This 430 acre park might not sound like much, but once you see that it is surrounded by the lush wooded Green and Taconic Mountains, Emerald Lake State Park in Vermont has the outdoor fix you've been needing.
20 acre Emerald Lake is strikingly green when seen from the air. It is a popular swimming spot in the summer, and due to the quiet absence of motorized boats, a great paddling and fishing spot as well.
A small wooded island characterizes the lake, and makes an interesting spot to explore for boaters and paddleboarders. The Park rents canoes, kayaks, and peddal boats in season and there is a giant sandy swim area on the Lake's north shore. A snack shop, bathrooms, and showers are right by the parking area.
The lake is large enough for everyone to have their fun, and fishermen can still find quiet places to catch a bite even when the kids are splashing away by the beach. This stocked lake is quite deep in parts, and provides habitat for a variety of fish and other wildlife.
The area has a significant history of marble quarries, and the State Park property itself was once part of a larger mining venture. The nearby town has many buildings made from this marble, as well as giant quarry remnants in the surrounding mountains.
There are three camping loops which have a variety of open campsites and special built lean-to structures for tents. There are no hook ups but there is room for smaller trailers and RVs, and there is a dump station.
The campground is on a steep hillside which creates drop-offs at some of the sites which could be dangerous for small children. The trees are large and full, and could be in the way for antennas, slide outs, and awnings. Be sure to specify your equipment when calling to reserve a site.
There are 67 campsites for tents and RVs, but there are not hook ups. There are flush toilets, hot showers, drinking water, and a dump station. Many of the sites have filtered views of the water, and each loop is quite different. The loop by the swim area fills up first. Reservations are still by phone.
This small lake offers a ton of variety for fishing. There are numerous shore spots to explore, and endless possibilities for fishermen on the water. The island is a known hotspot with submerged logs and rock ledges underwater. Yellow perch, small mouth bass, northern pike and other warm-water species will put your tackle box to the test.
The trails around Emerald Lake are pretty special. Giant hemlock trees and large smooth boulders line the lakeshore, and miles of park trails on both sides of the highway are filled with views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. There are several short trails that can be linked together for a leisurely half-day of exploring.
Dorset has a rich history of marble mining. Emerald Lake State Park itself was once part of a large mining property, and quarry pits exist a short distance from the lake. The remnants of several of the major quarries can still be seen in the area. Heavy equipment, caves, and huge cuts in the marble mountainsides can be seen just by driving around a little.
Emerald Lake is a popular swim spot. There is a giant sandy beach which extends far into the water. It doesn't get deep quickly, which makes a nice safe wading area for the kids. There are restrooms with showers nearby, a snack bar, and the boat rental. The teens like to swim to the island and play on the rope swing nearby.
The varying shoreline and unique island at Emerald Lake provide an awesome place to paddle. This non-motorized lake is perfect for canoes, kayaks, row and pedal boats - all which are for rent by the park swim area. The water is often clear enough to watch the fish swimming beneath and you're bound to see some wildlife on the shore.
The park has an interpreter offering entertaining, hands-on activities. These park staff are solely dedicated to helping you learn about the natural and cultural history of the park. Check with the park for a schedule of activities like night hikes, nature crafts, campfire programs and amphibian hunts. Fun for all ages!