Fishing at Woodford State Park. Photo credit: Jared Clark, Vermont State Parks
Vermont State Parks offer a place to camp, play, relax, and explore! There are 52 state parks across the state, three of which are in The Shires, all offering a range of unique opportunities, such as great hiking, swimming, boat rentals, concession, vistas, wildlife viewing, and prime camp sites. Vermont State Parks’ website www.vtstateparks.com lists each park and the activities and amenities they offer as well as information on reservations, and lots photos of the parks and the people who enjoy them each year.
Woodford State Park (in Woodford, VT) is the highest elevation campground in the state at 2400’ above sea level. With easy trails, an open lake, and a bog to explore, it’s great for all ages. Woodford has boat rentals (canoe, kayak, and rowboats) 103 campsites, and is also a popular fishing location. If you stay overnight, be prepared to be awakened by an outstanding chorus of birds which serenade visitors, especially in the spring.
Lake Shaftsbury State Park (in Shaftsbury, VT) offers visitors a great beach and picnic areas, easy hikes around the lake, and a rental cottage. Row boats, pedal boats, kayaks, and canoes are all available for rent as well as a picnic shelter for large group gatherings. For those that need to refuel, a concession stand located in the park offers yummy snacks at reasonable prices.
Emerald Lake State Park (in East Dorset, VT) includes a small clear, clean, and cold lake where visitors can rent a kayak, canoe, pedal boat or rowboat. A concession stand, lakeside picnic tables, and a picnic pavilion for large groups are also available. 104 campsites are scattered on the heavily wooded ridge above the lake.
Day entry into the parks is $3/per person if you’re 14 or older, $2 for kids under 3-14 yrs. old and free for kids 3 yrs. old and younger. When you pay for entry into one park, you can get into all other for free that same day, so you can visit multiple parks if you’d like.