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Vermont State Parks COVID-19 Updates

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We will be posting any updates to Vermont State Parks in relation to COVID-19 on this page.

Vermont State Park Status Updates as of 3/31/20:

March 30 - In accordance with the Governor Scott’s Addendum to Executive Order 01-20 on the COVID-19 outbreak, Vermont State Parks will not be accepting new reservations until further notice. 

You still may get information, change reservations and cancel reservations by calling our reservation call center at 1-888-409-7579 Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

At this time, Vermont State Parks are still in the “off-season”, with no running water, restrooms or staff available but are still open for your health and recreational enjoyment. We do expect parks to be operational this upcoming season, but we are anticipating some possible changes to park services. 

The Governor will be reassessing the pause on advance reservations in a couple of weeks, and we will keep you informed of further changes. Please visit our COVID-19 updates page for the most recent i…

Outside Insider: Activities for Distant Socializing

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Doing your best to distantly socialize, but you’re tired of the same old thing? We’ve got your back. Our carefully curated list of activities can help you connect with nature and get ready for your next big adventure. These activities can be done within the comfort of your own home or backyard (just remember to follow current advice from the Vermont Department of Health).
Find a sit spot.Sit spots can be any area in your yard or a view from a window. This is a great way to take in the world around you and build mindfulness in an easy way.

Step 1 - Pick a spot you like near a tree, in a field, or at a window with a good view. Step 2 - Sit, look, listen, and observe. What do you see, hear and smell? Step 3 - Repeat as often as necessary. Try different times of day. What changes? What stays the same?
Birding.Did you see a bird fly by or heard one sing, but you’re not sure what kind? The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has great resources on learning to identify birds by sight and by sound in t…

Outdoor Recreation in Vermont: Healthy Options During COVID-19

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MONTPELIER - During the current COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outdoors close to home and connecting with nature is an excellent way to help maintain our mental and physical health.  Engaging in our favorite outdoor recreation activity – hiking, camping, fishing, biking, hunting or walking in nature – does wonders for our health and well-being. No matter how you enjoy the outdoors, we urge you to practice effective “social distancing” and other measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep you, your family and your community safe.
“As more parts of Vermont see closures and recommendations for social distancing, we all need to find ways to manage the stress and uncertainty. A daily walk, run or hike can provide real benefits to your physical and mental health. Just practice social distancing while doing your favorite activity,” said Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder.
The Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” still allows us to enjoy Vermont’s outdoors…

Nature Journaling

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By Rebecca Roy, Conservation Education Coordinator 
This is an exciting time of year. These late February days bring ten and a half hours of daylight in Vermont, and the sun feels warmer. Resident birds are singing their springtime calls, and the air smells a little bit muddy. March is usually a snowy month in Vermont, so we are patient for flowers and true spring, but early signs are all around us.
Nature journaling is a fun way to capture these signs of changing seasons. My little daughter and I have kept a nature journal for the past few years, and it is fun to look back on things we observed in past Februaries, and compare them to things we see today.
It is also fun to look back and read about summer camping trips during cold winter months. Our nature journal reminds us of the details of our experiences we might otherwise not quite remember. We enjoy looking back and remembering the worms we dug before fishing at Boulder Beach State Park, or the very first time my daughter was b…

Guest Post: A Winter Hike to Vermont’s State Park - Knight Island by Matt Parsons

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The winter of 2019 in Vermont was one of the most brutal winters in recent history. We experienced everything, from high accumulating snow storms with high winds to freezing rain. The snow storms were reminiscent of my childhood. I can remember snow being piled half way up telephone poles. From December to April, I am confined to my plow truck. By the end of February I want to trade in my childhood enthusiasm of winter for some primal camping. It seems that this phenomenon happens to me every year at around this time. I have camped over night on Burton Island, and day camped at Knight Island, not to mention other winter excursions. I like to test the limits of my body and skills to survive. Doing this in the winter, on an island seems to magnify the experience.

The call to camp on Knight Island was getting louder with every snow storm. The short term forecast provided a break, but it  wasn’t quite the break I was looking for. Between ministry commitments and potential snow coming in …

Get the Sled Out: Where to Go Sledding in Vermont State Parks

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For Vermonters, the winter landscape is like an outdoor playground! There are a lot of ways to play in the snow, but there is nothing quite like feeling the wind whipping and the snow flying as you careen down a hill on a sled. For your luging pleasure, we have put together a list of some great sledding hills in Vermont State Parks to try out this winter:    

Plans Underway for Improvements at Mt. Philo State Park

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Enhancements to Parking, Trails and
Summit Access PlannedAfter nearly a decade of work and with substantial public input, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) has completed the long-range management plan (LRMP) for Mt. Philo State Park. This plan will guide the long-term management and stewardship of the area’s natural resources and human use. Work on the Mt. Philo plan has been a lengthy process, during which several public input meetings were held and the plan underwent multiple revisions to incorporate public feedback.

Among the needs identified in the LRMP are enhancement plans to address parking and trail improvements in response to increased park use. SE Group of Burlington has been contracted to develop an enhanced design to address vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow challenges at the park entrance and summit. As attendance has grown exponentially at Vermont’s oldest state park over the past few decades, this will help the park “catch up” with the influx of visi…