Vermont State Outdoors

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Vermont State Parks

Fort Dummer State Park
The park was named after Fort Dummer, the first permanent white settlement in Vermont. Built on the frontier in 1724, it was initially the gateway to the early settlements along the banks of the Connecticut River. Forty-three English soldiers and twelve Mohawk Indians manned the fort in 1724 and 1725. Later, the fort protected what was then a Massachusetts colony from an invasion by the French and Indians. Made of sturdy white pine timber, stacked like a log cabin, Fort Dummer served its purpose well. The park overlooks the site of Fort Dummer which was flooded when the Vernon Dam was built on the Connecticut River in 1908. This site can be seen from the northernmost scenic vista on the Sunrise Trail. It is now underwater near the lumber company located on the western bank of the river. small picnic area, hiking trails, a play area, and a large open field. For information call: Summer: (802)254-2610 / Winter: (802)886-2434


Knight Point State Park
Knight Point on North Hero Island opened as a state park in 1978. Area history goes much further back. The Hero Islands were named to commemorate early Vermonters who served in the Revolutionary War. John Knight, the Point's first resident, began ferry service between the two islands in 1785. The service was operated by his family until the first bridge opened in 1892. The site of the ferry landing is still visible on the east shore after a hundred years. The Knight Point house, now a residence for park staff, is historically significant. The wooden wing on the north end is a visually-accurate reconstruction of the Knight Tavern, built in 1790 as an inn for travelers crossing by ferry between the islands. The brick section of the residence, added to the tavern in 1845, is unique because of its two-story front porch. Sandy beach, swimming, boat rentals. Shaded or open picnic grounds with cooking grills. The 20' x 40' open-air shelter may be reserved for group functions. For information call: Summer: (802)372-8389 / Winter: (802)879-5674


Lake St. Catherine State Park
The park, which consists of 117 acres, first opened as a small picnic and swimming area in 1953. The area is known for its past slate quarrying operations, with remains of slate mills, quarries, and rubble piles still visible. The park itself was once a children's summer camp and farmland. The campground contains 51 tent/trailer sites and 10 lean-to sites. Grassy open areas, wooded sites and lake access make this camping area very popular. Flush toilets, hot showers ($), and a dump station are provided. The park has well-developed picnic, play, and swimming areas. There is a snack bar concession with rowboats and paddle boats rentals. Boating and fishing are popular on the lake. For information call: Summer: (802)287-9158 / Winter: (802)483-2001


Waterbury Center State Park
Waterbury Center State Park lies on the easterly trivium of Waterbury Reservoir, a quarter mile off SR 100. It is an integral recreation resource in Central Vermont and one of the newer park facilities within Mount Mansfield State Forest. The reservoir is the ninth largest body of water in the state of Vermont and was created in the 1930's by the CCC as a flood control project to protect towns and villages along the Winooski River Valley. From late spring to early fall the reservoir is maintained to a surface area of 860 acres and has a maximum depth of 100 feet. To prepare for normal spring snowmelt and runoff, the surface area is reduced to between 250 - 300 acres throughout the winter. The designed flood control capacity of Waterbury Reservoir is approximately 9,000,000,000 gallons. The park is located on a 90-acre peninsula with picnic sites, tables, hibachis, swimming beach, nature trail, boat ramp and restrooms. For information call: Summer: (802)244-1226 / Winter: (802)479-4280


Camp Plymouth State Park
The site of Camp Plymouth was at one time thought to have been used as an encampment by soldiers of the Revolutionary War in 1777, while en route from Rindge and Fort Number 4 (Charlestown, New Hampshire) to the Battle of Ticonderoga. It now seems that the encampment was about two miles north of Camp Plymouth. The Boy Scouts used this area until 1984 when it became a state park. Camp Plymouth State Park is located in the town of Plymouth on the east shore of Echo Lake. The total acreage is 295 acres of which 46 acres comprise the developed portion of the park. The balance (249 acres) contains hiking trails, fishing, hunting, gold panning, and primitive camping, but is largely forestry oriented. There is a group camping area on the south side of Buffalo Brook consisting of six lean-tos, tent sites, pit toilets, and a large field for activities. On the north side of the brook there are a large picnic area, play area, sandy beach, horseshoe pits, concession, boat rentals, and rental cottages. There is a large enclosed picnic shelter including a kitchen for larger groups as well as two smaller open pavilion-style picnic shelters. For information call: Summer: (802)228-2025 / Winter: (802)886-2434


Camping and Hiking in Vermont

Big Deer State Park
The campground has 28 tent/trailer sites. The rest room includes hot showers. A sanitary dump station is available at Stillwater, but no hookups. There's easy access to the Nature Center and miles of hiking trails. For information call: Summer: (802)584-3822 / Winter: (802)479-4280


Branbury State Park
The park is divided by Route 53. Twenty-two tent sites and 6 lean-to sites are on one side of the highway in a heavily wooded area, and 17 tent sites are located along the perimeter of a grassy open area near the beach. Flush toilets, hot showers ($), and a dump station are provided. 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. Hiking trails to scenic vistas, waterfalls, caves, mountain lakes and streams, as well as an interpretive nature trail, provide outstanding hiking opportunities. There is fishing and boating (rowboats, canoes, paddle boat rentals) on Lake Dunmore. For information call: (800)658-1622


North Hero State Park
North Hero State Park is named for North Hero Island in Lake Champlain. The Hero Islands were named to commemorate those early Vermonters who served in the Revolutionary War. Land for the 399-acre park was purchased in 1963. Nearly one-third of that land lies below 100 feet elevation. Lake level on Champlain fluctuates seasonally from about 95 to 101 feet above sea level so much of the park is subjected to seasonal inundation. The forest type in these floodplain areas is uncommon in Vermont, found only around Lake Champlain. The North Hero example is noted for its size, relatively undisturbed condition, and rare flora habitat. The thick woods around the campground, and the fact that much of the property was farmed and pastured before becoming a park, have led to conditions favorable for wildlife. Old fields are in stages of reverting to forest. There is a diversity of habitats that land management in the park works to perpetuate. Fields are periodically mowed, burned, or cut back around the edges. Patches of one or two acres are clear-cut into the woods on a rotating schedule to create staggered openings in varied successional stages. There are 99 wooded tent/trailer sites and 18 lean-tos that are arranged in three camp loops. Each loop has a rest room providing modern plumbing and hot showers. There is a sanitary dump station for RVs, but no hookups. Most sites are large enough to accommodate self-contained RVs. There are lakeside picnic grounds, a nongraded swimming beach, boat rentals, and a boat launch. Group camping is accommodated. For information call: Summer: (802)372-8727 / Winter: (802)879-5674


Molly Stark State Park
Molly Stark State Park is named after the famous wife of General John Stark of the Revolutionary War. The park is located along the "Molly Stark Trail," Route 9, which bisects southern Vermont. Originally, the first settlers used the area for farming. During the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built fireplaces and a toilet building, but there is no evidence that this area was used by the public for camping even though local people may have used the land for picnics. The area was designated and opened as Molly Stark State Park on July 2, 1960. The park has open lawn areas, woods, and Mt. Olga rising to the east where there is an old fire tower with spectacular views. The area is very popular during the fall foliage season for its colors, and also because it is located on one of the more popular travel routes. Two camping loops consist of 23 tent/trailer sites and 11 lean-to sites. One rest room with showers is located in each loop. There are a play area and a picnic pavilion for large groups. A hiking trail starts from the park and goes up to the Mt. Olga fire tower. For information call: Summer: (802)464-5460 / Winter: (802)886-2434


Stillwater State Park
The campground has 62 tent/trailer sites and 17 lean-tos. All rest rooms include hot showers ($). A sanitary dump station is available, but no hookups. There is a swimming beach, boat launch/dock facility, play area, shelter, and access to miles of hiking trails. The Groton Nature Center is within walking distance. For information call: Summer: (802)584-3822 / Winter: (802)479-4280


Hunting and Fishing in Vermont

Camp Plymouth State Park
The site of Camp Plymouth was at one time thought to have been used as an encampment by soldiers of the Revolutionary War in 1777, while en route from Rindge and Fort Number 4 (Charlestown, New Hampshire) to the Battle of Ticonderoga. It now seems that the encampment was about two miles north of Camp Plymouth. The Boy Scouts used this area until 1984 when it became a state park. Camp Plymouth State Park is located in the town of Plymouth on the east shore of Echo Lake. The total acreage is 295 acres of which 46 acres comprise the developed portion of the park. The balance (249 acres) contains hiking trails, fishing, hunting, gold panning, and primitive camping, but is largely forestry oriented. There is a group camping area on the south side of Buffalo Brook consisting of six lean-tos, tent sites, pit toilets, and a large field for activities. On the north side of the brook there are a large picnic area, play area, sandy beach, horseshoe pits, concession, boat rentals, and rental cottages. There is a large enclosed picnic shelter including a kitchen for larger groups as well as two smaller open pavilion-style picnic shelters. For information call: Summer: (802)228-2025 / Winter: (802)886-2434


Half Moon State Park
Half Moon State Park is located within the 2800-acre Bomoseen State Forest. Set in dense woods in a small sheltered basin, the park surrounds Half Moon Pond. With sites both on the water's edge and back in the woods, the 59 tent sites and 10 lean-to sites provide great camping opportunities in a quiet, peaceful environment. Flush toilets, hot showers ($), and a dump station are provided. There are a play area and hiking trails to High Pond and to Bomoseen State Park. There is limited swimming, but great fishing and boating (no motors) in the pond (boat rentals available), as well as in other lakes and ponds nearby. For information call: Summer: (802)273-2848 / Winter: (802)483-2001


Silver Lake State Park
Silver Lake was originally called Stebblings' Pond after Benjamin Stebblings who owned land at the outlet where the Barnard General Store now stands. When Benjamin Stebblings moved out of the area, the lake became known as Barnard Pond. In 1869, Barnard Pond was renamed Silver Lake. Silver Lake supports a good fishery of northern pike, perch, bass and other warm-water species. During the winter months, when the park is closed, the lake is a popular spot for ice skating and ice fishing. For information call: (800)299-3071


Little Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area
Expect to find white-tailed deer cottontail rabbit grey squirrel beaver mink muskrat otter red and grey fox raccoon coyote bobcat ruffed grouse turkey woodcock Canada geese wood black and mallard ducks hooded merganser blue-winged teal smallmouth and largemouth bass yellow perch brown bullhead northern pike walleye brook brown rainbow and steelhead trout. Hunting fishing and trapping are allowed. For information call: (802)878-1564


Willoughby Falls Wildlife Management Area
Expect to find white-tailed deer moose beaver mink otter muskrat woodcock hooded merganser and rainbow trout. Hunting fishing and trapping are allowed. The migratory rainbow trout provide an unusual viewing opportunity as they jump at Willoughby Falls each spring. For information call: (802)751-0100


Other Vermont Outdoor activities

Vermont also offers the following outdoor activities:
  • Canoeing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Golf
  • Ice Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Swimming