Winter Work to Occur at Two Waterbury Reservoir Public Access Areas

Contact: Walter Opuszynski, Field Recreation Specialist
Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation | Agency of Natural Resources (802) 476-0181 / (802) 522-6022;

Waterbury, Vt. – Concrete ramps will be installed at the Waterbury Dam and Blush Hill boat launches this February to improve recreational access around Waterbury Reservoir. Green Mountain Power (GMP) will be doing the work as part of the company’s commitment to improving the Waterbury Dam and surrounding areas.

GMP will improve four recreational access areas around Waterbury Reservoir: Moscow Paddlers’ access, Waterbury Dam boat launch, Blush Hill boat launch and Anglers’ Trail. The Anglers’ Trail was completed in 2018 and the other three locations will be finished in time for the 2019 summer season.
Every winter, the water level of the reservoir is drawn down to create space for spring run-off. When the water levels dip below the bottom of the ramps in February, the pre-cast concrete panel…

Nature Craft: Giant Ice Marbles!

Winter is a beautiful time of year here in the northeast. Everywhere you look there is snow sparkling in the sun, icicles in the windows, snow-capped mountains in the distance, and this week, breathtakingly cold weather!  In an effort to embrace the temperatures, we at Vermont State Parks decided to embark on a project that combines ice, art, balloons, and some freezing temperatures. What could it be? GIANT ICE MARBLES!

What you will need: -Balloons
-Food coloring
-Freezing air or a freezer
How to make them:

1. First, open the mouth of the balloon and place several drops of food coloring inside. You can use the standard colors or mix your own by combining two different colors.
2. Stretch the mouth of the balloon around the head of a faucet. Slowly fill it up with water until the balloon is slightly smaller than a bowling ball. NoteIf the balloon loses grip with the faucet, things can get messy. Keep a firm hold on the top of the balloon and hold the bottom to keep it steady. 
3. Tightly…

Seeking Public Input on Improvements to Sand Bar State Park

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is holding a public meeting to present conceptual plans, part of a master planning process, for improvements to Sand Bar State Park. The intent of the planning process is to update the park to meet current visitor needs, while protecting the environment, enhancing historic and cultural resources and making needed safety improvements.  
Sandbar State Park is one of Vermont’s oldest and most iconic state parks. It is also one of the busiest and has not seen significant reinvestment since the last expansion, over 30 years ago. Sandbar has provided years of lake access and given generations countless memories. To honor that history and look to the future, FPR is undertaking a park-wide design process for Sand Bar State Park. 
Sandbar is, and always will be a picnic and beach area, but what the conceptual design does introduce includes: Moving the park entrance 425’ to the west of the current entrance to improve visibility and safety fo…

Kick Off the New Year on the Right Foot and Join Us for a FREE First Day Hike!

Mt. Ascutney, 9 AM
Easy-moderate hiking, approximately 2 - 2 1/2 hrs. All ages welcome. Trail depends on conditions. Pets on leash welcome.  Meet at entrance to Mt. Ascutney State Park. Dress in layers, bring water and snacks. Microspikes or snowshoes recommended.

Lake Willoughby Area, 10 AM
Join us for this First Day Hike in memory of Dave Hardy, who dedicated countless hours to the stewardship of the Long Trail in Vermont. This hike has beautiful overviews of Long Pond, Lake Willoughby and Bald Mountain and is considered moderate with a few tricky areas. Snowshoes or microspikes will be need for this 4-mile round trip. All ages, pets permitted on leash.

Meet at Long Pond trailhead 10AM.(From RT 5A in Westmore, turn onto Long Pond Road at the Westmore store, continue up for 2.5 miles, go past Long Pond for about 1/8 mile, parking is on the left at the Long Pond Trail parking area).

Please confirm with Jean Haigh at or Cathi Brooks at and let us k…

What Makes the 2018 Winter Solstice Special?

Winter solstice takes place Friday December 21, 2018 at 5:23pm. This marks the beginning of astronomical winter and is the day of shortest sunlight. I enjoy the optimism of days lengthening and darkness shortening following the solstice. If you are wearing a warm coat and mittens today, and you can remember sunny picnics enjoyed on summer beaches, then you know some things about seasons.
All planets in our solar system orbit the sun. Our earth takes 365.25 days to travel around the sun, which is one year. While earth makes this journey, it also rotates around its axis, which takes 24 hours. That is our day length. Earth does not have a perfect, straight up and down axis, earth sits at a tilt of 23.5 degrees. This tilted axis is what causes our seasons.
In December and January, the earth is closer to the sun than it is in July and August, but because of the axis tilt, North America is facing away from the sun during our winter months. During summer, North America tilts toward the sun.
Lowell Lake State Park Master Planning Public Meeting Monday, December 10, 2018 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Londonderry Town Offices

As a result of the recently adopted Long Range Management Plan for Lowell Lake State Park, FPR committed to complete a Master Plan. This process includes significant public input. You are invited to participate in the first meeting to provide your input on the future of park developments and recreational amenities. Our consulting team will be sharing their preliminary assessment of the park facilities, analysis of park capacity, and possible reuse opportunities for the historic buildings. After their initial presentation, a group discussion will follow to gain insights that will help guide their planning and design efforts. The meeting will be held from 6 to 7:30 P.M. on Monday, December 10, 2018, in the Londonderry Town Office (100 Old School Street), South Londonderry, Vermont. For more information, contact: Ethan Phelps, Parks Regional Manager 802.824-4035 or eth…
Vermont State Parks invites you to #GetOutside this Friday after Thanksgiving and turn Black Friday Green.
Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn to jostle among the hoards at big box stores and shopping malls searching for cheap deals on consumer goods, why not #GetOutside in a Vermont State Park?
Entry at Vermont State Parks is FREE and we invite you to spend time with friends and family exploring and discovering the wonders of Vermont’s beautiful outdoors.
For more information on trails near you, visit
PS -- Support your local Vermont merchants on Small Business Saturday!