight of your vehicle and RV does not exceed the limit.)

 

Jamaica State Park is located on a bend of the West River about one-half mile from the center of the town of Jamaica. Nearby to the north is Ball Mountain. Hamilton Falls is located about one mile up Cobb Brook, which enters the West River upstream from the park. The West River has a very large drainage area extending from Weston and the south side of Terrible Mountain to Windham on the east and Bromley on the west.

The West River is also a favorite spot for many fishermen. The combination of deep slow running water and shallow fast ripples makes for some fine fishing.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 41 tent/RV sites and 18 lean-to sites at the park.
  • Hiking: Over 5 miles of maintained hiking trails.
  • Swimming: There is swimming at the Salmon Hole in the West River.
  • Boating: Boats and rafts are welcome, though there is no boat launch at the park.
  • Fishing: The West River is home to trout and small mouth bass.
  • Picnicking: Lots of great picnicking spots by the river. There is also a picnic pavilion that is available to rent for group functions.
  • Mountain Biking: Mountain biking is permitted on some of the trails at the park. Additionally, Snow’s bike park is a half-hour drive.
  • Horseshoes: There is a horseshoe pit at the park.
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.

Facilities / Amenities

There are 41 tent/RV sites and 18 lean-to sites that are spread throughout the campground. There are two restrooms with flush toilets, hot and cold running water and coin-operated hot showers. A picnic shelter for campers and a small nature center are located near the picnic area and swimming hole. A hiking trail follows the West River and branches off toward Hamilton Falls.

White Water Rafting:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers periodically schedules water releases from the Ball Mountain Dam for recreational paddling on the West River. The controlled releases make for great whitewater paddling. Jamaica State Park is the center of paddling activity. In the fall, a truck shuttle (fee service) operates on a two-mile stretch of the West River Trail within the park which allows paddlers to maximize time on the most popular section class II to IV rapids.

The spring release happened in early May. The Fall release date has been set for September 22 and 23, 2018. Campsites are prioritized for paddlers and a 3 night minimum stay is required, and a maximum of two campsites may be reserved per customer. This is a popular event. Please contact Jamaica State Park for details and to secure your spot.

 

 

Lake St. Catherine State Park

Vermont state park
Lake St. Catherine State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-287-9158

3034 VT Rte. 30

Poultney, VT 05764

https://vtstateparks.com/catherine.html

Season: Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Day Use Hours: 10am – official sunset

Pets are not permitted on sandy beaches or in designated swimming areas but are allowed elsewhere throughout the park including the grassy area around the campers’ beach.

 

Lake St. Catherine State Park has long been a destination for visitors seeking an area to relax, refresh and recreate. The 117-acre park has been in operation since it opened as a picnic and swimming area in 1953 on the shore of picturesque Lake St. Catherine. The park offers an array of recreation opportunities for campers and day-use visitors alike. These include a 61-site campground, a nature center, two sandy beaches, a large grassy field including a children’s playground and a snack-bar concession with rentals of rowboats, canoes, kayaks and pedal boats. A boat launch is available for those seeking a day of fishing or water skiing on the lake. A short hiking trail offers visitors a tour of the Big Trees of Lake St. Catherine and a breathtaking view of Birdseye Mountain.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 50 rent/RV sites and 11 lean-to sites at the park.
  • Hiking: There is a universally accessible nature trail leads to great views.
  • Swimming: There is a beautiful sandy beach with a designated swimming are
  • Boating: There is a boat launch at the park and canoes, kayaks and pedal boats are available to rent.
  • Fishing: Panfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow and brown trout, yellow perch and northern pike can all be found in the lake’s cool waters.
  • Picnicking: Lots of picnic tables and grassy areas make this park a popular destination for picnickers.
  • Nature Programs: This park offers nature programs. Please call the park directly for more information.

Facilities/amenities

The campground contains 50 tent/RV sites and 11 lean-to sites. Grassy open areas, wooded sites and lake access make this camping area very popular. Restrooms with toilets, coin-operated hot showers and a dump station are provided. The park has well-developed picnic and swimming areas. In addition to a nature center, there is a snack bar concession with canoes, kayaks, rowboats and pedal boat rentals.

 

 

Lowell Lake State Park

Vermont state parks
Launch your boat here at Lowell Lake State Park by Bill Steele

802-824-4035

This is an undeveloped, free entry state park with no phone or visitor facilities

260 Ice House Road

Londonderry, Vt. 05148

https://vtstateparks.com/lowell.html

Season – May 11 – October 15

Day use hours – 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are permitted throughout the park

 

Hiking Trail

Lowell Lake Trail is a loop approximately 3.5 miles in length, which completely encircles Lowell Lake. Trail highlights include a Revolutionary War-era cemetery, stands of large white pine trees, and scenic views of the lake and wetlands. The trail is located on relatively flat terrain and the hike is of moderate difficulty. The trail is marked with blue paint blazes. The northern portion of the trail follows park service roads on both sides of the lake as well as approximately 1000 feet of Little Pond Road, a town road. Parking for the trail is available at the parking area located near the boat landing off Lowell Lake Road.

Activities

  • Hiking: The 3.5 miles Lowell Lake Trail circles the lake.
  • Boating: Non-motorized boats are welcome at the park. There is a car-top boat launch, though there are no boats available to rent.
  • Fishing: Perch, pickerel, large-mouth bass, bullhead and panfish swim in the waters at Lowell Lake.
  • Picnicking: There are great picnicking spots around the lake.

Facilities/Amenities

Currently park use is limited to informal day use with no facilities. Overnight camping and campfires are not allowed. Please hike on marked trails. Hiking off trails causes erosion and destroys vegetation. Keep trails free of litter. Carry out what you carry in. Keep pets under control at all times.

Trails are for foot travel only. ATVs are not permitted on state lands.

Please leave all wildflowers and other plants in their natural environment for others to enjoy. Respect the rights of private property owners.

 

 

Mt Ascutney State Park

Vermont state parks
Mount Ascutney State Park vista. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-674-2060

1826 Back Mountain Road

Windsor, Vt. 05089

https://vtstateparks.com/ascutney.html

Season – May 21 through October 15

Day Use Hours – 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are permitted throughout the park

 

Flanking 3,144-foot high Mt. Ascutney to the north, south and east, the park is a favorite of many outdoor enthusiasts and sightseers. Today, the park has four trailheads and more than 12 miles of hiking trails. The trails lead hikers to the sites of former quarries and homesteads, relics of past logging operations and other remains of a bygone era. Each trail boasts vistas with spectacular viewpoints of the Connecticut River Valley era en-route to the observation tower at the summit. Visitors seeking a less-strenuous trek may drive up the 3.7-mile Mount Ascutney Parkway to a parking lot at an elevation of 2,800 feet. A hike of nearly one-mile leads to the summit. With its two launching sites, the park is also a favorite of hang gliders.

Activities

  • Camping: The park has 38 wooded tent/RV sites and 10 lean-to sites that are arranged within two camp loops.
  • Hiking: There are five trails ranging in difficulty from moderate to difficult. The summit trail is 1.40 miles.
  • Picnicking: There are picnic areas throughout the park. There is also a picnic pavilion that is available to rent for group functions.
  • Horseshoes: There is a horseshoe pit at the park.

Amenities/Facilities

The park has 38 wooded tent/RV sites and 10 lean-to sites that are arranged within two camp loops. Each loop has a restroom providing modern plumbing and coin-operated hot showers. There is a sanitary dump station for RV’s, but there are no hookups. There is a small picnic area at the foot of the summit, and a picnic area part way up the summit road.

The park also has a open, stone picnic pavilion that can be rented. It offers spectacular views and seats up to 30 people. There is no electricity or restrooms, but it has 2 charcoal grills and 4 picnic tables and is near great hiking and camping. There is a cost to rent Friday – Sunday, but free Monday thru Thursday.

 

 

Muckross State Park

Vermont state parks
Muckross State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

This is an underdeveloped state park with no phone or visitor facilities

VT State Parks Springfield Regional Office: 802.289.0603

26 Muckross Rd

Springfield, Vt. 05156

https://vtstateparks.com/muckross.html

Season Memorial Day Weekend – Columbus Day Weekend

Day use hours 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are welcome at the park.

 

Muckross State Park was established in July, 2016 when the estate of the late State Senator Edgar May donated his former home property to the State of Vermont. The 204-acre property is part of a once-larger estate constructed by local industrialist W.D. Woolson in the early 20th century. At one time, the estate included nearly 1,000 acres of land, two trout ponds, an expansive compound of buildings including a main lodge and several cottages. It purportedly is named after Muckross House in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland.

Mr. May, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and local politician, made Muckross his home for over 50 years. It was his desire to see his home become a state park open to all for recreation and learning. In keeping with Mr. May’s wishes, planning is underway to incorporate nature education and dispersed recreation on the property.

Activities

  • Hiking: Visitors may explore on foot a small network of roads and foot trails.
  • Picnicking: There are good spots for picnics in the park.

Facilities/Amenities

Since this is a new state park, there is not yet onsite parking or a formal trail system. Visitors may explore on foot a small network of roads and foot trails. A small pond is impounded by a concrete dam on a small tributary of the Black River. There is an impressive 80-foot waterfall downstream of the pond. There are several vistas of the Black and Connecticut Rivers from outcroppings though no trails lead to them. This is an undeveloped state park without amenities best explored on foot.

 

 

Plymouth State Park

Vermont state parks
Plymouth State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-228-2025

2008 Scout Camp Road

Ludlow, Vt. 05149

https://vtstateparks.com/plymouth.html

Season – Memorial Day Weekend – September 30

Hours of use – 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are not permitted in this park.

 

History

The Crown Point military road was authorized for construction in 1759 to connect strategic military posts at Fort # 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire to Crown Point on Lake Champlain. The military road was instrumental in moving troops and supplies in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Later, the road became an important route for commercial traffic. Today, Scout Camp Road follows part of the road’s original route.

A farm was established on part of the property in the 1840s by Amos Pollard. One day in 1850, a young man was fishing in Buffalo Brook and discovered gold there. The man tried to keep his find a secret, but could not do so. By 1855, it was known as Gold Brook, and a commercial mining operation was set up. Up the stream at the now-abandoned village of Plymouth Five Corners, a mill and crusher were established, and many prospectors flocked to the area. One of the more successful operators, Rooks Mining Company, claimed to have earned more than $13,000 in a 6-month period in 1884. Such profits were seldom validated, and most investors lost their fortunes. Mr. Pollard himself never had much to do with searching for gold. He died in 1874 and is buried in the nearby cemetery.

When the Rooks Mining Company went bankrupt in 1889, Henry Fox, the superintendent, bought the mine. He continued to search for gold for thirty more years until his death in 1919. Today, remains of the mine operations can be seen along the brook, and although most of the mines themselves are outside of park boundary, visitors should still stay away from all abandoned mines regardless of location. Most of the gold is known as “placer” gold, deposited by glacial action.

In 1925, a girls’ summer camp was established here and operated for two years. In 1927, the property was purchased by the Boy Scouts of America and turned into Camp Plymouth, for which the park is named. At its height, the scout camp included camping sites for 10 troops, a trading post, archery range, rifle range, waterfront, and ceremonial campfire area. In 1984, the property was conserved with the assistance of the Ottauquechee Land Trust and conveyed to the State of Vermont. Park facilities were constructed over the next few years and Camp Plymouth State Park opened to the public in 1989.

Activities

  • Group Camping: There are 6 lean-to’s designated for group camping. There are also 4 cottages available to rent.
  • Hiking: The Vista Trail is a 1 mile, round-trip, moderate hike through a white pine forest.
  • Swimming: There is a sandy beach with a swimming area
  • Boating: Boats are welcome at the park. There is a car-top boat launch and boats can be rented through the park.
  • Fishing: Echo Lake is home to trout, perch, pickerel, bass and bullhead. This park also participates in the Reel Fun Program.
  • Picnicking: Camp Plymouth is a great park for picnicking. There are large, open areas with picnic tables. The park also has 4 picnic pavilions that are available to rent.
  • Horseshoes: There are two horseshoe pits at the park.
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.
  • Gold Panning – Camp Plymouth State Park is a popular destination for gold panners. Recreational gold panning for personal enjoyment is allowed in Buffalo Brook. Only hand panning is permitted; mechanical sluices are not allowed. Commercial operations are likewise prohibited.

Facilities/ Amenities

There is a group camping area on the south side of Buffalo Brook consisting of six lean-tos, tent/RV sites, pit toilets, and a large field for activities. On the north side of the brook there is a large picnic area, a play area, a sandy beach, horseshoe pits, concessions, and boat rentals.

The park has four fully furnished cottages available to rent. The cabins each sleep six people and are located near the water.

Additionally, there are three picnic pavilions that can be rented.

The indoor, Harwood Pavilion is the largest. The pavilion seats up to 150 people and is available for rent. The pavilion has electricity, 2 stoves, a walk-in cooler, banquet tables and chairs.

The smaller Fernwood and Wedding Grove pavilions are open-air facilities. Both have electricity, group grills, picnic tables. The Fernwood pavilion seats up to 100 people while the Wedding Grove pavilion seats up to 60 people. Both pavilions cost $100 to rent for the day.

 

 

Quechee State Park

Vermont state parks
Quechee State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-295-2990

5800 Woodstock Road

Hartford, Vt. 05047

https://vtstateparks.com/quechee.html

Season – May 18 – October 15

Day use Hours – 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are permitted throughout the park

 

The park’s location along US Route 4, and its proximity to many upper-valley attractions make it a popular tourist destination. Hundreds of thousands of visitors stop each year to take in the breathtaking views of the Quechee Gorge. Other visitors seeking an overnight stay enjoy the easy access to the park’s spacious campsites.

The focal point of the park is Vermont’s deepest gorge, formed by glacial activity approximately 13,000 years ago. Visitors can look down at the Ottauquechee River, flowing 165 feet below viewing points along Route 4.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 45 tent/RV sites and 7 lean-to sites at the park.
  • Hiking: The Quechee Gorge Trail has great views and leads visitors to the gorge.
  • Fishing: The Ottauquechee River has brook trout, rainbow trout and brown trout.
  • Picnicking: Plenty of great spots for a picnic throughout the park.
  • Nature Programs: This park offers nature programs. Please call the park directly for more information.
  • Horseshoes: There is a horseshoe pit at the park.
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.

Facilities/Amenities

The park contains 45 tent/RV sites and 7 lean-to sites which are located in the camping area. Two restrooms with flush toilets, hot and cold running water, and coin-operated hot showers serve the campground. Most sites are large enough to accommodate large RVs.

There is a sanitary dump station, but there are no hookups. A large field and play area are also in the campground. Located next to Quechee Gorge is a picnic area with a pit toilet and a hiking trail along the gorge.

 

 

Silver Lake State Park

Vermont state parks
Silver Lake State Park. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-234-9451

20 State Park Beach Rd.

Barnard, Vt. 05031

https://vtstateparks.com/silver.html

Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Day use hours – 10 am to official sunset

Pets are not permitted on the sandy beach or designated swimming area but are allowed elsewhere throughout the park.

 

This busy park is popular for its sandy swimming area, picnic grounds, and camping area. Its proximity to Woodstock and other central Vermont tourist destinations makes it ideal for family vacations. The park encompasses the northern shoreline of 84-acre Silver Lake which supports excellent fishing of northern pike, perch, smallmouth bass and other warm-water species. The lake is popular for paddling and quieter recreation, with only occasional motorboats passing by.

During the winter months, when the park is closed, the lake is a popular spot for ice-skating and ice fishing.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 39 tent/RV sites and 7 lean-to sites available to campers.
  • Swimming: There is a large, sandy beach available to day-use visitors and campers alike.
  • Boating: Boats are welcome at the park. Kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and rowboats are available to rent through the park office.
  • Fishing: Perch, pike, large mouth bass, and bullhead can be found in the waters of Silver Lake. This park also participates in the Reel Fun Program.
  • Picnicking: There are numerous picnic tables throughout the park. There is also a picnic pavilion that can be reserved for larger group gatherings.
  • Stand-up Padding Boarding: SUP’s are available to rent through the park.
  • Nature Programs: This park offers nature programs. Please call the park directly for more information.
  • Horseshoes: There is a horseshoe pit at the park.
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.

Facilities / Amenities

There are 39 tent/RV sites and 7 lean-to sites. There are two restrooms in the camping area with running water and coin-operated hot showers. There is a sanitary station, but there are no hookups. There is a large grassy area by the beach with a play area. There is also a snack bar, restrooms, changing rooms, and boat and canoe rentals.

The park also has a picnic pavilion that can be rented. The pavilion seats up to 100 people and has 2 grills and picnic tables.

 

 

Townshend State Park

Vermont state parks
River tubing at Townshend State Park by Matt Parsons. Photo courtesy of vtstateparks.com

802-365-7500

2755 State Forest Rd.

Townshend, Vt. 05353

https://vtstateparks.com/townshend.html

Season – Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

Day Use Hours – 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are permitted throughout the park

 

A visit to Townshend State Park, located at the foot of Bald Mountain on a bend of the West River, feels like a step back in time. The park was constructed during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public works program aimed at putting young men to work.

As visitors enter the park property today, they are greeted by lush green lawns leading to the park office, a CCC-built building constructed with stones quarried from the surrounding forest. The park looks basically the same as it did when constructed between 1934-1938. It includes a picnic area, hiking trails and the only Vermont State Park campground that still has CCC-style tent platforms.

Today the campground is a popular destination for visitors seeking a back-to-basics, rustic experience. Guests staying on the west side of the campground will hear the gurgling of a small brook running down Bald Mountain. Visitors can take a hike up the Bald Mountain Trail, passing various chutes, waterfalls and pools on the way to spectacular vistas to the north, south and east. Those seeking a less strenuous experience can relax in the campground or picnic area and enjoy the tranquility of this natural area.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 30 tent sites and 4 lean-to sites available to rent.
  • Hiking: The Bald Mountain Trail is a 1.7-mile, moderate trail leading visitors to the summit of the mountain.
  • Swimming: Swimming is available at the Townshend Dam recreation area operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Fishing: Fishing is permitted at the park.
  • Picnicking: There are picnic tables and a picnic shelter available to visitors.

Facilities/Amenities

The campground, situated in a wooded area, has 30 tent/trailer sites and 4 lean-to sites. There are two restrooms with flush toilets and hot and cold running water. One of the restrooms has coin-operated showers. A picnic shelter with a fireplace and three tables is attached to the ranger’s quarters. There is a trail to the top of Bald Mountain for day hiking. Note: Due to the park’s physical layout, there is a limit of 6 people per site and only one (1) vehicle per site.

 

 

Wilgus State Park

Vermont state parks
Boat Rentals at Wilgus State Park

802-674-5422

3985 Route 5

Weathersfield, Vt. 05156

https://vtstateparks.com/wilgus.html

Season April 29 – Columbus Day Weekend

Day use hours 10 a.m. – official sunset

Pets are permitted throughout the park but are not allowed in most cabins. At this time, only the Otter cabin is pet friendly.

 

The land of Wilgus State Park was given to the state of Vermont in 1933 by Colonel and Mrs. William Wilgus for the creation of Wilgus State Park.

The original park, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, consisted of a picnic area with large flue-type stone fireplaces and picnic tables, and the ranger’s quarters.

The campground was developed and expanded between 1960 and the present time. Wilgus State Park is a very popular park for canoes and kayaks, since it is located on the Connecticut River.

This park provides day use access to the Connecticut River and the Pinnacle Trail hike provides a scenic vista of the Connecticut River Valley.

Activities

  • Camping: There are 15 tent/RV sites and 9 lean-to sites at the park. Three lean-tos are reserved for group use.
  • Hiking: The Pinnacle Trail is a 1-mile loop to an elevation of 628 feet.
  • Swimming: There is swimming in the Connecticut River.
  • Boating: Boats are welcome. The park also rents kayaks and canoes. Additionally, Great River Outfitters run CT River canoe and kayak trips from the park.
  • Fishing: Trout, bullhead and panfish are among some of the species anglers can find in the Connecticut River. This park also participates in the Reel Fun Program.
  • Picnicking: Picnickers are welcome to the park. There is also a small pavilion that can be reserved at no charge.
  • Horseshoes: There is a horseshoe pit at the park.
  • Volleyball: There is a volleyball net in the day use field.

Facilities / Amenities

There are 4 cabins, 15 tent/trailer sites and 6 lean-to sites which overlook the Connecticut River. There are two restrooms with flush toilets, hot and cold running water and coin-operated hot showers. There is a picnic area and 3 lean-tos in the Group area. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at the contact station as well as a Wi-Fi connection. A trailer sanitary station is located near the ranger’s quarters. There is also a small picnic shelter that can be reserved at no charge for small groups.

 

 

 

 

 

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