Showing posts from October, 2013

Freaky Philo: A Real Vermont Ghost Story

By John Frigault In honor of Halloween, we asked Mt. Philo Ranger John Frigault to share any park ghost stories. He sent us the following story:  Mount Philo is Vermont’s first State Park generously donated back in 1924. The Civilian Conservation Corp constructed the Lodge and Rangers quarters back in 1935-1936 atop of the summit where we currently reside as park rangers for the summer. I have been fortunate enough to be able to utilize the old lodge in the mornings for my budding Tai Chi practice. It has always been a very powerful spot on top of the mountain overlooking the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. The Lodge itself has been a coveted spot for weddings, life ceremonies and special events throughout the decades. It has a sense of antiquity with its massive stone fireplace, vaulted ceilings, and rustic interior that people are drawn to. It is this energy that attracted me to its welcoming interior. Tai chi is an ancient martial art of flowing meditation originally intended f

An Illinois Girl's Take on Vermont

Guest Blogger: Renee McWilliams Renee is a recent college graduate student from Illinois. She and her family spent a month in Vermont touring the parks. Renee is interested in photography and took some great shots of her travels. She had some fun adventures and met some great people. Here she details a few days on the trail. 8/15/13 Wilgus- Meeting people  And A Trip to Quechee Gorge We are at Wilgus State Park . Tonight is our last night at Wilgus. I got great photos here talking to different families and would love to take a quick note of the people I met. George and his family believe in spending time together away from TV and video games, and values the time away from those kinds of distractions. I met a couple playing Uno, who played various games to pass the time on the rainy day. They said they were  re-living their childhood. I met a family that posed by the fire with their dog for a moment before they would adventure off in their three handmade canoes, the man who made

Preparing Meals at Seyon Lodge State Park

By Tiffany Soukup Tiffany Soukup spent last summer working as an innkeeper and cook at Seyon Lodge State Park in Groton, Vermont. She shared some of her experiences harvesting and serving locally-sourced food to guests with us: Living in the Pilbara, about 2000 kms north of Perth in Western Australia I worked as a barista and my husband Chris in the kitchen of an old train car called the  Silver Star . Little did I know my choices over the past year to live remotely in the dusty mining town of Port Hedland, Australia would help prepare me for my role in Vermont State Parks this season as the Inn Keeper at Seyon Lodge State Park. Now I live (perhaps not quite as remotely) at the end of a dirt road, nestled next to Noyes Pond in the 27,000 acres of Groton State Forest . Just as my head cook used to call out to me if I grabbed a plate too quickly to get back in the kitchen, our team members have stopped dead in their tracks hearing me yell, "Wait! Get back in here! That

Paddling the Connecticut River

Fall is the perfect time to take your kayak or canoe out for a spin on a single or multi-day trip. Paddling expert and Wilgus State Park Ranger, Eric Hanson, suggested the following trip for a 3-day, 22-mile trip down the Connecticut River that ends at Wilgus. For this trip, these boating maps are a great resource . Begin your trip at a car-top access launch site below the Wilder Dam in Hartford, Vermont ( see map 8 ). This section of the river gives paddlers a feeling of privacy and seclusion as they make their way south. Notice the gentle narrowing and widening of the river, and keep an eye out for wildlife along the shore. There is also fine fishing along the 22-mile stretch, particularly small mouth bass, walleye, and trout. Settle in for your first night at Burnaps Island Campsite in Plainfield, New Hampshire ( see map 9 ), mile 207 of the 410-mile Connecticut River. Burnaps Island is a primitive campsite located 3 miles below the mouth of the Mascoma River and W