Friday, May 13, 2011

Lake Champlain High Water: State Parks go with the Flow, Only Three State Parks Expect Delayed Opening

As you probably have seen on our local news channels, water levels on Lake Champlain have reached record highs this spring.

What does this mean for state parks located on Lake Champlain? Well, its mixed.

Sand Bar, Kill Kare, and Burton Island will not be open for Memorial Day Weekend. These parks are the most impacted by high lake levels.  However, nearby Grand Isle, North Hero, Button Bay, DAR, Kingsland Bay, Niquette Bay, Knight Point and Alburg Dunes are all looking good and will be opening at their normally scheduled dates.

Campers who have reservations for Burton Island from Memorial Day Weekend through June 5th have been contacted and asked to change or cancel their reservations. The plan is to assess the situation at each park weekly and call any campers affected at least 20 days in advance.  “So far, the response has been better than expected.” says Craig Whipple, Director of State Parks. “Our call center staff has been making recommendations of other parks to visit, and many folks have been actually excited about trying a new park.”

“We certainly have a lot of work ahead of us”, says Whipple. “We have plans in place to assess clean-up needs as soon as we can get into the parks. We will coordinate crews of park staff, contractors and volunteers to get the parks cleaned up as soon as possible”. “Many people have already come forward to volunteer their time to help with clean up efforts, and we’re very appreciative of that. In a couple of weeks we’ll be sending out a call for volunteers, so if you are interested in participating we’ll be posting information on the Parks web site and facebook page.”

If you are looking to enjoy Lake Champlain before the lake levels recede, DAR is a quiet family-oriented park overlooking the lake. Button Bay with its new pool is a great option for both camping and day use. Alburg Dunes and Knight Point are also in good shape.

To find out the latest status of Lake Champlain State Parks water levels and opening dates, go to http://www.vtstateparks.com/ and look under Latest News. We have a report on Lake Champlain parks conditions with estimated opening dates.

With 52 state parks, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the beauty of Vermont’s mountains, lakes and trails. If we can help you try a new adventure, give us a call at 1-888-409-7579.

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