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Thread: Hiking near Silver Lake or Camp Plymouth in Vermont?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Umsaskis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Northeast Kingdom of VT

    Hiking near Silver Lake or Camp Plymouth in Vermont?

    The year has gone around again, and it is time for me to start planning our church youth group's second annual camping trip in August. I'm looking at Silver Lake and Camp Plymouth state parks in Vermont, but have not been to either, and neither of them seem to be adjacent to hiking trails. Given that last year the kids complained that the swimming beach at Branbury State Park had really cloudy water (that seems to happen when everyone stirs up the bottom by swimming...), and that they complained about our ever-so-strenuous 4 mile hike, I am forced to find new accomodations for this year, and a newer, better hike or other activity. So I am looking for suggestions for good hikes with views, waterfalls, or some other kind of worthwhile scenery for kids who don't generally like to hike (UNDER 4 miles, not too much climbing - is that asking too much?), within a half hour drive or less of either of these parks. I'm also looking for short (2-3 hour) canoe trip options that inexperienced kids could do, in these areas. Any suggestions? Thanks!
    In the mountains, God has built a monument to Himself.

  2. #2
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    As you probably know, most (not all) of the good hiking in VT is in the middle of the state, as the Green Mountains run north/south along the spine. That said, Silver Lake is further from hiking hiking trails, and Plymouth closer.

    Have you considered Lake Dunmore? That's on the western side of the state, south of Middlebury. Pretty lake, and lots of good hiking nearby - Falls of Llana, etc. It's famous for it's mosquitoes (aren't they all) but should be more manageable by August.

  3. #3
    Member jime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Claremont, NH
    Camp Plymouth State Park used to be a Boy Scout Camp. There is a trail that goes up to an old abandoned gold mine (really!) and runs between the cabins and the old cemetary. BTW, the cemetary is pretty interesting in and of itself and some of the stones tell some pretty sad tales if you look at them closely enough. I didn't know that Camp Plymouth was open for camping other than the cabins but they do have a great group area with leantos. Close to both Camp Plymouth and Silver Lake is Mt. Ascutney with a number of trails and a toll road for the less ambitious that goes almost to the top. Both are also fairly close to the AT though I think Silver Lake would be better and you could pick it up near Suicide Six. As an aside Billings Farm is also in Woodstock and makes for a nice day trip.

    Another spot to consider, without swimming though, is Coolidge State Park. It has some very pretty trails that aren't too strenuous that run through conifers and hardwood forest but few views.

    Having taken many groups on this type of trip in the past I admire you for helping to put it together and realize all of the hard work that goes into making it a great event! Good luck!!

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