Best state park 2022 | Little River State Park | Outdoor + Recreation

Best state park

Little River State Park

JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur

Little River State Park — From one of Vermont's worst natural disasters rose one of its most glorious natural areas. In the wake of the Great Vermont Flood of 1927, which killed 84 people and crippled the state, the federal government built three reservoirs to tame tributaries of the unruly Winooski River. The last and largest of the three was the 2,000-foot-long Little River Dam, finished in 1938, which created the 863-acre Waterbury Reservoir.

On its western shore, nestled in the Mount Mansfield State Forest, Little River State Park anchors the area's bustling summer recreation scene, with 81 campground sites, swimming beaches, a boat launch and 24 miles of hiking trails. For those craving comfort, five in-demand cabins are available for rent. For those looking to get away from it all, the park is the perfect jumping-off point to reach the 27 remote campsites accessible only by boat.

More than eight miles of History Hike trails acknowledge how past groups shaped what is now Washington County, from Indigenous people to the Civilian Conservation Corps that built the dam.

Visitors don't have all year to explore, though: The park is only open mid-May through mid-October.

Other Finalists

  • Grand Isle State Park
  • Mount Philo State Park
  • Niquette Bay State Park
  • Sand Bar State Park
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