Showing posts from September, 2016

Guest Blog: Grand Isle State Park by Matt Parsons

Camping fever was on the rise! Our daughter and grandkids had just spent a weekend at Grand Isle State Park. Our visit with them heightened the anticipation of our own 5 night stay, the following week. I personally wanted a lean-to overlooking Lake Champlain and the beautiful Green Mountains. Watching a sunrise from the comfort of my own shelter is appealing to me. Unfortunately the lean-to’s are popular prime sites and usually requires a year advance planning in some cases. We don’t plan that far ahead, so tent site #70 was all we could get on this busy week. On our visit to see our kids, we made sure to check out our future site. The plan was to camp for a week where all the kids could come and go at their leisure. We wanted to make sure the site could house a few tents. It was a cozy lot and lived up to what the interactive website claimed. The long term forecast predicted rain for much of our stay. We decided that “we get what we get and we don’t pitch a fit”! The week

New Mountain Bike Trails Set To Open At Little River State Park

Hard at work on the new trail!  Stop by Little River State Park in Waterbury on Friday, September 23 rd for an official opening celebration- three miles of new mountain bike and multi-use trails in the park. Plans for these trails have been in the works for years, and will be maintained in partnership with the Waterbury Area Trails Association, a chapter of VMBA (the Vermont Mountain Bike Association.)  "These are really fun, flow- style trails- something the public is demanding more and more," says Jessica Savage, recreation program manager for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. "They even made the uphill workout fun, by providing features like bermed turns and small jumps for those who like them and ride-arounds for those who don't." Trail crews and dedicated volunteers have been hard at work at the park up until this week, helping to finish the project on time.  The public is welcome to attend the trails’ official opening, wh

Lake Champlain Beaches Host Rare Plants

Wright's Spikerush (Eleocharis diandra) Let's help preserve them!  The next time you’re walking along a Burlington-area beach, watch your step and keep your eyes peeled- one of the plants that you’re seeing might include a rare Wright’s Spikerush, a tufted member of the sedge family. This species is found at several beaches locally, but known to be growing at less than 20 locations worldwide . Many of us were not happy with this dry condition this year, but these rare beach plants need dry summers to grow! During wet years, the seeds stay dormant underwater. When the lake level drops during dry seasons, the seeds are exposed to air and are ready to germinate. Wright’s Spikerush seeds can like dormant under lakes for decades. Walking or biking on the beach can damage these tiny plants, which grow just below the high water line. Walk above or below, on bare sand, to avoid doing damage. Other rare beach plants that you may spot include the reddish-purple Water