Showing posts from May, 2017

Amateur Radio Enthusiasts Put “Vermont State Parks on the Air”

Wet weather during a park trip  When you visit one of our parks this summer, you’ll see people doing all kinds of activities: swimming, sunbathing, hiking, tossing a Frisbee on the lawn. You might also spot somebody with a radio transceiver, laptop or an antenna who looks like they might be engaging in top-secret government activities. Wait.. what? Don’t worry, these are amateur (or ham) radio enthusiasts who are broadcasting from the parks this summer in an event we are calling “Vermont State Parks on the Air.” So, what is amateur radio, exactly? Basically, any non-commercial use of the radio frequency spectrum to send messages or communications. Many amateur radio operators enjoy setting up portable equipment at various locations to “activate” and contact other hams from all over the world.  They bring all equipment with them and assemble their “station” themselves, including portable transceivers, amplifiers, generator, and a computer for logging transmissions & digit

Guest Article: Keeping an Ear out For Thrushes

The Hermit Thrush, VT's state bird  Outdoor Observer -by Rebecca Roy (this article recently appeared in our May Newsletter) While Park Managers are working hard to get ready for summer in Vermont, many birds are working hard to make homes for their babies.  Migratory birds have been returning to Vermont over the last couple months and they are singing beautiful songs throughout the forests and fields.  One group of migratory birds you can see and hear in many Vermont State Parks are the Thrushes. Thrushes are medium sized birds that are well known for their beautiful songs. One common thrush is the American Robin, easy to recognize because of their big red bellies.  Robins are building nests in trees (and maybe even in leantos) across Vermont right now.  The female robin builds a nest from the inside out—starting with dead grass and twigs woven into a cup shape.  She then reinforces the nest with soft mud and lines the inside with soft grass.  You can see robins

Help Us Plan the Future of Muckross State Park

Do you live near Springfield, Vermont or have ideas about the construction of our newest state park? Here is your chance! In July of 2016, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation acquired the estate of the late State Senator, Edgar May, who had donated former home property. Mr. May, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and local politician, made Muckross his home for over 50 years, and it was his desire to see his home become a state park open for all for recreation and learning. In keeping with Mr. May's wishes, planning is underway to incorporate nature education and dispersed recreation on the property. The goal is to create opportunities for all, including local residents, children from all economic backgrounds, and elders. Muckross will be the first new Vermont State Park developed in many years. Over the next year, the Muckross State Park Master Plan (MSPMP) will develop a conceptual design for the park focusing on site and architectural design, educational progr

Best Waterfall Trips Near Vermont State Parks

Bingham Falls, Stowe  Looking for waterfalls? The hills and mountain streams of Vermont are a great place to find them! Here is a list of our favorite waterfalls near Vermont State Parks that also make a good day trip. There are also innumerable small falls that are lesser known favorite local spots- you don’t have to explore for too long before you find one by accident. Hamilton Falls: Jamaica State Park One of the most impressive waterfalls in southern VT, over 125 feet high. This is a popular spot for sunbathing and wading, but the rocks can be slippery and dangerous- please stay on the path and watch your step! Directions:  Falls of Lana near Branbury State Park From Jamaica State Park , follow the West River Trail for 2 miles, to the junction of the Hamilton Falls Trail, which continues for another 1.1 miles to the falls. Follow the blue blazes.   Bingham Falls & Moss Glen Falls: Smuggler’s Notch State Park Two scenic waterfall hikes in