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Showing posts from September, 2017

Top 10 Reasons We Love Fall Camping (And 7 Parks To Try)

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Top 10 reasons we love fall camping: Warm days and cool nights (perfect for sleeping)Less crowds than at midsummerOpportunity to try a new park. Maybe your favorite closes after Labor Day- about half of our parks are open later, so this is a good chance to try someplace new Prime leaf-peeping opportunities. Take a drive, go for a walk in the woods or get out on the water for a fall paddle Ideal hiking weather (but do bring a jacket for the higher elevations!) Good excuse to stay in a cabin or cottage No fewer bugs! Fun way to go through all your clothes in one weekend- start off the morning in a sweatshirt, track pants, socks & hat, by mid-day down to t-shirt Fall is one of the best times of year to spot migrating birds   A chance to see a different side of a park you may think you know well. Many of us are familiar with camping in July and August, and it’s interesting to observe subtle changes in the environment, from the slow changes of colors on leaves, plants and ferns, to the absence…

Fall Hikes At Vermont State Parks: Part 1, Northern VT

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Mt. Philo State Park in Charlotte Summit Trail Campground Trail
This park is one of the most popular hikes in the Champlain Valley, with easy access to Burlington, and stellar views of Lake Champlain from the top in any season. A good spot to take your friends from out of town!
Camel’s Hump State Park, Duxbury VT Burrows Trail
Probably the most iconic mountain in Vermont. Several trails lead to the top from moderate to strenuous. If you want a less difficult hike, the Camel’s Hump View Trail is .08 miles along a wide, flat path, universally accessible, and with pretty views of the summit. 
Camel's Hump trail map:  https://vtstateparks.com/assets/pdf/camels_hump_trails.pdf
Brighton State Park, Island Pond VT Northeast Kingdom Nature Trail
For those looking for a short hike that is a good choice for families, try the nature trail at Brighton State Park. This is an easy hike and also a good way to learn about the surrounding environment of the Northeast Kingdom, which is known for putting o…

Classic Blog: Hawk Watching in Vermont State Parks

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The fall bird migration has begun, giving us a great opportunity to see some cool birds that we might not see every day.
My favorites are the raptors, or hawks. The big bad boys of the bird world.  Mount Philo State Park is home to hawk watching enthusiasts that perch on the summit with binoculars and spotting scopes and keep tally of the number and species of raptors passing by.

Early fall, mid September through the first part of October, is the perfect time to watch for migrating hawks.
For example, here is what was seen at Mt. Philo State Park yesterday, September 16th:  9  Osprey12 Bald Eagle3 Northern Harrier8 Sharp-shinned Hawk2  Cooper's Hawk706 Broad-winged Hawk5  Red-tailed Hawk8 American Kestrel1 Peregrine Falcon4 Unidentified raptor2 Common Nighthawk Jane Stein, on the VTBIRDlist provides these hawk watching tips:
The best chance to catch sight of the raptor migration if you don't have access to a mountain would be late afternoon when the thermals weaken and they drop muc…

We're Still Open! Park Operations After Labor Day

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Days are getting shorter, nights are chilly and some stray trees have started to turn red, orange and
gold. Summer may be over, but about half of our parks are open through Columbus Day, and a select few are open even later. So stop by for a visit- fall is a great time for camping, hiking, paddling, or getting in one final picnic before the earmuffs come on.

Below is our late season operating list:

Parks Open Through Columbus Day Weekend (October 9) Brighton Branbury Button Bay Coolidge Emerald Lake Green River Reservoir Half Moon Pond Jamaica Kettle Pond Kingsland Bay Lake Carmi Molly Stark Mt. Philo New Discovery Niquette Bay Ricker Pond Waterbury Center Wilgus Woodford
Parks Open Until October 15
Smugglers' Notch Elmore (no camping, beach house is open to reserve only)

Parks Open Until October 16  Gifford Woods Grand Isle Mt. Ascutney Quechee Underhill
Parks Open Until October 22 Little River
Parks Open Year-Round Molly’s Falls Pond Muckross North Hero Seyon Lodge Taconic Mountains Ramble (Japanes…