Southern Vermont Campgrounds: Information and Locations

West River BoatersSouthern Vermont’s campsites are located in Vermont’s more scenic areas of plush forests and crystal lakes. The sites provide all that is necessary to ensure a most exciting and pleasurable outdoor living experience. Come to Vermont and experience a vacation that will leave you with memories for a lifetime.

Emerald Lake State Park | Fort Dummer State Park | Jamaica State Park
Molly Stark State Park | Townshend State Park | Woodford State Park
Information on Facilities

Emerald Lake State Park
The 430-acre park is located along the side of Dorset Mountain with Emerald Lake, the head waters of Otter Creek, at its base. The area was historically important for its marble quarrying activities with the park lands once operating as a large farm and summer retreat before becoming a state park in 1960.
Facilities: The 105 campsites, including 36 lean-tos, are located on a heavily wooded ridge above Emerald Lake. Flush toilets, hot showers ($) and a dump station are provided. There is a small beach with snack bar and boat rental facilities. A hillside picnic area, as well as lakeside picnic tables are available. An open picnic shelter pavilion can be reserved for large group gatherings. Trails throughout the park and nearby provide great hiking opportunities. Swimming, fishing, and boating (no motors) are popular in the lake.
Area Attractions: Shopping in Manchester, historic Hildene and the Equinox Hotel, Manchester; Bennington Museum and Monument, Bennington; Wilson Castle and the Vermont Marble Exhibit, Proctor.

In North Dorset on Rt 7.

Contact Information:
RD Box 485, East Dorset, Vermont 05253 Summer: (802) 483-2001 Season: Mid-May to October (Columbus Day)

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Fort Dummer State Park
Located in the Connecticut River Valley, has 217 acres of forest land just outside of Brattleboro.

The park was named after Fort Dummer, the first permanent white settlement in Vermont. Built on the frontier in 1724, it was initially the gateway to the early settlements along the banks of the Connecticut River. Forty-three English soldiers and twelve Mohawk Indians manned the fort in 1724 and 1725. Later, the fort protected what was then a Massachusetts colony from an invasion by the French and Indians. Made of sturdy white pine timber,stacked like a log cabin, Fort Dummer served its purpose well.
The park overlooks the site of Fort Dummer which was flooded when the Vernon Dam was built on the Connecticut River in 1908. This site can be seen from the northernmost scenic vista on the Sunrise Trail. It is now underwater near the lumber company located on the western bank of the river.

Located in the southern foothills of the Green Mountains, the forest is more like those of southern New England than like a tropical Vermont forest. Southern tree species such as white, red and chestnut aoks, dominate the hardwood forest, which also contains beech, maple, yellow birch, and white birch.

An abundance of oak trees provides food and shelter for gray squirrels, turkeys, and deer. Ruffed grouse also inhabit these woods, attracted by its dense woody cover and open understory.

The campground has 51 tent/trailer sites and 10 lean-to sites. These are located in two adjacent areas and are served by two toilet buildings, both with hot showers($). There is a sanitary dump station, but no hookups. Also located within the park are a small picnic area, hiking trails, a play area, and a large open field.

Area Attractions:
Steamtown, Bellow Falls; Basketville, Putney; Flea Market, Newfane; Bennington Battle Monument, Bennington; Townshend Dam, Townshend; also, covered bridges in the area.

From Jct. I-91 (Exit 1, Brattleboro) & U.S. 5: Go 1/10 mi. N on U.S> 5, then 1/2 mi E on Fairground Road, then 1 mi S on Main Street and Olk Guilford Road.

Contact Information:
434 Old Guildford Road, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301
Summer: (802) 254-2610 / Winter: (802) 886-2434.
Season: Mid-May to September (Labor Day)

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Jamaica State Park
Jamaica State Park, now comprising 756 acres, was completed and opened to the public in 1969.

Previously, the area had supported a few small farms and a sawmill. The Brattleboro Railroad ran through the park. The old railroad bed in now used as the trail that leads along the West River to Ball Mountain Dam. The railroad operated from about 1892 until 1927, when a flood wiped most of it out.

The area at Salmon Hole, now used as the swimming area, was the site of a famous Indian Massacre in 1776.

Jamaica State Park is located on a bend of the West River about one-half mile from the center of the town of Jamaica. Nearby to the north is Ball Mountain. Hamilton Falls is located about three miles up Cobb Brook, which enters the West River upstream from the park. The West River has a very large drainage area extending from Weston and the southside of Terrible Mountain to Windaham on the east and Bromley on the west.

Every spring and fall, on one weekend in late April and early October, there is a water release on the West River from Ball Mountain Dam. This is a semiannual event for many kayakers and canoeists from all over New England.

The West River is also a favorite spot for many fishermen. The combination of slow running water and shallow fast ripples makes for some fine fishing.

There are 61 tent/trailer sites and18 lean-to sites that are spread out through the campground. Two rest rooms, complete with hot showers ($), are located in the campground. A picnic shelter and nature center is located near the picnic area and swimming hole. A hiking trail follows the West River and branches off toward Hamilton Falls.

Area Attractions:
Hamilton Falls; Hidene – Robert Tokk Lincoln’s home, Manchester; a theater and shops, Weston; Art Center, Manchester; Alpine Slide, Bromley.

From Jamaica go 1/2 mile N on Town Road.

Contact Information:
Box 45, Jamaica, Vermont 05343
Summer: (802) 874-4600 / Winter: (802) 886-2434.

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Molly Stark State Park
Molly Stark State Park is named after the famous wife of General John Stark of the Revolutionary War. The park is located along the “Molly Stark Trail,” Route 9, which bisects southern Vermont.

Originally, the first settlers used the area for farming. During the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built fireplaces and a toilet building, but there is no evidence that this area was used by the public for camping even though local people may have used the land for picnics.

The area was designated and opened as Molly Stark State Park on July 2, 1960. The park has open lawn areas, woods, and Mt. Olga rising to the east where there is an old fire tower with spectacular views. The area is very popular during the fall foliage season for its colors, and also because it is located on one of the more popular travel routes.

Two camping loops consist of 23 tent/trailer sites and 11 lean-to sites. One rest room with showers($) is located in each loop. There are a play area and a picnic pavilion for large groups. A hiking trail starts from the park and goes up to the Mt. Olga fire tower.

Area Attractions:
Gondola, Mt. Snow; Vermont Historical Society, Norton House Museum, Hermitage Sugar House, and Game Bird Farm, 1836 Country Store Village, Maple Grove Honey Museum, Wilmington; Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Brattleboro; Luman Nelson Wildlife Museum, Marlboro; Bennington Museum, Bennington.

From Brattleboro: Exit #2, I-91d, 15 miles W on Vt. 9.

Contact Information:
705 Route 9 East, Wilmington, Vermont 05363.
Summer: (802) 464-5460 / Winter: (802) 886-2434.
Season: Mid-May to October (Columbus Day).

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Townshend State Park
Townshend State Park is located at the foot of Bald Mountain on a bend of the West River. There is a view of Rattlesnake Mountain to the north from the ranger’s quarters.

A hiking trail leads to the summit of the mountain, a vertical climb of 1,100 feet from the campground. Geological features along the trail include waterfalls, chutes, and pools. From the top of the mountain, vistas provide views to the north, south, and east.

During the depression, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was based in the campground, which was part of a federal work program for the unemployed. The CCC laidouta large camping area and picnic area and constructed a stone house and steel fire tower. The house was built from stone quarried in the forest. Several handcrafted stone arch bridges, the work of local mason, can also be see in the Townshend area.

The park is mainly a camp area of approximately 41 acres include in the 856-acre Townshend State Forest. To the south of the camp area is Bald Mountain which rises to an elevation of 1,680 feet. Down the state park road to the north is the Townshend Dam Recreation Area managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. This provides swimming and other day use activities for visitors in the area.

The campground, situated in a wooded area, has 30 tent/trailer sites and 4 lean-to sites. There are two bathrooms, one of which has showers ($). A picnic shelter with a fireplace and three tables is attached to the ranger’s quarters. There is a loop trail to the top of Bald Mountain for day hiking.

Area Attractions:
Flea markets, Newfane and Townshend; Alpine Slide, Bromley; Village Store and Bowl Mill, Weston; Windham County Historical Museum, Newfane; Hildene, home of Robert Todd Lincoln, and the Jelly Mill, Manchester.

From Junction Hwy 30 and Town Road, go 3 miles north on Town Road.

Contact Information:
Route 1 Box 2650, Townshend, Vermont 05353
Summer: (802) 365-7500 / Winter: (802) 886-2434
Season: Mid-May to October (Columbus Day).

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Woodford State Park
Woodford State Park comprises 398 acres located on a mountain plateau (2,400 feet, the highest of all Vermont’s state parks) and surrounds Adams Reservoir. The hig elevation spruce/fir/birch vegetation provides an ideal setting for the park. Several lakes and ponds, as well as the vast Green Mountain National Forest, surround the area.

The campground has 103 sites including 20 lean-tos. The heavily wooded area surrounds the reservoir and offers great camping opportunities. Flush toilets, hot showers ($), and a dump station are provided. There is a small beach and picnic area near the dam with pit toilet facilities. Rowboats, canoes, and pakkle boats are available for rent. There are several hiking trails, including a 2.7 mile trail around the lake.

Area Attractions:
Bennington Museum and Monument, Park-McCullough Mansion, Hildene and the Equinox Hotel, Manchester; Norman Rockwell Museum in Arlington.

From Bennington: Go 10 mi E on Hwy 9.

Contact Information:
HCR 65 Box 928, Bennington, Vermont 05201.
Summer: (802) 447-7169 / Winter: (802) 483-2001.
Season: Nid_May to October (Columbus Day).

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Information on Facilities

Molly Stark Facilities
23 tent/trailer sites
and 11 lean-to’s
2 rest rooms with showers
play area and picnic pavillion

Woodford Facilities
103 camping sites
rest rooms with showers
dump station
picnic area
small beach

Jamaica Facilities
61 tent/trailer sites and 18 lean-to’s
2 rest rooms with showers
picnic area
nature center
swimming hole

Townsend Facilities
30 tent/trailer sites
4 lean-to sites
picnic shelter with fireplaces

Shaftsbury Facilities
15 lean-to’s for groups
pit toilets and rest rooms
developed beach
picnic pavillion
rowboats, paddle boats
and canoes to rent

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