Showing posts from July, 2017

National Moth Week 2017

Happy National Moth Week!

This week, we highlight our ubiquitous, mysterious moth neighbors. Moths are sometimes overlooked, except on a summer night when you leave the porch light & they become impossible to ignore. The National Moth Week Website reminds us that there are 150,000 to over 500,000 moth species in the world. That’s a lot of moths, and a lot of variation!
The first question on many people’s minds- what exactly differentiates a moth from a butterfly?  
As with many things, there are many signs to look for, and exceptions to most every rule. One easy way to tell is to look at the antennae- moth’s antennae are feathered, while a butterfly’s antennae has a long shaft and a bulb at the end. Butterflies are mostly diurnal (active in daytime) while moths are nocturnal, though some moths are active at dawn & dusk (crepuscular.) Also in general, butterflies tend to be larger and more colorful whereas moths are smaller and more inconspicuous.  Silk moths like the large, …

Groton State Forest Guide

Why do we love the Groton State Forest in northeastern Vermont? There are so many reasons, but let's try to list just a few. 
Space to spread out. The Groton Forest is the State of Vermont’s second largest land-holding at 26,000 acres. One reason we love this park so much is that you can spend a week (or more!) and take a different outdoor trip every day.  
Six parks offer a variety of accommodations. The waterfront sites at Ricker Pond and Stillwater are popular with good reason, and Ricker Pond also has 5 cabins and 2 cottages available to rent. Big Deer and New Discovery parks are in the forest rather than on a lake, but both are a short drive from Boulder Beach
Remote camping is an option at Osmore Pond by New Discovery campground and Kettle Pond. Primitive camping is also available in certain areas of the forest.
One group camping area is available on secluded Kettle Pond. The group sites are good for groups of various sizes, and can accommodate over 100 people. 
One great beac…

The Conservation Alliance “Backyard Collective” rallies volunteers to dig in the dirt with Vermont State Parks

Waterbury, Vermont – Vermont State Parks will team up with The Conservation Alliance’s Backyard Collective on Friday, July 14 for a volunteer event at Camp Smith in Little River State Park. 

More than 50 volunteers will work on trails building, area cleanup and invasive species removal at CCC Camp Smith. The historic camp, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), was the largest CCC camp in the eastern U.S. The camp housed CCC corpsmen during the construction of Waterbury Dam after the disastrous flood of 1927.

“We are very excited to partner with The Conservation Alliance and its Backyard Collective,” said Susan Bulmer, NE Regional Parks Manager for Vermont State Parks. “Through the collaboration and support of community partners, and programs like the Backyard Collective, we are able to create and enhance important recreational and cultural opportunities for visitors to our state parks.”

Vermont businesses such as Darn Tough, Ibex, Mammut, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Pale Morni…

Best Parks In Southern Vermont

If you look at a map of Vermont, sometimes it seems like our parks up north get all the love and attention: Grand Isle, Smugglers’ Notch, Lake Carmi, the Groton forest area. Great spots indeed, but now let’s take a moment to consider our collection of parks in southern Vermont that also deserve some love. It’s a diverse group, including Lake Shaftsbury with a picturesque setting in the hills, Jamaica on the rushing West River, and Woodford, our highest elevation park, on a high, forested plateau in the Green Mountain National Forest.

Another plus for those used to driving in northern Vermont or elsewhere- distances are comparatively short, perfect for a short and sweet road trip between parks. Here are our top 6 in the southern third of the state:
Lake Shaftsbury State Park, Shaftsbury VT
Lake Shaftsbury is a pretty day use park (and good spot for a picnic or a swim) with boats to rent, spacious lawn, and concession stand. There is a group camping area that accommodated over 90 people…