Many Of The Vermont State Parks Are Located On Lake Champlain, The Sixth Largest Lake In America
There are fifty seven State Parks in Vermont, which is a small state in the New England region of north-eastern America. It is the only New England state not to have a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean.
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It does, however, have Lake Champlain which is the sixth largest freshwater lake in the country.
This lake forms part of the border with neighboring New York State in the north west corner of Vermont.
Lake Champlain At Sunset
A large number of the Vermont State Parks are located either on islands, or on the shores of this vast body of water. They include Button Bay State Park, Grand Isle State Park, Knight Island State Park and Burton Island State Park.
The mountainous state of Vermont has over 75% of its area covered in forests and naturally there are some superb Vermont State Parks to be found in these forested areas. Bomoseen State Park, Maidstone State Park and Stillwater State Park are just a few examples.
The highest peak in Vermont is Mount Mansfield which stands at 4,395 feet above sea level. However, the wonderfully named Camel`s Hump is perhaps the most famous because of its distinctive shape.
The Distinctive Shape Of Camel`s Hump Mountain
The name of the state probably has its origins in the French language and is thought to come from the description of the green forested mountains, or "les Verts Monts." The Green Mountains are actually a range that run in a north south direction down much of the length of the state of Vermont.
These wooded mountains were home to Native American tribes such as the Abenaki, Mohican and Iroquois long before white settlers arrived.
These were French explorers who reached the area as early as 1535. It was in 1609 that the famous Frenchman Samuel de Champlain claimed Vermont for France. Their first settlement was created at Fort Lamotte in 1666.
British settlers didn`t begin arriving in the area until the beginning of the 1700`s. Their first settlements included Brattleboro and Dummerston both of which were protected by the construction of Fort Dummer.
One of the Vermont State Parks is Fort Dummer State Park and it overlooks the site of the old fort which once stood on the western bank of the Connecticut River.
This river forms the eastern boundary of the state and other Vermont parks found along the valley of the Connecticut River include the lovely Wilgus State Park.
One of the most important events of the American Revolutionary War took place close to one of the Vermont towns. This was the Battle Of Bennington in August 1777.
This battle and the subsequent Battle of Saratoga in nearby New York State, led to the surrender of a 6,000 strong British army and to eventual victory.
Ball Mountain Dam On The West River In Beautiful Vermont
The American forces at Bennington were commanded by General John Stark and one of the Vermont State Parks is named in honor of his wife.
A fiercely determined lady, she not only raised a large family but also recruited many men for the Vermont militia. Part of her family home was converted to a hospital where wounded from both sides received treatment.
Today, Molly Stark State Park is among the most popular of all the Vermont parks.
Smugglers Notch Viewed From Mount Mansfield
The northern limit of Vermont is the Canadian-United States border and there is a long history of contraband being smuggled down into Vermont from Canada,
This dates back as far as 1807 when Congress banned trade with Canada and Britain and continued right through to the days of Prohibition in the 1920`s when bootleggers smuggled liquor into the U.S.A.
One of the Vermont State Parks is called Smugglers Notch State Park and is in an area of numerous caves which were used as secret hideouts by the smugglers.
There are, of course, other interesting state parks in Vermont. They include Jamaica State Park located on the West River which is extremely popular with whitewater paddlers, especially when there are water releases from the Ball Mountain Dam.
Maidstone State Park is probably the remotest of the Vermont State Parks and is famed as being a good breeding place for the Loon. Once an endangered species, this aquatic bird enjoys remote settings of water and shady cover so these northern pine woods and lakes are an ideal breeding ground.
This map shows just how large Lake Champlain is in relation to the size of Vermont