Ludlow, VT 05149
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Cross the concrete bridge, go 1 mile E uphill to crossroad and turn left, go 1 mi N on the east side of Echo Lake.
Camp Plymouth is rich in history from the birth of our nation right up to present day.
The Crown Point military road was authorized for construction in 1759 to connect strategic military posts at Fort # 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire to Crown Point on Lake Champlain. The military road was instrumental in moving troops and supplies in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Later, the road became an important route for commercial traffic. Today, Scout Camp Road follows part of the road’s original route.
A farm was established on part of the property in the 1840s by Amos Pollard. One day in 1850, a young man was fishing in Buffalo Brook and discovered gold there. The man tried to keep his find a secret, but could not do so. By 1855, it was known as Gold Brook, and a commercial mining operation was set up. Up the stream at the now-abandoned village of Plymouth Five Corners, a mill and crusher were established, and many prospectors flocked to the area. One of the more successful operators, Rooks Mining Company, claimed to have earned more than $13,000 in a 6-month period in 1884. Such profits were seldom validated, and most investors lost their fortunes. Mr. Pollard himself never had much to do with searching for gold. He died in 1874 and is buried in the nearby cemetery.
When the Rooks Mining Company went bankrupt in 1889, Henry Fox, the superintendent, bought the mine. He continued to search for gold for thirty more years until his death in 1919. Today, remains of the mine operations can be seen along the brook, and although most of the mines themselves are outside of park boundary, visitors should still stay away from all abandoned mines regardless of location. Most of the gold is known as “placer” gold, deposited by glacial action.
In 1925, a girls’ summer camp was established here and operated for two years. In 1927, the property was purchased by the Boy Scouts of America and turned into Camp Plymouth, for which the park is named. At its height, the scout camp included camping sites for 10 troops, a trading post, archery range, rifle range, water front, and ceremonial camp fire area. In 1984, the property was conserved with the assistance of the Ottauquechee Land Trust and conveyed to the State of Vermont. Park facilities were constructed over the next few years and Camp Plymouth State Park opened to the public in 1989.
There is a group camping area on the south side of Buffalo Brook consisting of six lean-to's, tent/RV sites, pit toilets, and a large field for activities. On the north side of the brook there is a large picnic area, a play area, a sandy beach, horseshoe pits, concessions, and boat rentals.
The park has four fully furnished cottages available to rent. The cabins each sleep six people and are located near the water.
Additionally, there are three picnic pavilions that can be rented.
The indoor, Harwood Pavilion is the largest. The pavilion seats up to 150 people and costs $300 to rent for the day. The pavilion has:
- 2 stoves
- 2 refrigerators
- banquet tables and chairs
The smaller Fernwood and Wedding Grove pavilions are open air facilities. Both have:
- group grills
- picnic tables
The Fernwood pavilion seats up to 100 people while the Wedding Grove pavilion seats up to 60 people. Both pavilions cost $100 to rent for the day.
Horses are allowed in the group camping area on the south side of Buffalo Brook. The area consists of six lean-to's, pit toilets, a tie-off station, a manure “bin,” and a large field for activities. On the north side of the brook is a large picnic area, playground, sandy beach, horseshoe pits, volleyball nets, concessions, and boat rentals. No animals are allowed elsewhere in the park. There are no nearby trail systems, so horses would need to be transported to riding trails.
Camp Plymouth State Park is a popular destination for gold panners. Recreational gold panning for personal enjoyment is allowed in Buffalo Brook. Only hand-panning is permitted; mechanical sluices are not allowed. Commercial operarations are likewise prohibited. To learn more about gold panning in Vermont State Parks, click here.