Mud Season is Here: Help Protect Fragile Trail Environments

Jessica Savage Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation 802-249-1230 Keegan Tierney Green Mountain Club 802-241-8320
MONTPELIER, Vt. – Today the Green Mountain Club (GMC), the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR), and the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) call on Vermonters and recreational tourists to be wary of the return of mud season to the Green Mountains and to respect associated trail closures and advisories.
The wet soils on and around hiking trails are very susceptible to erosion at this critical time of year. To protect fragile soil and surrounding vegetation, some trails may be closed by land managers. We ask everyone toplease respect the signage you see. Hikers walking on saturated soils or on the sides of trails cause damage to surrounding vegetation, widen trails, and inhibit natural drainage of our beloved hiking trails.
“Even though it might feel warm and dry at your house, the trails at higher elevations are still very wet and vulnerable. It can …

Mud Season Hiking 101

It's time for our yearly PSA: Please, stay off muddy trails during mud season! Conditions are variable this time of year: dry in places, snow and mud in others. Respect trail closure signs, and turn around if you encounter muddy conditions. 

Suggested Hikes:

NW Vermont Burlington Bike PathMissisquoi Valley Rail Trail: 26 miles from St. Albans to Richford, just south of the Candian border. Lots of open land through rural northern VT, and some great views. Mt. Philo Park RoadAlburgh Recreational Trail: 3.5 miles in northern VT, good opportunities for wildlife watching. Mallets Bay Casueway- The Burlington Bike Path and Colchester Causeway take you out over Lake Champlain. Great views in all directions! Trail around Middlebury- 16 miles in several different sections, around the town of Middlebury. 
NE Vermont Cross-Vermont Trail- At the name suggests,  a patchwork of trails traversing the state, from the Connecticut River to Burlington, 90 miles altogether. South Shore Trail, Willoghby St…

Enhancements coming for Lake Shaftsbury State Park

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 28, 2019 Contact:Reuben Allen Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation | Agency of Natural Resources (802) 786-3838,
Enhancements coming for Lake Shaftsbury State Park Shaftsbury, Vt. -- Several operational changes are slated for Lake Shaftsbury State Park for the upcoming summer season. These changes are in response to increased visitation and a continuing effort to better serve the demands of park visitors.
Changes include a new playground, a more relaxed pet policy, and an extended operating season. The playground is expected to be in place and ready for visitors by mid-June and will include swings, a dome-shaped climbing structure and a large, classic play structure.
For the first time, pets will be allowed in the park everywhere except the sandy beach and inside buildings. Access areas for dogs to go for a swim separated from the beach area have been identified and will be posted with clear signage before the park opens…

Looking for Volunteers to Help with Park Clean Up!

We could use your help raking leaves and with litter removal in the following parks:

Saturday, May 4th at 10am
Mt. Philo
Button Bay
Half Moon Pond

Saturday, May 11th at 10am
Lake St. Catherine
Emerald Lake
Lake Shaftsbury

Please email Ranger Brian ( if you plan to attend the spring clean up or if you have any questions.

Sugaring Season: Camp Recipes With Maple

Despite the up and down weather, there’s a sweet smell in the air, which means it must be maple season! In honor of our official state tree and state flavor, here are some suggestions on how to incorporate maple into your camp recipes.
Oatmeal Deluxe
Oatmeal has a well-deserved reputation as a healthy breakfast, but after too many mornings of gooey goodness, let’s face it, it can get a bit monotonous! Luckily, fresh maple syrup is the perfect accompaniment. Bonus: it’s simple to prepare over the campfire- just boil some water and let your oats sit for 5 minutes. To jazz up your basic bowl, there are many options to try. Nuts, seeds, berries, dried fruit, coconut flakes or even chocolate chips are all easy to pack, store and carry in camp. You could even create a DIY Oatmeal Bar that allows everyone to customize their own breakfast!
Fabulous Flapjacks 
Pancakes with m…

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…