Outdoor Recreation


Yesterday my family and I hiked up to the top of Big Deer Mountain in Vermont’s New Discovery State Park (which is in Groton State Forest), followed by swimming at Boulder Beach.  I’d highly recommend the hike for kids; mostly flat and dry followed by a fun uphill rock climb.

State Parks are a fantastic resource.  My Natural Resources Law course includes a lot of discussion about National Parks, and we have an annual field trip to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock, Vermont (the only national park devoted to America’s conservation history).  But this year, I’m going to spend some time on the development of state parks, and how states have determined how to best protect these resources and for what purposes.

Perhaps one of the best things about being a faculty member at Vermont Law School is my weekly afternoon hike to Kent’s Ledge.   Without ever needing to get in a car, I walk directly from my office to the top of Kent’s Ledge.  It’s about 1.5-2 hours roundtrip.

In classic Vermont fashion, today we went to Wrightsville Reservoir with our new-to-us canoe and our new-to-us Subaru.  There has been much debate in Vermont of late about appropriate recreational uses for man-made reservoirs and ponds, especially if they are used as a source of drinking water.  Wrightsville has a no wake and swimming area which we paddled through, but the jet ski that arrived on the boat launch just as we were finishing really lessened our experience.  While allowed on that part of the reservoir, the noise, exhaust and smell were quite terrible.

Another fantastic reservoir in Vermont is Green River Reservoir State Park where you canoe into your campsite.  Power boats are banned and the shoreline is completely undeveloped.  “The Green River Reservoir is a 5,113 acre park including a 653 acre Reservoir with 19 miles of shoreline, which is the longest stretch of undeveloped shoreline in Vermont,” according to the Friends of the Green River.

Photo: Our Subaru and canoe on the Wrightsville Reservoir Boat Launch.

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