Brighton State Park is located on the 102-acre Spectacle Pond. Island Pond also borders the state park and is where you can find a sandy day-use beach and boat rentals. The park itself is 152 acres and hosts 54 campsites. One of the attractions of this state park is the remote location with its forest and mountain views.
Island Pond, Vermont boomed from the late 1800s until the Great Depression. Loggers and railroad men made up most of the population in the area. Island Pond was the site of the first international railroad station in the United States with the railroad running from Portland, Maine through Montreal, Canada. Island Pond is an unincorporated community. During your visit to Brighton State Park, you’ll find interactive panels along many of the hiking trails detailing the local history of the area.
The park is open from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend and is closed for the remainder of the year. In general, you can expect to experience mild weather during your stay. The average temperature ranges are from the 60s in May, September, and October to the mid-70s from June through August. These pleasant temperatures will make it perfect to enjoy a campfire at your site. Campsites are available by reservation only via phone or online. Plan to boondock during your stay as there are no water or electric hookups at any site in the state park.
You can expect to encounter wildlife throughout the state park. Loons are commonly heard and spotted in the evenings on both Island and Spectacle Ponds. Though not often, moose have been spotted in the area as well. There are many activities to fill your days on both land and water, from boating and swimming to hiking and horseshoes.
Brighton State Park is located in the unincorporated community of Island Pond in Northeast Vermont. If driving from Island Pond, you’ll want to head east on Highway 105. The coordinates to plug into your GPS for directions are 44.7980 N and 71.8549 W.
The drive to the park should be easy. With the park only being open during the warmer months of May through October, you aren’t likely to encounter any ice or snowy conditions. The roads leading to and inside the park are mostly flat.
Once in the park, you’ll notice that the campsites are all back in, but are quite spacious. It shouldn’t be challenging to back in your rig. There is parking available at the day-use areas throughout the park. You may find walking or biking to the ponds and trails convenient as well.
While the park and surrounding area is in a remote location, you can find limited supplies in the neighboring areas of Island Pond & Brighton. Newport, VT is the closest city and is nearly 40 minutes away. Ice and firewood are available for purchase at the state park.
There are 54 campsites at Brighton State Park. The maximum length for a trailer or RV is 34 feet. The campsites are spacious and wooded. You’ll have plenty of privacy during your stay at the park.
There are no hookups available at any campsite in the park which means you will be boondocking during your stay. Plan to bring along extra supplies due to the remote location of the state park. Limited generator use is allowed. Each campsite has a table as well as a fire ring with a grill grate for cooking.
Park amenities include a playground and restrooms with coin showers. There is a dump station located within the park. Pets are allowed, but are not permitted in the day use areas, swim areas, cabins, or on the beach. Drinking water is located in each of the camping loops. Ice and firewood are available for sale at the park.
The park is open from Memorial Day weekend in May through Columbus Day weekend in mid-October. Campsites are available by reservation only. Reservations can be made online or over the phone several months in advance.
There are numerous interconnecting trails within the state park. Interpretive panels along some of the trails teach visitors about the local history of the state park and surrounding area. The trails on the east side of the park will lead you into the rare Red Pine Natural Area. The Red Pine is native to Vermont and can grow to over 100ft tall. The trails are mostly flat and are accommodating to all skill levels.
While visiting Brighton State Park, you’ll encounter wildlife. Loons frequent the park and you’re likely to hear their calls while they’re drifting about in the pond in the evenings. Deer are often spotted in the park and you may even spot a moose! There is no shortage of wildlife at this state park.
If you’re looking for casual fun on land or need a break from the ponds or hiking, there are two horseshoe pits at the state park. Bring along your set of horseshoes for your stay and have fun playing with family or friends. Good luck getting those ringers for a win!
Spend a relaxing day out on the water. Boats are welcome in the park, but there isn’t a boat launch on either of the two ponds. You can however, launch from the shore. Kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, peddle boats, and rowboats are available to rent in the day-use area at Island Pond. While out on the water be mindful of the swimming areas.
Anglers are known to catch Trout, Bass, and Pickerel on both Spectacle and Island Ponds. There isn’t a boat launch in the park, however boats can be launched from land or you can fish from the shore of either pond. A Vermont fishing license is required, so plan accordingly if you plan to fish during your stay.
There are two swimming areas at Brighton State Park. The swimming area at the southern end of Island Pond has a sandy beach. A changing area with restrooms is located near the beach. It is the perfect spot to enjoy a warm summer day. There is also a designated swimming area on Spectacle Pond. Parking is nearby both swimming areas.