May 2022
Greetings Everyone,
Happy spring!
Parks are opening and we are ready for what forecasts to be an incredible summer. Amidst the bustle of preparing for the season, the Vermont State Parks team likes to remind ourselves to take a breath from daily work and reflect on the honor of being part of such a magical and enduring entity which for close to 100 years has been integral to Vermont's way of life and connecting people to nature.
Last weekend, while visiting New York City, I was explaining our park system to a new acquaintance, they wondered what attracts someone to a Vermont State Park when from what they could tell the entire state of Vermont is essentially one big park. I smiled at that visual then responded, "What you say about Vermont is true but trust me, you have to come experience the parks to fully understand how extraordinary they are and what attracts so many people to them. Each park has its own special character and loyal fans."
I imagine just like me, many of you have a special park where you, your friends, and family visit most often. Obviously you can’t go wrong with a place you know so well. However, because our parks are so varied and offer so much, this summer I would like to invite you to add to your experiences and try out a new park, then when you do we would love to hear about which park you chose and how it went!
Last year we reached a thirty-year high in visitation, and all signs point to a continuing surge in demand for all the space and benefits Vermont parks have to offer. Vermont State Parks have plenty of room for you and we can’t wait to see you out there!
Nate McKeen, Director of State Parks
Outdoor Observer
by Rebecca Roy, Parks Interpretive Program Manager
While park staff work diligently getting ready for summer in Vermont, many birds are working hard to make homes for their babies. Migratory birds have been returning to Vermont in the last couple of months and they are singing their beautiful songs throughout the forests and fields. One group of migratory birds you can see and hear in many Vermont State Parks are the thrushes. 
Thrushes are medium-sized birds that sing beautiful songs. One common thrush is the American robin, easy to recognize because of their red bellies. Robins are building nests in trees (and maybe even in lean-tos) across Vermont right now. The female robin builds a nest from the inside out—starting with dead grass and twigs woven into a cup shape. She then reinforces the nest with soft mud and lines the inside with soft grass. You can see robins hunting for worms in grassy areas of many parks including D.A.R. and Lake St. Catherine State Parks. 
Many thrushes sing unique songs because they can sing more than one note at a time. Perhaps you have been camping near the brook at Little River or Brighton State Parks and heard a venereal song of notes spiraling downward. This song, sounding sort of like “veer-y, veer-y, veer-y” in downward notes is from the veery—a thrush that lives near stream areas. This brown bird, about the size of a robin, is not flashy to look at but the song it produces is amazing to hear. As you read this, the veery is building a cup nest of dead leaves, bark bits, and small roots at the base of a tree near running water.  
The most beloved thrush in Vermont is the hermit thrush. Although heavily debated by the 1941 Vermont legislature, the hermit thrush was designated as the Vermont State Bird effective June 1, 1941. The main debate centered on the migratory nature of the hermit thrush. Legislators questioned whether a state should recognize a bird that spends summers in Vermont and winters in the southern United States.
Hermit thrushes are brown forest birds about the size of robins with brown spots on their bellies. Just like the veery, the hermit thrush can sing more than one note at a time. You can hear the ethereal hermit thrush song in the morning and the evening in most Vermont woodlands. The song starts with a long single note, and then spirals upward. Listen for it while you eat dinner or breakfast on your next trip to any Vermont State Park, including Maidstone, Molly Stark and Woodford State Parks. Hermit thrush nests are similar to veery nests, made of small twigs and roots and set on the ground at the base of trees. All three of these thrushes have light blue eggs, although veery eggs are sometimes spotted. Watch carefully for these nests during your next walk in the woods
Just like migratory birds, we all want to return to our summer migratory spot—Vermont State Parks. During your next visit, take a moment to stop and listen in the forest and you will not be disappointed in the symphony you hear.
To listen to the songs of these birds, check out these links:
Did you know...
Our new and improved reservations system allows you to search for sites that will fit your trailer or RV?

Want to learn more? Read our latest Reservation FAQ blog!
Proposed Rule & Fee Changes
The establishment of rules and fees for Vermont State Parks is governed through legislative authority, State Statute Title Ten Section 2603c, and there is a lengthy process set in place for changing rules and setting fees.

Periodically, we consider changes and must follow the rule making process to do so. An important piece of this process is the opportunity for elected officials and the general public to weigh in. Proposed changes are carefully considered by agency professionals and our goal is to remain as affordable as possible while ensuring that the majority of the costs to operate the state park system are covered. 100% of fees collected go directly back into operating the parks system.
We are at our best when we hear from you. If you have any concerns, questions or specific feedback on the proposed rule and fee changes, please send them prior to June 14, 2022.

Vermont Days 2022
Enjoy some FREE time in the parks!
Vermont Days is an opportunity to celebrate the arrival of summer and to explore Vermont’s fishing, state parks and historic culture. On June 11--12, 2022, all Vermont State Park day-use areas and select state-owned Historic Sites will be open at no charge. Saturday is free fishing day, the one day of the summer when anyone can fish in Vermont without a license. Also included: Green Mountain Brass Band at Waterbury Center State Park, Grand Isle Family Fishing Festival and more!

NEW THIS YEAR: Ride from Rutland to Bomoseen State Park for free thanks to a special Vermont Days round-trip bus service running on June 11 and June 12, 2022, from Rutland to Bomoseen State Park.

Find everything you need to know at
With your help, Vermont Parks Forever, the nonprofit foundation for Vermont State Parks, is raising awareness and funds to remove barriers and help even more Vermonters enjoy a visit to one of the 55 state parks!
Spending time in nature is important for everyone, and since 2016, Vermont Parks Forever has provided free day passes to help those who otherwise would not have the chance to experience the state parks.  Free passes given to foster families, essential workers, youth programs, and Vermonters with mobility impairments, ensure the natural relief a day in the parks can bring.  Vermont’s state parks are for everyone and together we can promote a more equitable outdoor experience! 
Interested in helping us further this good work?

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"In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful." ― Alice Walker