Showing posts from June, 2016

Guest Blog: Emerald Lake State Park by Tara Schatz

Emerald Lake State Park is nestled in a deep valley between the Taconic Mountains to the West and the Green Mountains to the east. The two mountain ranges are only a few hundred yards apart here, and they rise up steeply on either side of the lake. Covering just 20 acres, Emerald Lake isn’t big, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty. It’s clear green waters and sandy bottom attract swimmers, paddlers, sunbathers, and anglers throughout the summer.
My family and I aren’t strangers to Emerald Lake’s charms. We’ve picnicked on the shores and spent countless hours exploring in and out of the water. Last week we decided to dig a little deeper and explore the trails and campground of this beloved local park. We quickly learned that there’s more to Emerald Lake than swimming. It’s also a hiker’s paradise, a haven for dog-lovers, and a perfect spot for family camping. We’d love to share some of our discoveries with you.
Camping at Emerald Lake State Park 
There are more than 100 c…

Random Acts of Camping is Coming to Vermont State Parks This Summer

MONTPELIER - Designed to share the joy of camping with Vermonters, "Random Acts of Camping" will be coming to a state park day use area near you.  Random Acts of Camping rewards lucky park visitors with two free nights of tent, RV, lean-to, or cabin camping in any Vermont State Park campground. One winner will be chosen at random on nice weather weekends through August beginning in Camp Plymouth State Park on the weekend of June 25-26.
The program was developed as a way to increase statewide accessibility to camping and to foster a lifelong love of the outdoors. Vermont State Parks will be giving away the free park stays to day users at Camp Plymouth, Kill Kare, Boulder Beach, Branbury and Waterbury Center state parks during busy weekends this summer. The winners will be chosen at random by park staff. Winners will also receive personal trip planning assistance from the state parks customer service team. 
"Camping with your family and friends is so much fun and the out…

A Walk with Words, the Poetry Walk at Niquette Bay State Park

By Guest Blogger Lisa Liotta, Park Manager at Niquette Bay 

When Penny Cunningham, the Adult Services Librarian at Colchester’s Burnham Memorial Library, contacted me in May of 2015 and enthusiastically shared her vision of the Poetry Walk at Niquette Bay State Park, I was immediately intrigued. Penny had experienced Anne Ferguson’s Storywalk® project for children, which Niquette Bay and other Vermont State Parks have featured in prior years, and she was inspired to create a similar walk with poetry, mostly for an older audience.  Penny’s idea was simply perfect for Niquette Bay which is already a natural gem and true oasis for appreciating nature in Vermont. Poets have long received inspiration from nature, why not feature poetry in situ?

Together, Penny and I drew from our own favorite poetry works and sought further inspiration from the park’s natural features and scenic beauty when creating the collections. Last year’s Poetry Walk was so successful and beloved by park visitors, th…

Make Music Day comes to Vermont: Parks host free musical events at locations all over the state

Join us at 5 state parks locations across Vermont on Tuesday, June 21st for the inaugural MakeMusicVT day!  

“MakeMusicVT brings music makers of all ages and experience out to the sidewalks, parks, porches and public places of the state on June 21, 2016, the first day of summer — a free celebration of music-making that takes place on the same day in more than 120 countries and 700 cities across the globe.
Anyone can take part in Make Music Vermont. All day long, anyone lucky enough to be in Vermont can join in to make music or enjoy being surrounded by it. It’s the longest day of the year, the best to spend making music!”
Park entry is FREE to attend these performances, which will be happening rain or shine.
The parks making music are:

Kingsland Bay State Park in Ferrisburgh 4:00 – 5:00 PM The Bob Loblaw Band, eclectic and oddly heartwarming hits you’ve never heard. 5:45 – 6:30 PM Robin Reid, Cranky originals and some choice covers. 7:00 – 8:00 PM Paige Thibault, piano and vocals singer…

Guest Blog: 4th of July Weekend at Townshend State Park

By photo intern Matt Parsons Check out Matt's blog here:

Earlier in the year I scored carte blanche status with my “photo boss” for covering a Random Acts of Camping promotion for the Vermont State Parks. I love the state parks in my area but had been hankering to explore some parks in the southern part of Vermont. I was recovering from a hernia surgery at home and was feeling a bit cooped up. I decided to make plans to camp for the July 4th weekend. My first choice, Jamaica State Park in Jamaica, Vermont was full. The nice lady on the phone suggested a smaller park in Townshend. I took her advice and called. Pat was very nice in helping me choose an available tent site. In closing she asked if anyone in our party played a musical instrument. “No, but why do ask? Pat explained that every Saturday night is music night in the park and that all the musicians get together to play. By now I was intrigued and couldn’t wait for the July 4th weekend!

This was…

Know Your State Parks: Branbury

When I visited Branbury State Park on a warm day this spring, I got a small unexpected treat. I was the first person to walk across the freshly raked sand on the beach by Lake Dunmore. This is a small pleasure, for sure. But after a long winter, walking across a beach is a distillation of the essence of approaching summer. That’s a good feeling, right? I was tempted to skip, or maybe twirl in circles. The other park visitors were stretched out on their beach towels like pale starfish and soaking up warmth. This is a very local talent. After wading, I was reminded why the others were enjoying the lake from further away. In May, lakes in Vermont are still darn cold. Or, if you prefer, “bracing”.

One of the many fine things about Banbury State Park is that it doesn’t oversell itself. It doesn’t have to. The park is clean and spacious, with plenty of room to walk, swim, play volleyball, grill, or just relax in a gorgeous setting by the Green Mountains. After I was done on the beach, I walk…

Mount Philo State Park Public Meeting & Recreation Workshop

MONTPELIER - As part of the ongoing update of the long-range management plan for Mt. Philo State Park, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation is hosting a recreation workshop meeting for the public.
The meeting will be held from 6:00-8:00 PM on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at Kingsland Bay State Park, Ferrisburgh, Vermont.
Mt. Philo, Vermont’s oldest State Park is dominated by the 968-foot Mount Philo with spectacular views of the Lake Champlain Valley and the Adirondack Mountains of New York. The park is popular for camping, hiking, and weddings. The 2010 donation of 60 acres from Charles and Gwen Allmon brings the total acreage of Mt. Philo State Park to 232 acres. General information about these lands is available ( The format for the workshop will include facilitated small group discussions on a variety of recreation topics related to Mt. Philo State Park. Workshop participants will be asked to bring their ideas and …