Sometimes camping with kids can be a challenge. With their high energy levels and endless curiosity, kids can get bored fast - even in spots that parents may find deeply satisfying.
The 253-acre Button Bay State Park is the sure thing you've been looking for when you need to keep the whole family entertained. Located in northern Vermont on the shores of the 130-mile long Lake Champlain. Button Bay State Park is a popular destination for activities all year round, but especially for summer family fun.
A short walk takes visitors out to a stunning rocky viewpoint on the shore of Lake Champlain. This is the place to get your feet wet, let the dog chase some sticks in the lake, and look around for some of the unique stone buttons for which the park is named.
Closer to the campground, the boat launch will get you out on the water. You can even rent canoes, kayaks, and rowboats right in the park. The fishing is excellent all year round, and the park is even plowed in the winter for access to ice fishing. The park is also open in the winter for skating, skiing, snowmobiles, and tent camping in the snow.
There are several lean-to shelters and one massive pavilion shelter which are available to reserve in-season for groups and parties. With the great accommodations and open grassy areas, Button Bay State Park would be an ideal place for a large party of wedding.
RV Rentals in Button Bay State Park
Transportation in Button Bay State Park
Nice wide campground loops for checking things out before you commit to a site. There are usually a couple drop-in sites, even in the summer. The pool is very popular, and kids will be all over the place on the weekends. Be careful driving around the park. Nice big grassy back-in spaces, without needing to park on a defined pad. Levelers are a must.
Campgrounds and parking in Button Bay State Park
Campsites in Button Bay State Park
Button Bay State Park Campground
The SP campground is open and grassy with great views of the lake. There's room for most RVs and trailers, but no hook-ups. A fantastic swimming pool and playground are right on the edge of the campground. The pool is staffed with lifeguards, and has wading areas for toddlers and a water slide for the older kids. The large grassy areas, pool and playground are reason enough that Button Bay is a favorite spot, but add to that all of the fun of being on the lake and being able to spend the night and you have a classic camping destination.
The campground is an inviting grassy area with open views of lake Champlain. There are 54 RV-sized sites in the park. There are not any hook ups, but there are full restrooms with coin showers, and a dump station. There are picnic tables and fire rings at each site and a full-blown swimming pool nearby. There is a boat launch and the whole camp is walking distance to the lake.
Seasonal activities in Button Bay State Park
Button Bay Nature Center
A small Nature Center in the park, regularly staffed with well-educated interpretive guides, lets you get a good look at some actual Button Bay buttons. The geology, flora, and fauna are very unique in this place, and it's fun to learn more about your surroundings in detail. The Center is only open during the main camping season May-Oct.
Rent a boat
The State Park rents kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats right by the boat launch. This narrow section of Lake Champlain is often calm enough to see deep into the water, and venture safely all the way to the New York side and back. Paddling north to Basin Harbor and back is a popular exploration.
With shore access to Lake Champlain and a full-blown swimming pool complete with lifeguard, water slide, and toddler area, Button Bay State Park is the place to go for wet summer fun when the temperatures climb. There is a separate fee for Vermont State Park access, and the swimming pool, but it's well worth it. There is also a giant playground right next to the pool.
The roads in the park are nicely paved and level. It's a great spot to let the kids loose on their bikes, or wander around and explore yourself. The Basin Harbor Lodge is only a mile away to the north, and the farmland in between is incredibly scenic. Make sure to bring water though in case they are closed, or you head off in another direction. There aren't any other businesses around for many miles.
Button Bay State Park is open to the public year round, and they regularly plow the access to the boat launch area in order to let ice fishermen out on the lake. The ice gets plenty thick, and you know the fish are ready to bite at everything. Easily catch your limit. Check with VFWD for regulations.
This is real New England winter. The State Park Website notes that visitors should be prepared to dig their own car out of the snow in inclement weather. Vermont knows all about cold and snow. One of the big perks? Lake Champlain freezes solid, and ice skaters (taking precautions) can explore for miles. Everything is white, clean, and as peaceful as can be.