Showing posts from November, 2016

#OptOutside on Black Friday with Vermont State Parks

In the past few years, you may have noticed the growing movement around the country focused on getting folks outside and active on Black Friday as an alternative to shopping. Outdoor retailer REI has been a leader in promoting this message- closing its stores on Black Friday and promoting it online using the hashtag #OptOutside. That's a message that we can get behind. In that spirit, Vermont State Parks is joining in, and want to remind everyone once again that all of our parks will offer FREE admission on Black Friday. (In fact, for the rest of the off-season too!) We encourage everyone to spend that extra time outside with friends and family enjoying our beautiful state. Our parks have many great spots to walk, bike, hike, run, or just sit and digest the 3 pieces of pie you just ate. Learn more about off-season park use here. We're also inviting people to take pictures of themselves, friends and family as they #OptOutside, and share them with us on social m

Hunting Safety and Off-Season Park Use: 2016 Edition

It may be getting chillier outside, but Vermont State Parks are still open during the off-season. However, before you head into the woods during this time of year, keep in mind that hunting season may be in progress. Hunting is an annual tradition for Vermonters and an important part of the state’s cultural heritage. Vermont was the first state to adopt constitutional language that protects your right to hunt, and many people view hunting as a way to source their meat locally as well as build a relationship with the land. Hunting is allowed on all state lands, including State Parks, during the off-season. Please come and visit the parks, but remember to be cautious in the woods. Dress in blaze orange (dogs, too) and make yourself heard! You may be less likely to run into hunters at parks that keep their gates closed, such as Mt. Philo State Park in Ferrisburgh, MollyStark State Park in Wilmington, and Townshend State Park in Townshend. Niquette Bay, Underhill, and Knight Poi

2016 Campfire Cook-Off Video Challenge Winners Announced

Like a metaphorical marshmallow over the flames, Vermont State Parks’ first ever campfire cook-off video challenge has gone out in a blaze of glory. It’s time to announce our culinary campfire winners! Recap: The Campfire Cook-off challenged entrants to film themselves or their team preparing their favorite campfire recipe. Time limit was under two minutes, and the winners were determined via online voting.  Our first-place winner is “Campfire Apple Tarts” by Sally Cook. Here is Sally’s video:  Second place was “Breakfast Moon Pies” by Garry Sager: Third place went to “Campfire Pizza” by Nancy Rouse. Here is a link to her Flipgram video. Recipes are copied at the bottom for those who are curious, or want to try them out. First, second and third prizes included free camping, bragging rights and a prize package generously donated by Vermont Smoke and Cure (apologies to the vegetarians among us.) One of our own, park manager Chris Saylor from Camp Pl

Mythbusters Edition: Are Vermont State Parks Closed in the Winter?

By guest blogger  Robin Zabiegalski  The first snows have fallen and it seems like fall is fading fast. Though the official operating season has ended for Vermont State Parks that does not mean that they are “closed for the season”. Many people believe that Vermont State Parks are closed, or inaccessible during the winter. In fact, I believed that until just a bit ago! I knew that even if the gates were closed, visitors could park and walk in to the park to hike or camp, but I assumed that only applied to the times right before the parks opened or right after they closed. The truth is that Vermont State Parks are accessible all year round for a multitude of activities! I’m here to give you all the details about how to enjoy Vermont State Parks this off season! Accessing the Parks in the Off-Season: Many parks leave their gates open, with plowed parking available. Check out this guide to which parks leave their gates open and where to park during the off season. When p