Showing posts from March, 2012

A Great-Grandfather's Legacy in Maidstone State Park

Jason Berard, a native Vermonter, shared some family history and photos with us in an email. Jason grew up in St. Johnsbury, then moved to the Boston area for 10 years. He came back to Vermont with his wife (from Barnet) when they were ready to start a family. They bought a 230 year old farmhouse in 1999 in North Thetford. More recently, Jason took a job with the Upper Valley Land Trust as a Stewardship Coordinator, which allows him plenty of time outdoors hiking. Jason's great-grandfather worked outdoors for  Vermont State Parks  and Jason commented, "In some ways even though I only knew him well after he retired, I feel connected to him with the work I do now." Jason's great grandfather, Paul Reed, was the first caretaker at Maidstone State Park . The photo to the left shows Paul with a local furry friend. After his time at Maidstone, he took the job as Caledonia's County Forester. Jason was lucky to have many old photos of his relatives which show their lo

How to Enjoy the Parks Before they "Open"

Vermont State Parks are always open and we hope you enjoy them in each and every season. With the warm weather here already, folks have been calling to see if they can get into their favorite park. Here is what you need to know about enjoying the parks before their official "opening" dates: Review our list of Off Season Parking and Gate Access . If the gates are locked, just park outside and walk in, without blocking the gates. If the gates are open be careful that you don't get locked in (see gate access above). Staff will not yet be onsite, restrooms are still closed and water is turned off. Please carry in/carry out. Let us know if there is anything amiss in the parks by emailing Off season camping is available, via permit , up until May 1st. After May 1st, folks are welcome to visit for the day, but we won't allow camping so the staff can get ready for park opening. No fees are collected during the off season. When do the parks open? se

A Local's Guide to Early Season Hiking

Now that the snow has melted and the temperatures are warmer, most of us want to get outside and hike! But, mud season is not a good time for hiking in certain areas. Rain and melting snow at higher elevations are keeping many of Vermont's hiking trails wet and muddy. When hikers tramp on saturated soils, they cause soil compaction and erosion as well as damage to the trail and surrounding vegetation. Please help protect the fragile trails this time of year by staying off muddy trails. Higher elevation soils take longer to dry out. This year mud season is early. A trail may be dry at the trailhead, but is muddy at a higher elevation this time of year. If you notice this happening, please turn around! Trails at lower elevations, dirt roads, and recreation paths provide excellent places for early spring walking. Below is a list of great places to hike during mud season and please visit our hiking page at  for more informati

And The Cabin Naming Contest Winners Are ...

Lady's Slipper Thank you to all who participated in our Cabin Naming Contest. We had over 400 entries and so many of them were wonderful, which made deciding on two winners very difficult. The stories, poems, pictures, and reasons people submitted for their entries were touching, entertaining, and very interesting. We hope to share some of them with you over the next couple of months. The most popular flower submitted was Red Clover or Clover, but unfortunately, even though it is our state flower, it's actually native to Europe. Even though there were so many wonderful entries, there can only be two winners. These lucky folks will receive a weekend in their named cabin and there will be a poster placed in each cabin for the season, explaining how the cabins got their name. Congratulations, you have made park history! The winners are... Lady's Slipper From Jennie Kolenda of Proctorsville, Vermont As youngsters, we were always roaming through the woods (never cal