Visit beautiful Lake Elmore
by Elaine Ambrose
With more than 700 acres, Elmore State Park offers camping, hiking, picnic tables and grills (with a pet-friendly area), and rowboat, canoe, and kayak rentals on 219-acre Lake Elmore. Elmore Mountain, elevation 2,608 feet, offers a variety of hiking trails through mostly hardwood. Climb the tower atop the Fire Tower Trail for magnificent foliage viewing. Beaver Meadow and Mountain Brook Nature Trails won’t disappoint leaf peepers either, and dogs are permitted on and off leash on the trails. Check out the historic Civilian Conservation Corps bathhouse, built in 1935 and restored to its former glory this year. New tables, stools, and benches were hand crafted in Alburgh from the wood of a large, old white pine that had to be cut down at Big Deer State Park in Groton, and out of cedar from the Champlain Islands. The park is open from 10am until sunset through Columbus Day weekend, October 11. After that, the facilities close for the winter, but you can still hike Elmore’s many trails, including the Catamount—a cross-country ski trail that has been in the making since 1984 and was fully linked together in 2008. At 300 miles long and spanning the state from bottom to top, the Catamount Trail is one of Vermont’s treasured gems.
Nearby places to visit include the Trapp Family Lodge, Johnson Woolen Mills, and the State Capitol and Historical Society in Montpelier. Check out the leaves from a gondola at Stowe, then get a tour—and a tasting—at Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury.