Showing posts from September, 2017

Top 10 Reasons We Love Fall Camping (And 7 Parks To Try)

Coolidge State Park in fall from the Bradley Hill Shelter  Top 10 reasons we love fall camping: Warm days and cool nights (perfect for sleeping) Less crowds than at midsummer Opportunity to try a new park. Maybe your favorite closes after Labor Day- about half of our parks are open later, so this is a good chance to try someplace new Prime leaf-peeping opportunities. Take a drive, go for a walk in the woods or get out on the water for a fall paddle Ideal hiking weather (but do bring a jacket for the higher elevations!) Good excuse to stay in a cabin or cottage No fewer bugs! Fun way to go through all your clothes in one weekend- start off the morning in a sweatshirt, track pants, socks & hat, by mid-day down to t-shirt Fall is one of the best times of year to spot migrating birds   A chance to see a different side of a park you may think you know well. Many of us are familiar with camping in July and August, and it’s interesting to

Fall Hikes At Vermont State Parks: Part 1, Northern VT

View of Elmore in fall Mt. Philo State Park in Charlotte Summit Trail Campground Trail This park is one of the most popular hikes in the Champlain Valley, with easy access to Burlington, and stellar views of Lake Champlain from the top in any season. A good spot to take your friends from out of town! Camel’s Hump State Park, Duxbury VT Burrows Trail Probably the most iconic mountain in Vermont. Several trails lead to the top from moderate to strenuous. If you want a less difficult hike, the Camel’s Hump View Trail is .08 miles along a wide, flat path, universally accessible, and with pretty views of the summit.  Camel's Hump trail map: Brighton State Park, Island Pond VT Northeast Kingdom Nature Trail For those looking for a short hike that is a good choice for families, try the nature trail at Brighton State Park. This is an easy hike and also a good way to learn about the surroundi

Classic Blog: Hawk Watching in Vermont State Parks

The fall bird migration has begun, giving us a great opportunity to see some cool birds that we might not see every day. My favorites are the raptors, or hawks. The big bad boys of the bird world.   Mount Philo  State Park is home to hawk watching enthusiasts that perch on the summit with binoculars and spotting scopes and keep tally of the number and species of raptors passing by. Early fall, mid September through the first part of October, is the perfect time to watch for migrating hawks. For example, here is what was seen at  Mt. Philo State Park  yesterday, September 16th:  9  Osprey 12 Bald Eagle 3 Northern Harrier 8 Sharp-shinned Hawk 2  Cooper's Hawk 706 Broad-winged Hawk 5  Red-tailed Hawk 8 American Kestrel 1 Peregrine Falcon 4 Unidentified raptor 2 Common Nighthawk Jane Stein, on the VTBIRDlist provides these hawk watching tips: The best chance to catch sight of the raptor migration if you don't have access to a m

We're Still Open! Park Operations After Labor Day

Fall kayak at Kettle Pond State Park  Days are getting shorter, nights are chilly and some stray trees have started to turn red, orange and gold. Summer may be over, but about half of our parks are open through Columbus Day, and a select few are open even later. So stop by for a visit- fall is a great time for camping, hiking, paddling, or getting in one final picnic before the earmuffs come on. Below is our late season operating list: Parks Open Through Columbus Day Weekend (October 9) Brighton Branbury Button Bay Coolidge Emerald Lake Green River Reservoir Half Moon Pond Jamaica Kettle Pond Kingsland Bay Lake Carmi Molly Stark Mt. Philo New Discovery Niquette Bay Ricker Pond Waterbury Center Wilgus Woodford   Parks Open Until October 15 Smugglers' Notch Elmore  (no camping, beach house is open to reserve only) Parks Open Until October 16  Gifford Woods Grand Isle Mt. Ascutney Quechee Underhill Parks Open Until