Want to just get away for a day? Read a book in a shady spot, listen to the waves at the beach, smell the grass and feel the breeze?
You may be familiar with some of the busier, more popular Vermont State Parks, but you may not be aware of some parks that are more off the beaten path.
You can make a day out of it - bring a lunch, a blanket, towel and your favorite book. Swim a little, hike a little, have a picnic, relax a lot.
Here are a few of our favorite quiet places:
Knight Point State Park: Located in northwest part of Vermont in the Lake Champlain islands, Knight Point State Park offers wide expanses of lawn and mature trees, a quiet beach, a nature trail that leads to a beautiful, secluded point on the lake. This is the perfect spot to enjoy Lake Champlain away from the big crowds.
Alburgh Dunes State Park: Another quiet park located on Lake Champlain is Alburgh Dunes, with an expansive sandy beach (one of the longest on Lake Champlain), beautiful dunes and grassy nature trails. The area around Alburgh Dunes, in the Champlain Islands, is also great for bike riding.
New Discovery State Park: In northeastern Vermont and part of the 26,000 acre Groton State Forest, Osmore Pond, which is part of New Discovery State Park, is a great place to spend a peaceful afternoon. Located on a small, quiet pond, this park was built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps.) in the 1930's and the rustic log picnic shelter and four log lean-tos around the lake are legacies of their work. There are also quaint picnic spots (see photo above) hidden here and there with stone fireplaces built by the CCC. There is a trail around the lake and loons are a common sight.
Kettle Pond State Park: Also in the the Groton Forest, Kettle Pond is a quiet gem. You'll need to hike in about a quarter mile from the parking lot to get to the pond, or portage your boats if you want to paddle, but its well worth it. There is a trail that goes all the way around the lake, several remote lean-to's, great rocks to lay on and soak up the sun and you're likely to see loons.
Allis State Park: In central Vermont, Allis State Park is definitely off the beaten path. This park was also built by the CCC and it too has a CCC-bulit log picnic shelter and stone fireplaces throughout the park. There is a fire tower you can climb that has spectacular views and the Bear Mountain Trail gets you into the woods and has several very nice places to sit and take it all in.
Lowell Lake State Park: Near Londonderry in southern Vermont, Lowell Lake is one of the newest additions to the state park system and at this time remains in an undeveloped, natural state. It is a great place for a quiet paddle or a walk on the trail that winds its way around the lake.