July 2019
Soak up the sun
Greetings Everyone!
Ah! Summer in Vermont, we love it don’t we? All of us here at Vermont State Parks get such pleasure from the sights and sounds of all those people having fun splashing at the beach or sitting around the campfire enjoying their favorite park. We get to help make that happen for you and we are proud to be able to do it. Things are pretty busy, though. As you can see from this newsletter, there is a lot going on. And, already we have counted over 483,000 visits this summer!

That’s a lot of friends and families playing and relaxing their way to healthier, happier lives. We are all so much better off by spending time recreating outdoors and it is wonderful to have so many people taking advantage of their state parks for those experiences. So, take just a few minutes to enjoy this edition of our new newsletter and then…get back outside!

Craig Whipple , Director of Vermont State Parks 
It's finally here!
Picnics, beach days, secret swimming holes, and the sweet taste of creemees are finally here! From paddling to grilling to biking, there's a little bit of something for everyone in Vermont State Parks. Grab your water bottle, sunscreen, and excitement because we've got a lot to share now that parks are in full swing!
VT State Parks Cooks
"I'm cooking pretty exclusively over the fire...it's a challenge. With a campfire you're always learning. There's always an element of smoke, which I like," said Campfire Chef
Suzanne Podhaizer.
As Podhaizer travels from park to park, she explores the area and scouts out nearby farm-stands to inspire her next recipes. Every recipe is designed around fresh, local ingredients from the state's farmers and food producers.
Each recipe emphasizes creative ingredients and simple tools to ensure maximum taste from minimal effort. No one wants extra dishes, especially in the woods.
Photos, from bottom left (clockwise): Suzanne Podhaizer unwraps cheese - M. Conley; the Campfire Chef preps ingredients - M. Conley; the cooking fire smolders behind ingredients on the lean-to floor - M. Conley; salad with strawberries, burrata, & blueberry vinaigrette - S. Podhaizer.
Favorite Parks for Mountain Biking
To the left: Two mountain bikers riding the trail.

Mount Ascutney State Park : located on the foot of Mount Ascutney, enjoy the Swoops and Loops Trail . Beginner friendly, flowy fun. Camp at the state park, whet your appetite on this trail and the more daring can access nearby Sport Trails of the Ascutney Basin (STAB) trails.

Lake Saint Catherine State Park : while a beginner loop is under development, this park is perfectly situated across the road from the Endless Brook Trails , part of Slate Valley Trails.

Camels Hump State Park : for intermediate to advanced riders, it doesn’t get much better than the Howe Block of Camels Hump State Park . Recently built flow trails lead from the Flatbread Parking Lot to miles of classic single track. Bonus? Pizza, beer and swimming when you’re done riding!

Little River State Park and Perry Hill (intermediate to advanced): the way most people describe the Little River Trails is “awesome.” Short but worth every ounce of sweat to get up the hill. You’ll be saying “wheee!” all the way down, and maybe even do a few loops! When you’re looking for more mileage (and good food and drinks), head into Waterbury and down River Road to access the world-renowned Perry Hill Trails. Recent volunteer trail work has made this phenomenal riding that much better. NOTE: access to Cotton Brook is currently closed due to landslide conditions.

Jessica Savage , Recreation Program Manager
Outdoor Observer: Keeping Cool
To the right: Park visitors enjoy the refreshing water at Boulder Beach State Park.

As temperatures rise during the summer months, many people head to rivers, lakes and ponds to cool off. Perhaps you enjoy splashing around at one of the many beautiful state park beaches in Vermont. Maybe you like to float around at Boulder Beach State Park , splash around with your friends at Shaftsbury State Park , or take a swim at beautiful Alburgh Dunes State Park . There is nothing as pleasant as submerging yourself into beautiful, clear water on a hot summer day.

Humans are not the only animals that submerge in water for relief from hot weather. When it’s hot you find lots of animals feeding and floating in the water. Almost everyone enjoys seeing moose, the largest member of the deer family, and you can often spot these huge animals in wet places during the height of summer heat. Moose, with their large bodies, long legs and dark thick fur are well adapted to the snow and cold weather of winter. They are poorly adapted to summer temperatures, however.  

When the temperature rises above 80 degrees, moose have difficulty coping. When it becomes that hot, they do the same thing we like to do when it is hot out—head into the water. In the summer, you will often find moose, submerging themselves to cool off, to get rid of the pesky flies buzzing around them, and to eat aquatic plants.  
To the left: A moose cools off in a pond.

‘Moose’ is an Algonquin term for “twig eater.” These large mammals enjoy eating twigs and buds off trees and shrubs during the winter months, but during the summer they add aquatic plants to their diet. You can watch them stick their large heads underwater to chomp on the tuberous roots of lily pad plants.  

Right now, bull moose (male moose) are in the middle of growing large antlers. As the antlers grow over the summer, they are covered in a thin skin, called velvet. The velvet is full of blood capillaries that provide nutrients to the growing antlers. When the antlers are fully grown at the end of August, or beginning of September, the velvet gets very itchy and the bull moose scrapes its antlers against trees to remove it.  

Moose not only enjoy being in the water, but they are excellent swimmers, too. In May, the females give birth to one or two calves and the calves can swim very well after only a few weeks. Adult moose can swim as fast as 6 miles per hour!  

This summer as you enjoy cooling off with a refreshing swim, watch for moose doing the same thing. You are most apt to see these large mammals around sunrise and sunset in marshy areas with lots of aquatic plants available. Look for them in places like Maidstone , Green River Reservoir , Branbury , Half Moon , Kettle Pond , and Ricker Pond State Parks .

Rebecca Roy, Conservation Education Coordinator
Bike Rentals Now Available at Burton Island Marina
To the right: Local Motion Bike rental tent at Burton Island.

Vermont State Parks is excited to announce a partnership with Local Motion, Inc . to provide bike rentals at Burton Island State Park. New for the 2019 season, a fleet of rental bicycles will be provided for park visitors to use while visiting the island.

“Burton Island has always been a fantastic place to explore by bike!” Says Ryan Baker Dunn, Marine Operations Supervisor for Vermont State Parks. “The 253-acre island has miles of trails and roads wrapping through the campground on picturesque Lake Champlain... Aside from a few staff work vehicles, there are no cars on the island, making it a safe, quiet environment for exploration. Vermont State Parks has also invested in work tricycles to further minimize vehicles in the park, making Burton Island a great place for the whole family to ride!”

The fleet of adult and kids bicycles will be available for half-day, full-day, and multi-day rentals. Bike rentals start at just $15 dollars for half days and $25 for full days, with additional days for $15. Rentals will be first come, first served, and helmets will be provided with each bike rental.

Stone fireplace before repairs.
Stone fireplace after repairs.
First Vermont Historicorps Project Revitalizes
Smugglers' Notch State Park 
To the left: An original blueprint for the stone fireplaces.

It all started with a Facebook post. Vermont State Parks Regional Parks Specialist, Barb MacGregor was scrolling through her feed when something caught her eye. “I’m a member of the CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] Legacy and I saw a post mentioning HistoriCorps projects,” said MacGregor. 

HistoriCorps is a nonprofit that aims to save historic structures on public lands across America by training volunteers of all skill levels in preservation skills. MacGregor “clicked on the link, read the website,” and immediately thought of the aging Civilian Conservation Corps projects in Vermont State Parks. 

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a Depression-era poverty relief program of the US Government to employ young men and complete projects that would benefit the public. A variety of Vermont State Parks structures were built by the CCC including the stone fireplaces at the Smugglers’ Notch Picnic Area. Due to the decades of wear and tear, these stone fireplaces were in serious need of repair. After approaching Parks Regional Manager Susan Bulmer, the two drafted up a proposal to revitalize the CCC-era stone fireplaces at Smugglers’ Notch State Park and HistoriCorps gladly accepted!
To the right: Historicorps volunteers gathering supplies.

During the two-week project at Smugglers' Notch State Park, Historicorps brought together 14 industrious Corps Members from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) , staff from Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR), and history enthusiasts from around the country. Smugglers' Notch State Park hosted the volunteers with camping onsite and Historicorps supplied the needed tools and prepared meals to make sure that volunteers were well fed.

The crew put in an incredible 571 hours into repairing the 10 historic fireplaces using era-appropriate cement and stones under the direction of masonry gurus Meg and Craig Armstrong. Part of the Historicorps mission is to empower volunteers of all skill levels to save historic sites. Taking the skills learned with the Historicorps crew, the VYCC will continue their restoration work, including working on the stone façade for the Stone Hut woodshed in Stowe.

MacGregor is “excited to have partnered with Historicorps and look[s] forward to collaborating on future projects to preserve our parks.” While this was the first Historicorps project in Vermont, hopefully there are many more to come!
Great Vermont Campout:
We have a winner!
Congratulations to Michael Doran and his family! They won Vermont Sports ' grand prize of free camping in Vermont State Parks, a Big Agnes Tiger UL2 ultralight two-person tent, and meals from Mountain House.
Girl Scouts Love State Parks
Thank you to the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains for hosting the first ever 'Girl Scouts Love State Parks.' The weekend consisted of hikes, fishing lessons, nature photography, and more to get girls and their families outdoors. Across the state at Button Bay , Jamaica , Lake St. Catherine , Quechee , and Smugglers' Notch State Parks, park interpreters helped these young adventurers to explore the natural world and inspire their curiosity. Photos are courtesy of Quechee Interpreter Anastasia Mickiewicz.
New hooded t-shirt design now available

Perfect for those cool Vermont nights or to avoid the sun on a long paddle, these light-weight hooded t-shirts are now available in our online store. Our online store features a variety of gear, from Vermont State Parks patches to travel mugs to season passes.

Did you know...
A summary of Weekend Camping Availability can be found on our Vermont State Parks homepage.
Vermont State Parks do daily inspections for blue-green algae and weekly lab testing at all of our swimming beaches. Check out results here.
Vermont Parks Forever

Enjoy your time in one of our many parks?  Share your favorite park story and support Vermont Parks Forever , the foundation for Vermont State Parks.  With your involvement, we can steward our parks, provide park passes for those in need, and revitalize nature centers. Learn more and help us help our parks!

Stay informed and help spread the word about Vermont Parks Forever! Check out their Facebook page, follow their tweets, or sign up for their quarterly e-newsletter at  info@vermontparksforever.org
Featured Photographers

Bill Steele has been living in Brattleboro for the last 18 years, where he is the pastor of the Green Mountain Chapel, an EMT-I with Rescue Inc and an avid photographer. His interests in addition to photography include hiking, camping, kayaking, bird-watching and just about anything outdoors.
Share your pictures!
We love to see your Vermont State Parks adventures! Post them on our Facebook page or share them with #vtstateparks on Instagram or Twitter

Thank you for reading the official newsletter of Vermont State Parks!
Vermont State Parks | 1 (888) 409-7579 | anr.parks@vermont.gov | www.vtstateparks.com

"Summertime is always the best of what might be." - Charles Bowden