Vermont State Parks COVID-19 Updates
Last Updated 5/5/21.
Operating Vermont State Parks in 2021
As part of Vermont's phased reopening plan, there is new travel guidance, effective April 9, 2021. Except for international travel, travel no longer requires quarantine.
- Unvaccinated Vermonters who have traveled outside the state must be tested within 3 days of returning to Vermont.
- Unvaccinated people planning to visit Vermont must have a COVID-19 test within 3 days before arriving in Vermont.
- Rules for international travel are different.
- Masks are required in public spaces in Vermont.
For more information on Cross State Travel Information, check out Vermont Dept. of Health’s COVID-19 Travel page.
As part of traveler guidelines, all campground and overnight guests must complete a Certificate of Compliance.
The Road Ahead
The Vermont State Parks 2021 Operating Plan is tied directly to the Vermont Forward plan for re-opening. The plan outlines a graduated process through May, June and culminating July 5th with full opening. This is based on the assumption that a large percentage of the population will be vaccinated by July 5.
To view the entirety of the phased reopening plan, head to the Vermont Forward Plan page.
Universal Guidance remains a key component of the Vermont Forward Plan and has informed the parks 2021 operations plan. To view the full guidance, head to ACCD’s Universal Guidance page.
Our plan is to offer as many services as possible. Currently, that includes:
- Day use
- Camping, cabin, and cottage rentals
- Boat rentals and concessions at select parks (please call ahead to confirm)
- Interpretive programming
- Firewood and Ice sales at parks with campgrounds.
- Open-air pavilion rentals within the group gathering limits of 25 and two picnic tables provided. Playground apparatus are open (we encourage visitors to frequently hand sanitize and schedule visits around less crowded times).
Park staff and visitors must continue to partner to minimize risk for everyone in parks by strict adherence to behavior guidelines. If either partner fails to uphold their commitment to safety, parks may be required to close the facilities to public use.
To help keep Vermont State Parks safe and open to the public, we ask visitors to:
- Ensure they meet all current out-of-state travel restrictions according to CDC and VDH guidelines in Vermont prior to entering the park.
- Reschedule your visit to the park if you are or have recently been ill, tested positive or been exposed to someone who has tested positive
- Maintain at least 6 feet physical distance between from anyone who is not in your household, including with staff except when necessary for transactions.
- Plan ahead to combine trips to the contact station to reduce staff-visitor interactions.
- Do not exceed the posted maximum number of people in bathhouses or shelters.
- Bring picnic blankets/folding chairs as well as water bottles for comfortable lounging and staying hydrated.
Visitors are strongly advised to assume responsibility for protecting themselves from transmission via touch points, including packing and making regular use of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.
Masks are required whenever you will encounter other visitors or staff outside your immediate household. This includes in bathhouses, at contact stations, or generally anytime you are with people outside your immediate household on your campsite. For more mask tips, visit HealthVermont.gov/MasksOnVT.
To provide opportunities for swimming, picnicking, fishing, hiking, camping and outdoor recreation in a safe way, Vermont State Parks is committed to:
Maintaining physical distance between unrelated park visitors, and between staff and visitors including:
- Staff wearing appropriate PPE and hand sanitizing between transactions.
- Limiting day use entries to ensure room for social distancing. This is done on a park-by-park basis and we encourage people to call ahead before driving to a park.
- Limiting the number of staff present inside contact stations and the placement of protective shields where possible.
- Listing the allowable maximum occupancy for bathrooms on signs and asking the visiting public to adhere to the limitation.
- Only allowing group gatherings, group camping, and use of picnic shelters if consistent with the restrictions in place at the time.
- Outdoor shelters will be rentable for the entire season with a maximum occupancy to allow social distancing and with only two picnic tables in each pavilion. You can have more people in your group, but extra visitors over the pavilion maximum occupancy will need to spread out throughout the park. Head to our Picnic Pavilions and Shelters page to view maximum occupancy for each shelter. Call 1-888-409-7579 if you wish to reserve a shelter (no online reservations).
- Picnic tables to be returned to day use areas at appropriate distances.
- Indoor pavilions will not be available.
- The swimming pool at Button Bay State Park will not be operated.
Managing, reducing, and eliminating common touch points including:
- Limiting non-essential services or transactions such as:
- Select parks offering limited prepacked food concessions: Camp Plymouth, Silver Lake, Branbury, Crystal, Boulder Beach, Elmore, and in NW parks a mobile ice cream truck (no set hours or times) at all parks except Niquette Bay, Burton, Knight Island and Woods Island.
- Not lending play equipment, camping and fishing gear
- Minimizing the use of paper maps, guides, and interpretive information.
- Only accepting cash if there is no alternative.
- Disconnecting water fountains due to the risk of transmission from shared use.
- Propping open doors where feasible, removing trash receptacle lids, and eliminating other unnecessary touch points wherever possible.
Maintaining a regular cleaning routine as consistent with CDC guidelines:
- Soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers are installed throughout both day use and camping bathrooms.
- High touch points are disinfected regularly throughout the day according to protocols consistent with CDC guidelines.
- Bathrooms and showers will be cleaned and disinfected consistent with CDC guidelines.
- Picnic grill handles and water spigot handles will be disinfected once per day.
- Tables, and lean-to handrails and other obvious touch points will be cleaned, and grill handles disinfected between visitors.
- Boats and equipment will be cleaned and disinfected between uses. Boats will only be rented in select parks with a 2 hour minimum rental period: Camp Plymouth, Silver Lake, Wilgus, Lake Shaftsbury, Bomoseen, Branbury, Kill Kare, Burton Island, Knight Point, Boulder Beach, Crystal Lake, Elmore, and Waterbury Center (Umiak), Brighton, Maidstone, and New Discovery (for boat to remote only), and Seyon Lodge fly fishing boats.
- Adding port-o-lets at some parks to reduce traffic volume in restrooms. The following parks will have port-o-lets this year: Woodford, Lake Shaftsbury, Lake St. Catherine, Branbury, Mt. Philo, Sand Bar, Alburgh Dunes, Kill Kare, Elmore and Waterbury Center.
- Allowing for a 24-hour rest period for cottages between occupants.
- Adding air filters in cabins, cottages, and contact stations.
- Cabin check-in time is shifted to 4pm and check out to 10am to allow extra time for staff cleaning between guests.
For the Dept. of Forests, Parks, and Recreations recommendations for Outdoor Recreation and COVID-19, visit the following: https://fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19
For the latest information on COVID-19 in Vermont, visit the following: