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Southern Vermont State Parks

Venture across southern Vermont and discover a variety of exceptional state parks. From Bennington to Ludlow, plan your next trip into the Green Mountain State and have a blast exploring these pristine state parks.

Emerald Lake State Park

You're primed for an adventure on your next visit to Vermont when you explore Emerald Lake State Park. Found in Dorset, south of Rutland, Emerald Lake State Park is a popular destination for summer travelers and locals; it opens Memorial Day weekend and closes Columbus Day weekend.

At Emerald Lake State Park, you'll find boat rentals, firewood for sale, a playground for the kiddos, and plenty of fun on Emerald Lake – enjoy fishing the shores, or take a dip and cool off. The Pavilion at Emerald Lake seats up to 100 people and is ideal for large gatherings and events. Unfortunately, pets are not permitted at Emerald Lake State Park.

Fort Dummer State Park

On your next trek through Vermont, the Green Mountain State, be sure to head south and check out Fort Dummer State Park. Found east of Bennington in the city of Brattleboro, Fort Dummer State Park is 217 acres of majestic and picturesque Vermont parkland. A generous mix of woodlands, open expanses, and plenty of hiking trails make Fort Dummer State Park a true must-see.

Because of the fertile landscape at Fort Dummer State Park, you'll be in the midst of wildlife critters like squirrels, turkeys, and deer. When you visit Fort Dummer State Park, you'll find stunning views of the actual Fort Dummer, which the park overlooks. Fort Dummer was flooded in 1908 when the Connecticut River was dammed.

Jamaica State Park

Consisting of 772 acres, Jamaica State Park has been open to the public and delighting visitors since 1969. The park sits on the shores of West River, giving way to a plethora or aquatic activities and opportunities, like fishing, swimming, and whitewater paddling.

Just northeast of Bennington, Jamaica State Park also features a variety of on-land recreation as well: picnicking, a play area, foot trails, volleyball, and horseshoe pits make the fun-filled state park great for the whole family.

Lake Shaftsbury State Park

Located on 84 acres of scenic Vermont land, Lake Shaftsbury State Park offers plenty of lakeside activity to its visitors from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The park became an official state park in 1974, and has since become a popular destination for vacationers near Bennington.

The park is ideal for traveling families looking for outdoor recreation in southwestern Vermont. The park has kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and pedal boats for rent. Moreover, the park features fishing, swimming, and picnic areas, – all are perfect for family-fun spent outdoors.

Lowell Lake State Park

Open year round, Lowell Lake State Park outside of Rutland, is a haven for water-recreation enthusiasts visiting Vermont. The park features two different lake trails traversing the park as well, giving hikers, bikers, and horseback riders a scenic tour of the lake’s shoreline.

Of course, the lake offers a great deal of aquatic activities as well. With a small boat launch, guests can bring canoes and kayaks and explore the pristine waters of Lowell Lake, while traveling out to Annie’s Island. Picnic shelters are also available on the shore, as well as a great deal of fishing.

Molly Stark State Park

Named after the wife of General John Stark, Molly Stark State Park is located in southern Vermont, just east of Bennington. Set along State Route 9 ­– otherwise known as the Molly Stark Trail Scenic Byway – the park was first constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Open daily from 10 a.m. to sunset, Molly Stark State Park’s season runs from Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day. Visitors may hike the two-mile Mt. Olga Trail, the quick Nature Center Spur, and neighboring trails in the Hogback Conservation Association area. Biking, cross-country skiing, and pets are also allowed.

Townshend State Park

Plan for an outdoor adventure in Vermont. Townshend State Park is located near northeast of Bennington, and has a unique charm all its own. The Civilian Conversation Corps constructed the park during the Great Depression, giving it ample historic appeal as well as attractive, scenic lure.

Visitors quickly take notice of the park’s natural beauty – featuring hemlock, white pine, and other vast woodland’s. Park goers are encouraged to traverse the Bald Mountain Trail, clocking in at just over three miles round trip. The trail provides up close views of the forest as well as spectacular views to the north, south, and east at its summit.

Woodford State Park

Located near Bennington in southern Vermont, Woodford State Park delights its visitors with 398 acres of high-elevation forest. Visit the park for a variety of outdoor activities along the several lakes and ponds in the surrounding area.

Aside from natural beauty of the spruce/birch forest, visitors can also enjoy the many different amenities like fishing and boating on Adams Reservoir, hiking, kayak and canoe rentals, and picnicking on the beach near the dam. The park is open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day weekend.