January 2022
Views from the Allis State Park fire tower on Bear Hill - Rebecca Roy
Greetings Everyone,
I hope you are celebrating the depths of winter with your favorite cold weather activities! Although things may look a little different, Vermont State Parks are open for use year-round. While often referred to as the parks ‘off-season’, winter is a very busy time of year for State Parks. Many people enjoy walking, skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, fat biking, and other pursuits.

Our small crew of permanent staff are also very busy. Some of our most critical work is happening now. This work is mostly centered around park improvements and preparations for next season. Notably, recruitment for the 400 park staff and volunteers who operate the parks during the traditional park season is in high gear.
Our park staff work together to do great things every year. Applications are coming in and we are hiring for the spring and summer season now. Our strength lies in the diversity of backgrounds and lived experiences of our dedicated team.

Many Vermonters have worked in a state park themselves or know someone who has worked for parks. We also have staff who come to Vermont from all over the country. They fall in love with Vermont and many of them stay. Many of our permanent staff started out as seasonal employees, including myself! The most valuable traits of our team members are they are friendly, love being outside, and find it gratifying to help others appreciate and enjoy the outdoors.
Working for Vermont State Parks is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. If you or any of your family or friends might be interested in joining our team, we’d love to talk with you. We have a variety of jobs and schedules available.

Warm regards,

Nate McKeen, Director of Vermont State Parks
Now Hiring for the 2022 Season
Currently recruiting

- Park managers
- Park interpreters
- Attendants
- Deckhands
- Maintenance staff
- and more!

Part-time and full-time positions are available statewide.

Work in the beautiful Vermont outdoors with some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Happy customers continuously tell us that our staff are the best around. Our staff tell us that working for the parks is some of the most rewarding and meaningful work they’ve ever done.

If you have an excellent work ethic, customer service and/or management experience, and a great attitude, we’d love for you to apply.
Thinking about starting your parks career?
Check out our #WorkOutsideTheBox YouTube playlist for park staff interviews from park attendants to park managers like Brighton State Park Manager Sofia Dimartino seen here.
Help us find our all-star parks staff and receive a 10-punch pass!
Do you live in Vermont? Do you love state parks? Help us recruit our next all-star parks staff by hanging flyers and you can earn a receive a 10-punch pass worth $30

Outdoor Observer: Surviving Winter
Left: A First Day Hiker bundles to stay warm during their winter trip to Button Bay - R. Payne.

Our beloved state bird, the hermit thrush, is a fair-weather visitor, a summer resident of Vermont’s grand green hills. Summer in Vermont is a cacophony of musical bird songs and verdant landscapes, swimming and picnicking, and hiking with friends. Winter in Vermont is sparkling meadows, pillows of white on river rocks, sledding, and skiing, and snowshoeing with friends. Every Vermont season is full of beautiful fun, and there are birds that stay in our forests for all of it.

Humans have the luxury of shelter and heating our homes, wool socks, and warm hats. Birds thriving in the winter world around us do not enjoy such luxuries, and instead must survive through our frigid nights and windy days with whatever food they can find on the snowy landscape. This tenacity impresses me. When I see a flock of chickadees curiously descend around me as I walk through the forest, I marvel at their ability to survive.

Maybe you have a favorite winter bird friend you enjoy seeing on your winter woods walks? Ravens, blue jays, juncos, kinglets, nuthatches, and black-capped chickadees are all birds you will commonly see in every Vermont season, but they are especially evident in the snowy winter landscape. Our resident birds are well adapted to deal with the wintry mix days and the below zero temperatures of northern New England winters.
Right: A songbird uses its down feathers to create a warm bubble of air around themselves - R. Payne.

Birds have the advantage of always wearing down coats. Bird down is an exceptional insulator, which is the reason we use bird down in coats and jackets to keep ourselves warm. On very cold days you will see birds fluffing up their feathers, creating more air space in the down which holds more warm air close to their bodies.

All birds pack on a little mass toward the end of summer and early fall, during this time they are also caching seeds to eat later when food is less easy to find. Extra mass gives birds more insulation, and more energy to burn if food becomes scarce. Our winter resident birds have great spatial memory, and they can remember where they cached their summer seeds in the middle of January.

You can help winter birds by putting out a feeder with seeds or suet. You will enjoy the extra bonus of being able to watch these interesting wild birds from the warm comfort of your home. Keep an eye out for chickadees on your next forest walk, and for our state bird when the warm sun of May rolls around again. Some great places for winter bird walks are Lake Shaftsbury, Jamaica, Little River, and Niquette Bay State Parks. Write and tell us what winter birds you found! 

Rebecca Roy, Parks Interpretive Program Manager

Get Outside and Play!

Whether you love to hike, bike, or sunbathe, we've got your pass to a great summer. Get your 2022 season passes now!

2022 Season Preparations Underway
Vermont State Parks prides itself on providing high quality customer service as well as clean and up-to-date facilities. How do we balance the need to upgrade facilities and allow you to enjoy the parks all season long?

During the off-season, things can look a little less familiar and a little more chaotic as park facilities undergo the needed transformations to best serve our visitors before the start of the operating season. From taking down hazardous trees to improving bath house infrastructure to park road updates, parks staff are hard at work to ensure your next trip is the peaceful getaway of your dreams.
Crews work to replace and update the water line piping at Grand Isle State Park.
Silver Lake State Park's dual water distribution system receives an upgrade.
NW region park maintenance staff felled a large hazardous cottonwood tree at
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
With a little bit of planning ahead and the appropriate gear, many Vermont State Parks trails can be enjoyed throughout the winter months. Take a look at some of our favorite shots from the New Year's First Day Hikes and our recent Allis State Park guided hiked.

A big thank you to our intrepid guides Cathi Brooks, David Hathaway, Peter Hildick-Smith, Rebecca Roy, and Walter Opuszynski as well as to our hike participants!

Right: Hikers make their way around the Bear Hill Nature Trail at Allis State Park - Rebecca Roy
Mt. Hor hiking group - Cathi Brooks
Trail snacks and a sled make the journey more fun on a chilly day - Rebecca Roy
Butler Lodge hiking group on Mt. Mansfield - David Hathaway
Owls Head hiking group enjoys a fire to warm up - Walter Opuszynski
Top Parks for Snowshoeing
Left : Snowshoers enjoy the trails at Little River State Park - C. Dembeck

Can't wait til parks open to visit? Most parks with trail systems can be enjoyed year-round with a little bit of planning. Some of our favorite parks for snowshoeing include:

Learn more about off season parks use here.

Did you know...
that you can search for sites that will fit your trailer or RV whether you're on the road or in the comfort of your own home?

Want to learn more? Read our latest Reservation FAQ blog!

At the end of 2021, hundreds of donors across Vermont and in 20 different states supported Vermont Parks Forever, the foundation for Vermont's state parks. We are so grateful!  Thank you for supporting education, access, and equity in the outdoors!  

Read more on the impact your gifts made: Vermont Parks Forever 2021 Impact Report 
We'd love to hear from you. Contact us at info@vermontparksforever.org.
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We love to see your Vermont State Parks adventures! Post them on our Facebook page or share them with #VTStateParks on Instagram or Twitter
 “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” —Muhammad Ali