March 2024
Spring beauty flowers bloom at Niquette Bay State Park - Jessica Clarke
Greetings Everyone,
Welcome to the start of the Vermont State Parks' 100th birthday celebration! No matter where you live or visit in Vermont, there is a Vermont State Park nearby. Each park is a cherished gift to the public, with the legacy starting at Mt. Philo in 1924. 

This centennial serves as a pivotal moment to pause and reflect on the past, present, and future of our parks. Who could forget the members of the Civilian Conservation Corps? These dedicated young folks built roads, dams, and some of the very parks we use today. Today, the current parks' team dedicates themselves to care for these special places. State parks staff recognize the importance of connecting people to nature. The first 100 years created a strong foundation for our parks system. As we stand on this foundation, we work to build a better and more accessible future for all.

Vermont State Parks are special places to explore nature and make new memories. Are you looking to barbeque with your family? Do you want to join a guided paddle? Or, tell a story around a crackling campfire under a starry sky? There's a Vermont State Park with something for everyone, from the brand-new outdoor adventurer to the decades long parks enthusiast.

We want you to join in the celebration of this remarkable milestone! There's two easy ways: make sure to visit state parks as often as possible and share your stories with us.

As we look ahead to the next 100 years, your input is invaluable! We'd love to hear your favorite Vermont State Parks memories and why these parks are important to you. As we embark on the incredible journey that lies ahead, these stories will guide our work for years to come. To get involved, visit

Warm regards,

Nate McKeen, Director of Vermont State Parks
100 Years. Countless Memories.
Thousands of people come from near and far every year to explore Vermont State Parks. With so many great stories to tell, we'd love to hear yours. Share what Vermont State Parks mean to you to help us celebrate 100 years of the great outdoors.
Total Eclipse in the Parks
Trying to plan ahead for to view of the total solar eclipse on April 8th? Don’t be left in the dark!

  • Learn more about through the official Vermont 2024 Eclipse site, including viewing safety, travel alerts, and viewing or lodging options.
  • Make sure to text VTECLIPSE to 888777 to sign up for text alerts regarding weather, traffic, and other notable information on the weekend and day of the eclipse.
  • Be aware that Vermont State Parks are outside of the normal operating season. This means that all facilities, including running water, will not be available as our systems will not yet be started up for the 2024 parks season.
  • If you plan to view the eclipse in a Vermont State Park, please only visit parks listed on the state parks eclipse updates page. Our shortlist of sites considers road conditions, avoids parks with large scale maintenance projects necessary for parks to open on time, available parking, and other factors. The listed parks are subject to change as we approach April 9th.
  • All parks listed on the parks eclipse page will have open gates and parking access. These parks will also have port-a-lets available.

Looking to commemorate the event? Purchase Vermont State Parks eclipse t-shirts and hats in advance of the event. 
Kickstart Your Parks Career!
State parks staff stand next to lawn mowers, golf carts, a truck, and leaf blowers while posing and smiling in front of the Jamaica State Park contact station.
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.

Do you enjoy connecting visitors with the natural world through day hikes? Does maintaining a fleet of small engines make your heart sing? Do you love creating a positive team environment in the outdoors? Vermont State Parks are hiring for diverse roles that can help build your career.
Outdoor Observer: Mud Season Surprises
Snow fleas
We are slowly watching the world melt. Thick piles of familiar snow are making way for muddy earth.

In Vermont, we eagerly watch the change of seasons after a long winter. Every little thing is registered by our hopeful eyes. Mud season looks like a miracle when you spend months wandering around in a world of white.

Don't get me wrong, we love winter in Vermont, but it is difficult to not get excited about seasonal changes, no matter the season. One early sign we can see are clusters of snow fleas, a type of springtail. Snow fleas are small insects that normally live in the soil around trees, and on warm winter days, they become active and congregate on the snow.
Although these insects are called snow fleas, they are not related to fleas. They look sort of similar to fleas and they hop, although they feed on decomposing matter on the forest floor. Those warm early spring days are the perfect time to spot them, as they gather and form patches of blue or red on the surface of snow.

Another early sign of spring in Vermont is sugar on snow parties. As the days warm and nights stay cold in early spring, the sap starts running in sugar maple trees. In Vermont, maple syrup production is a big industry and a time honored tradition.

Many people tap their sugar maple trees and boil the sap until it is a thick syrup. Scales of production can range from a few trees in the yard to a large sugar bush with thousands of taps. One way we gather to celebrate the coming spring is to join together to eat pickles, donuts, and have sugar on snow!
To make sugar on snow:
  • Get a bowl of fresh, clean snow (careful to avoid snow fleas when gathering!) and your freshly made syrup.
  • Heat the syrup to 235-240 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature of soft ball stage in candy making).
  • Then, pour the warm sweet syrup on top of the snow. The syrup will cool into the most delicious snack with a consistency of taffy. Who could ask for a better spring treat? 

Very soon, we will be enjoying the first of the spring flowers followed by grasses and buds emerging from our muddy world. Get out there and see what early signs of spring you can spot for yourself. Great places to go for early spring walks are Jamaica, Emerald Lake, Button Bay, Knight Point, and Brighton State Parks. Stop by a sugarhouse on your way home, and enjoy some sugar on snow before the snow is gone for good!

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. Buy your 2024 season day use passes now!

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 on completing underground utility work at Sand Bar State Park as entrance relocation project.
Staff work to install flooring at the Apple Cottage at Camp Plymouth State Park after July's floods.
NW region park staff ferry equipment back to the Knight Point maintenance shop for off-season maintenance.
One Night Reservations
Want to book a one night stay?
You're in luck!

One night reservations can be made as early as March 1st in the same year. These reservations can be made Sunday - Thursday for the current operating season, excluding remote sites.
Vermont Parks Forever, the nonprofit foundation for Vermont’s state parks, is currently accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations for 2024 Park Access Fund Grants.

Every year since 2016, Vermont Parks Forever has granted passes to organizations working state wide. Through these organizations, VPF helps foster families, youth programs, those with developmental disabilities, BIPOC communities, new Americans, mental health clients, and those with limited mobility have more opportunities to experience all Vermont’s state parks have to offer.

Do you know of a nonprofit organization that may be a good fit for a Park Access Fund Grant? If so, please share the application with the organization or contact [email protected] with your suggestion.

Applications are due Friday, April 5th, 2024.

Thanks to the following partners for photos (Top Left to Bottom Left Clockwise):
 “One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.” — Aldo Leopold