Located in northern Vermont on the shores of the 130-mile long Lake Champlain, the 253-acre Button Bay State Park is a popular destination for activities all year round, especially for summer family fun.
This small park has much to offer visitors who are looking for a weekend getaway in beautiful New England. A short walk takes visitors out to a stunning rocky viewpoint on the shore of Lake Champlain where they can get their feet wet, let the dog chase some sticks in the lake, and look around for some of the unique stone button-shaped concretions for which the park is named. Close to the campground, visitors can use the boat launch to explore the beautiful and historically significant Lake Champlain. Those who don't have their own boat can 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 easy access to ice fishing. During the winter months, the park is a popular destination for skating, skiing, snowmobiling, and tent camping in the snow.
Whether visiting for the day or staying several nights, RV visitors will have plenty to do and see at Button Bay State Park.
The park is located in the small town of Ferrisburgh, Vermont which is just under an hour south of Burlington. Travel to the park is a beautiful scenic drive following state highways and local roads. The roads within the park are clearly defined but contain several turns that are difficult in larger rigs, especially within the campground. One nice thing about the campground, however, is that the road does widen on the loops to allow for two-way traffic. However, there are no gravel or cement pads to indicate specifically where campers should park their rigs, so visitors are free to park their rigs on any of the grassy areas surrounding their designated site. Many visitors will find levelers to be helpful. While driving in the park, be cautious and drive slowly. Watch out for any wildlife, hikers, or children who may be playing nearby.
Button Bay State Park has one campground with a total of 57 campsites available by reservation only. The campground is open and grassy with great views of the lake as well as the Adirondack mountains. It consists of two loops, one small and one large. There's room for most RVs and trailers, but be aware that there are no hookups. Each site includes a picnic table and fire pit. Campground amenities include restrooms, showers, a dump station, and a water station where campers can obtain fresh drinking water. The campground is also pet friendly.
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. By far the best feature of the campground is that no matter what site visitors are camping on, they are always within walking distance to the lake. Be aware that many of the sites are rather small and close together, so guests will want to be sure their site can accommodate their rig when making reservations.
Within the campground on the smaller loop there are 13 lean-to shelters that are available for guests who are interested in camping facilities that are a little sturdier than a tent. These lean-to shelters are able to accommodate up to eight people. Each lean-to site includes a picnic table and a fire pit. There are no hookups at these sides, however, campers who use the lean-tos are permitted access to the campground showers, restrooms, and drinking stations where they can obtain fresh drinking water. Pets are allowed in the lean-to campsites.
Just outside of the large loop in the campground, there are four cabins that visitors are able to reserve for their stay. These cabins are all located closer to the water's edge and have beautiful views. Two of the cabins are ADA-accessible. Each cabin can accommodate up to six people and are surrounded by a large grassy area. Be aware that only one cabin is pet friendly.
The roads in the park are nice and level, making it easy to explore the surrounding area on bikes. The Basin Harbor Lodge is only a mile away to the north, and the farmland in between is incredibly scenic. Visitors should be sure to bring water since the region can be quite humid, especially when the sun is out. There aren't any other businesses around for many miles, so cyclists should bring with them whatever supplies they may need for the round trip.
A small Nature Center in the park, regularly staffed with well-educated interpretive guides, lets visitors get a good look at some actual Button Bay buttons. These interesting geological formations look like rocks with holes drilled in them and bear a striking resemblance to actual buttons. The geology, flora, and fauna are very unique in Button Bay State Park, and visitors can have a good time learning about the area. The Visitor Center is only open from May through October.
The State Park rents kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats right by the boat launch. This narrow section of Lake Champlain is often calm enough to see deep into the water, and visitors can venture safely all the way to the New York side and back. Paddling north to Basin Harbor and back is a popular activity among park visitors. Anglers can also rent these boats in order to find the best fishing spots on the lake.
Button Bay State Park is open to the public year-round and during the winter, the city regularly plows the access to the boat launch area in order to let ice fishermen out on the lake. The ice gets quite thick during the winter, so visitors can have a safe day of ice fishing. Anglers can catch dozens of fish species including small and largemouth bass, northern pike, and several species of trout. Before fishing, visitors should check with the VFWD for current regulations and conditions on Lake Champlain.
Vermont knows all about cold and snow, and New England winters can be especially frigid. However, some of the season's most cherished activities are only possible once temperatures hit well below freezing. During the winter months, Lake Champlain freezes solid and ice skating becomes possible. Experienced skaters can start at the plowed boat launch and explore miles of the peaceful lake. Ice skaters should take precautions as this lake is also popular for ice fishing and the holes left by fishermen may not freeze over completely, leaving irregularities in the ice.
During the winter months, the park's scenic hiking trail is covered in a layer of brilliant white snow that turns it into a wonderful location for snowshoeing. This easy, 1.6-mile trail is relatively flat, making it perfect for beginners and for those who are looking for a leisurely snowshoeing adventure. The trail takes snowshoers out to the tip of Button Point where they can take in panoramic views of frozen Lake Champlain. Completely surrounded by trees, the trail is quiet and peaceful, giving guests an opportunity to meditate and connect with the nature around them.