Vermont State Parks See Big Boost in Visits

By Alex Rose

Published 08/31 2014 06:51PM

Updated 08/31 2014 07:13PM

Elmore, Vt.- Life is too electronic, and some people want an escape. The solution: Vermont State Parks.

“We like to kind of be the forerunner in the nation so I know that sounds crazy but we try to be the best that we can,” said Elmore Park Ranger Agnes Barsalow.

Barsalow is ambitious, but clearly the hard work is paying off. Elmore has seen a lot more traffic this camping season.

“Throughout the season we have about 35,000 visitors,” Barsalow said. “We're up 17 percent this year over last year, which is a really big number.”

Across the board Vermont State Parks have seen eight percent more visitors since last year.

Rangers say one of the keys to a successful season has been the weather. It has just been beautiful out all summer long, with few showers on the weekends.

Another thing that really draws in visitors is the activities, there's just so much to do at parks like Elmore from swimming to hiking.

“We have really well maintained hiking areas, swimming, camp grounds,” Barsalow said.

And that means fun for the whole family

“A hotel room is extremely expensive, and camping you come to the state park here in Vermont, 18 to 20 dollars for the whole day, can't really beat it,” said avid camper Mike Reeve.

Reeve has been camping here with his parents since he was a boy, and now gets to share that tradition with his kids.

While half the state parks will be closing after the holiday weekend, Barsalow is encouraging people to seize the day.

“Certain parks may be closed after labor day weekend,” Barsalow said. “State lands, while the facilities are closed, state lands are always open to the general public.”

Half the parks close after Labor Day. You can find the hours of operation here.

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