St. Albans, VT 05481
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Go W 4.5 mi. on VT 36, then 3.5 mi on Town Road.
This state park is named for Kill Kare, a summer camp for boys, which operated on this site from 1912 until 1966. Located on the southwestern tip of St. Albans Point, a three-mile peninsula that defines St. Albans Bay, Kill Kare is surrounded on three sides by the sparkling water of Lake Champlain. The three-story building in the center of the park was built in the 1870’s and operated as a summer resort hotel known as The Rocky Point House. The hotel operated off and on under various owners until 1912, when the boys’ camp purchased the property. Besides the big hotel building, known as “The Main House,” during the camp years, the camp included tennis courts, a baseball field and several small cabins.
Recognizing the need for a mainland base from which to service Burton Island State Park, the State of Vermont purchased the 17-acre Kill Kare property in 1967 after the camp closed. The cottages were removed, and the boat ramp was created on the east shore. The breakwater was built to protect the boat ramp and ferry dock. Some group picnicking was allowed on the grounds, but the primary purpose of the park, in the early days, was to support Burton Island. It was not until the mid-1970’s, a period during which water quality within St. Albans Bay was particularly poor, that the public began to come swimming and picnicking at Kill Kare, and to appreciate the park for its clean water and cooling summer breezes.
In the early 1980's the park became so popular that modernization became necessary. The Rocky Point House was renovated in 1982, but by 2009 more significant improvements were needed. In 2010, the hotel building was completely renovated to reflect the original lakeside hotel architecture. The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, partnered with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation on the project; The Rocky Point House is considered to be historically significant to not only the community of Saint Albans, but to the citizens of the entire state. The stately architecture of the finished project closely resembles the original lakeside hotel as it stood in the late 1800s. The Rocky Point House architecture exudes a feeling of class, elegance and distinction; patrons of this establishment who sought recreational enjoyment of Lake Champlain would have expected this level of sophistication. The State of Vermont is proud to have saved this historic lakeside hotel.
Facilities / Amenities
There is a south-facing swimming area and a public boat launch. There are also rental boats available through the park. The Island Runner Ferry departs for Burton Island State Park intermittently.
The Rocky Point House has been developed into a museum (dedicated August, 2012) featuring lively and interesting displays recognizing the history of the site from the hotel era to present day.
Group rental options at Kill Kare:
- The West Function Room in the Rocky Point House seats 22 people and is a great space for small wedding receptions and meetings. The $300 rental fee includes per-person day use fees.
- The 26’ x 40’, universally accessible open-air pavilion has a group-sized cooking grill and electricity and may be reserved for group functions. The pavilion costs $100 to rent for a day, plus day use and reservation fees.
- The function room, the surrounding southeast lawn and the open-air pavilion can be rented together for $1200. This fee provides entry for up to 300 people. The combined area is great for larger gatherings like weddings and receptions.