WHAT MAKES THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM SPECIAL
Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom – the counties of Caledonia, Essex and Orleans – features some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery in New England. From the southern border of the Kingdom, featuring Groton State Forest, to the northern stretches of the region, with Barton’s striking Crystal Lake State Park, there are many choices for recreation and camping in our beautiful corner of the state.
To get a sense of our unparalleled region, consider the following if you are considering an outdoor experience in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom:
- 2,053 square miles comprise the Kingdom.
- 1,313,710 acres of land.
- 71,315 acres of public state forest lands and parks.
- 1,632 acres of public federal forest lands and parks.
- 5,855 acres of public town park lands.
- 37,575 acres of public lakes and ponds.
- 3,840 miles of public rivers and streams.
- 50 public boat launches on the lakes in the Kingdom.
- Thousands of miles of snowmobile trails, some of the finest snowmobiling in the Northeast.
Vermont’s State Parks in the Northeast Kingdom offer a wide variety of camping experiences, including drive-in camp sites, lean-to’s, cabins, cottages, remote campsites, group camping areas and even an inn-style lodge, with all surrounded by the region’s beautiful mountains, lakes, forests and fields. It should be noted that all state parks open on Memorial Day Weekend and close for the season on Labor Day Weekend.
STATE PARKS IN THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM
Maidstone State Park, located in Maidstone – The campground has 44 tent/trailer sites and 37 lean-to’s. Three of the four restrooms include hot showers ($). A sanitary dump station is available, but with no hookups. There are play areas, hiking trails and a swimming beach in the campground. A picnic shelter, swimming beach and an additional restroom is available at the day-use area. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/maidstone.htm.
Brighton State Park, located in Island Pond – The campground sits on undeveloped Spectacle Pond, where it is common to hear loons calling at night. There are 5 cabins, 61 tent/trailer sites and 23 lean-to’s. All three restrooms include hot showers ($). A sanitary dump station is available but with no hookups. There are hiking trails, a camper’s beach with boat rentals, nature museum, an amphitheater, a garage theater and play area. At the nearby day-use area, there is a long sandy beach (at the southern end of Island Pond), a bathhouse with restrooms and rental boats. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/brighton.htm.
Crystal Lake State Park, located in Barton – The beach area has almost a mile of sandy shoreline with a marked swimming area. The large historic granite boathouse has restrooms, changing areas and a concession stand. There are about 40 free-standing charcoal grills, nearly 80 picnic tables, play areas, rental boats and canoes and plenty of parking spaces. The Crystal Lake Cottage accommodates up to 6 people. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/crystal.htm.
GROTON STATE FOREST
Groton State Forest is the second largest state forest in Vermont with more than 26,000 acres to explore. The state parks, listed below, are located within Groton State Forest.
Seyon Lodge State Park, located in Groton – The Seyon Lodge offers private and semi-private rooms accommodating 16 overnight guests, while a fully equipped commercial kitchen prepares meals, catering to the tastes of guests. Fly fishing for brook trout on Noyes Pond is considered among the best in Vermont, with boat rentals available at the lodge. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/seyon.htm.
Ricker Pond State Park, located in Groton – The campground has 27 ten/trailer sites, 23 lean-to’s, 5 cabins and a waterfront rental cottage that sleeps up to 5 and comes with a canoe. Two of the 3 restrooms include hot showers ($). A sanitary dump station is available but with no hookups. There is a swimming beach, boat launch, shelter and access to miles of hiking trails. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/ricker.htm.
Boulder Beach State Park, located in Groton – The day-use area has 75 shaded picnic sites with tables and hibachis. All restrooms have lavatories and flush toilets. There is 200 feet of beach and swimming area, car-top boat launch, play area, shelter with group facilities, three large parking lots and a concession stand. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/boulder.htm.
Big Dear State Park, located in Groton – The campground has 23 tent/trailer sites and 5 lean-to’s. The restroom includes hot showers ($). A sanitary dump station is available but with no hookups. There is easy access to the Nature Center and miles of hiking trails. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/bigdeer.htm.
Stillwater State Park, located in Groton – The campground has 62 tent/trailer sites and 17 lean-to’s. All restrooms include hot showers ($). A sanitary dump station is available but with no hookups. There is a swimming beach, boat launch/dock facility, play area, shelter and access to miles of hiking trails. The Groton Nature Center is within walking distance. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/stillwater.htm.
Kettle Pond State Park, located in Groton – The campground is located on the shores of Kettle Pond, an undeveloped pond. There are 26 lean-to’s arranged in five separate groups designed to accommodate a variety of different organizations (like scout or church groups). There are two composting toilets and two double-pit toilets. There is no potable water at this site, but you can get water nearby at New Discover State Park. Six remote campsites/lean-to’s on the pond are also available. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/kettlepond.htm.
New Discovery State Park, located in Peacham – The campground has 46 ten/trailer sites and 15 lean-to sites. Seven of the sites are designed to accommodate horse campers. All restrooms include hot showers ($). A sanitary dump station is available but with no hookups. There is a play area, horseshoe pits, a picnic pavilion, a pond for fishing and access to miles of hiking trails. Trails for horseback riding in the park include gravel-surfaced roads, forest highways (logging roads), the VAST trails and the Montpelier-Wells River Rail Trail. For more details, check out www.vtstateparks.com/htm/newdiscovery.htm.