Vermont State Parks Open for Camping Season

May 25, 2013

Trail markers on the Long Trail near Puffer Lodge. White blazes mark the Long Trail, double blazes mark changes in the trail's direction.
Credit VPR

Camping reservations at Vermont’s 52 State Parks poured in for the Memorial Day Weekend, despite rain in the forecast. Last year broke a twenty year record with more than 900-thousand visits to the parks all year.

State Parks Director Craig Whipple says the State Park website has added some new bells and whistles to entice even more campers this year.

"We’ve got menu ideas, we’ve got ideas for activities, we’ve got checklists for how to plan, the gear to bring camping, and we’ve also done seven really fun videos," Whipple said.

The website includes a scavenger hunt game, with free passes as prizes. Libraries also lend out passes. Whipple says camping hit a peak of popularity in the 1970s and ‘80s, and it’s making a comeback, especially when the economy takes a dive, or when there’s a tragedy.

"People are attracted to places like public parks when something awful happens," said Whipple. "whether it’s to them personally or to our community or our country."

Whipple says more people also flock to state parks when the sun shines. Last year’s weekend weather, he says, was usually great, and he’s hoping for a repeat forecast this year.