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Camping Tips & Tricks:
Plan Your Button Bay State Park Weekend

button bay pool

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Button Bay State Park has a kid-friendly swimming pool with slide, large picnic area and open campsites with great views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. This park has four waterview cabins with electricity available to rent if you're looking for a super easy camping experience.

Quick Links:

Park Web Page
Park Campground Map
Trail Map & Guide
Park Photo Gallery

Menu Ideas & Shopping Lists
Activities to do With Kids
Checklists & Instruction Sheets


Have a relaxing breakfast in camp

Take a walk on the beautiful loop trail out and back to Button Bay Point. (0.3 miles, 1 hour) Stop and explore the fun stone nature center at the point and find out about weekend interpretive programs.

Go for a bike ride (1 - 2 hours)
Button Bay State Park is located on the Lake Champlain Bikeway, a 363-mile bike route around Lake Champlain. There is some easy, scenic riding in the park, but also on the surrounding roads. Button Bay Road and Basin Harbor are great for biking and can be made into a loop by using Jersey Street and Webster Road as links. View Vermont Bikeways Map.

Back to camp for lunch

Take a swim and play in the pool
(1 hour)
The Button Bay pool is only a few years old and was designed with kids in mind. The entire pool is shallow, with a very gentle, gradual incline on one end. There is a slide that kids love and there is a lifeguard on duty.

Fish on the shore of Lake Champlain
You can fish right from shore in the park. Kids under 15 don't need a fishing license. Short term 1, 3 or 7-day fishing licenses are available. Fishing licenses can be purchased online or be purchased at the park.

Free time: Relax and play around camp

Dinner, campfire, s’mores, play in campground

button bay nature center

button bay map



Breakfast in camp

Paddle on the lake (1 - 1.5 hours)
You can rent canoes, single kayaks and double kayaks at the park. The boat launch is located a short drive from the campground. The park interpreters often run guided paddling programs.

Pack up camp, make bagged lunches for the road

Attend an Interpretive Program
There is an interpreter stationed at Button Bay State Park in the summertime. You may attend a program about the funny geological fossils called "buttons" for which the park is named. Other programs include nature games, crafts and nature walks.

Take one last swim in the pool (1 hour)

Visit Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
(2 hours)
4472 Basin Harbor Road
Vergennes, 05491
(802) 475-2953
See historical and new boats up close on the docks. Visit the museum and explore the 300+ shipwrecks on Lake Champlain. Take an historic lake or shipwreck cruise. There is something new and different going on every day. This is a great, hands-on way to learn about the "Sixth Great Lake", Lake Champlain.

Have your bagged lunch at the museum or on the road.


Rainy Day Options

Other Options

Visit a Museum
Shelburne Farms
1611 Harbor Road, Shelburne 05482
(802) 985-8686
Visit this 1,400 acre working farm with a Childrens' Farm Yard where you can experience the Chicken Parade, milking cows, collecting eggs, brushing horses, donkeys and rabbits. Milk a goat, card and spin wool and participate in many other self-guided activities.There are other programs, walking trails, a farm store, dining and more.

See Vermont Bears Being Built
Vermont Teddy Bear Factory & Bear Shop
6655 Shelburne Road, Shelburne 05482
(802) 985-3001
Learn how the world-famous Vermont Teddy Bears are made. Visit the Bear Shop and Bear Museum. Tours last approximately 30 minutes.

Enjoy some mountain views at Mount Philo
Mount Philo State Park
5425 Mt. Philo Road, Charlotte 05445
(802) 425-2390
Vermont's first state park offers spectacular views of the Champlain Valley, Green Mountains and Adirondacks. You can park at the bottom and hike up, or drive the winding, narrow road to the top of the mountain, where there are restrooms, picnic areas and shelter. Campers from other state parks get in for free.

Visit a Morgan Horse Farm
UVM Morgan Horse Farm

74 Battell Drive, Weybridge 05753
(802) 388-2011
Managed by the University of Vermont, this farm offers tours, special events and has a gift shop dedicated to these beautiful horses.


More Camping Tips & Tricks

These fun videos walk you through some important camping skills
Weekend Itineraries
Wondering where to go and what to do? These sample itineraries figure it all out for you
Checklists & Instruction Sheets
What to pack, first aid kits, cooking tips, pets, rain and more!
Menus & Recipes
Seven camp-tested menus with recipes and shopping lists for any appetite
Fun Activities
Here we give you some ideas of fun things to do on your next camping trip
iPhone & Android Apps
Download one of our free smart phone apps to find parks for the activities you want to do
Park Events
All summer you can attend free concerts, nature and interpretive programs in the parks, see our schedule.

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