Jamaica, VT 05343
Park Updates & Alerts
- JUST IN: There will be a spring whitewater release the weekend of May 7 -8, 2022
- Firewood is not to be brought to parks from out of state UNLESS the wood is packaged, labeled as having been heat treated, and certified by USDA or the appropriate state department of agriculture. For more info, click here.
- The weight limit on the Depot Street Bridge leading into the park has a weight limit of 8 tons with no exceptions. Please be sure the total weight of your vehicle and RV does not exceed the limit.
Go 1/2 mile east on Depot St.
The weight limit for the town's bridge leading into the park has been downgraded to 8 tons. Be sure to check the weight of your RV or trailer unit!
Jamaica State Park, now comprising 772 acres, was completed and opened to the public in 1969.
Previously, the area had supported a few small farms and a sawmill. The West River Railroad ran through what is now the state park. The old railroad bed is now used as the trail that leads along the West River to Ball Mountain Dam. The railroad operated from about 1879 until 1927, when a flood wiped most of it out.
Jamaica State Park is located on a bend of the West River about one-half mile from the center of the town of Jamaica on the Salmon Hole of the West River. Two and a half miles upstream via the West River Trail is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Ball Mountain Dam Project. Hamilton Falls State Natural Area, which includes one of Vermont’s largest waterfalls, is a popular spot to hike. It can be reached via a 3-mile (one-way) hike from the campground. Please keep in mind that the State Natural Area is protected land – please stay on marked trails and leave only footprints. Swimming at Hamilton Falls is very dangerous and not recommended. There are strong currents and slippery rocks. Please do not attempt to access the middle pool as there is no safe entry or exit. More than 12 people have died at this site as a result of injury from attempting access or exiting the upper and middle pools.
The West River is also a favorite spot for many fishermen. The combination of deep slow running water and shallow fast ripples makes for some fine fishing.
Facilities / Amenities
There are 41 tent/RV sites and 18 lean-to sites that are spread throughout the campground. There are two restrooms with flush toilets, hot and cold running water and coin-operated hot showers. A picnic shelter for campers and a small nature center are located near the picnic area and swimming hole. A hiking trail follows the West River and branches off toward Hamilton Falls.
White water release
Due to a spring construction project on the Ball Mountain Dam, and another project directly following, the Army Corps of Engineers cannot guarantee there will be whitewater releases in 2022. Fall reservations are on hold for paddlers in the hope that the release will occur, but we will be opening up camping to all visitors for the spring release dates. If you have made reservations for this purpose and would like to cancel or change your reservations, you can do so with no penalty by calling our reservation call center at 1-888-409-7579 Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. For more information, please scroll down to the 'White water release section' below.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers typically schedules water releases from the Ball Mountain Dam for recreational paddling on the West River twice a year. The controlled releases make for great whitewater paddling. Jamaica State Park is the center of paddling activity. In the fall, a truck shuttle (fee service) operates on a two-mile stretch of the West River Trail within the park which allows paddlers to maximize time on the most popular section class II to IV rapids.
Tentative dates for a spring whitewater event are on May 7-8, 2022. The campground is typically open for this event; reservations can be made by directly contacting our Reservation Call Center only (no online reservations for the special paddling weekends). Reservations may be made for a 2-night minimum. If you plan to paddle all day Sunday, you either need to vacate your campsite by 11 AM or book your site through Sunday night.
We expect the fall whitewater release will be the weekend of September 23-25, 2022. A 3-night minimum stay is required with a maximum of one campsite reserved per customer, two vehicles per campsite and a maximum of 8 occupants per site. Reservation holders are responsible for all occupants and activity on their campsite and must provide park management with a list of occupants prior to the event; campsites may not be pooled and re-sold per FPR License and Special Use Permit rules.
During the fall release, Vendors are usually in the park selling food and gear. A Concession or Commercial License Agreement is required to serve/sell food, sell gear, and operate tours. The Park operates a truck shuttle 8:30AM – 3:30 PM Saturday and 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM Sunday. Shuttle tickets are sold on site; cash only accepted. Single trip cost is $15; all day pass $25. You must provide proof of paid day or camping entry in order to buy a shuttle pass. Times and length of the releases and shuttle may vary due to water conditions and need.
Day use for the event weekends is paid at the park entrance. Bracelets are issued for day entry ensuring fast re-entry for those that leave the park. Everyone entering the park must have proof of paid admission. Per person day fees are valid at Jamaica or any other park on the day paid. Paid parking passes off site are not valid for park entry.
Camping space at Jamaica State Park fills quickly in advance for event weekends, so book your stay now.