Showing posts from September, 2014

Karalyn Mark: A Summer in Vermont

Guest Blogger: Karalyn Mark  Karalyn Mark spent the past summer as a Vermont State Parks Photography Intern. She grew up in Southeastern PA before traveling to Ithaca, NY, where she is currently pursuing a B.S. in Still Photography at Ithaca College. At the age of 10, Karalyn began experimenting with disposable cameras given to her by her parents and fell in love with the art. Her passion for photography has continued to expand, and she enjoys photographing in both digital and film mediums. This past fall, Karalyn self-published a book Southbound, consisting of 35mm color photographs. As my internship with the Vermont State Parks comes to a close, I can say that living in Vermont has been an incredible experience. I was raised in the suburbs of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and am currently a senior majoring in Still Photography at Ithaca College. I was intent on spending a summer in a new environment and exploring the outdoors. I found an apartment, and moved to Warren, VT th

2014 Park of the Year Awards

Every year, one park from each region of the state is chosen as “Park of the Year.” The purpose of the award is to recognize parks that exemplify excellent customer service and uphold our environmental mission. These parks go above and beyond to keep the parks running smoothly and enhance the experience of everyone who comes to recreate and enjoy the outdoors. So without further ado, we would like to announce the 2014 Parks of the Year: Grand Isle , Half Moon Pond , Jamaica , and Smugglers' Notch State Parks ! Jamaica State Park Grand Isle State Park Half Moon State Park Smugglers' Notch State Park Thanks to all of our parks and to YOU for a tremendous season! 

Microhikes and Microbrews: Sterling Pond and Crop Bistro and Brewery

By: Erin & Evan Meenan Welcome to the final installment of Microhikes and Microbrews. To celebrate the official end of summer, we visited Stowe to hike up to Sterling Pond through Smuggler's Notch State Park . This is among our favorite hikes because it combines one of the most unique (and at times scary) drives in Vermont and certainly one of the best hikes under 3 miles round trip.   You can reach the trail head from either side of the Notch on Route 108. The signage is clear, there is an information booth, and usually plenty of parking despite this hike's popularity. The is a more strenuous hike than those from our previous posts because it involves some steep stone staircases and, depending on the season, it can be a little slick. That said, the views make it worthwhile. When you first reach the top, you will arrive at a serene, picturesque pond. If you continue your hike on the Long Trail North (marked in blue), you will come to the Top of the Notch ski lift w

Invasive Plants on the Land – A Vermont Challenge

By Colleen Balch Vermonters’ lives are connected to the land of our small state. We hike and farm. We fish and sugar. We walk and ride and hunt. We care for our yards and gardens. We value our wildlife and lovely green vistas. We spend time outdoors. And, while we might not always recognize it, we are witnessing a change that could impact many of the things we value about our small, green, mountainous state. The quiet spread of invasive plants across our landscape presents a call to action. An invasive plant isn’t simply a problem because it’s from somewhere else. A plant from somewhere else that stays put is just a polite and welcome visitor wherever it takes root. It can add color to our yards like our favorite daffodils, tea roses, and hydrangeas. It can give us the great taste of a summertime garden with that first warm, ripe tomato fresh from the garden. Or, it can stock our root cellars with home grown potatoes and cabbages. It doesn’t pose a threat.  A family putt