Silver Lake State Park | Outdoorsy

Silver Lake State Park
Guide

Introduction

Nestled adjacent to the glistening waters of the 84-acre Silver Lake is Silver Lake State Park. Fishing, boating, and picnicking await you on your RV escape to Vermont as you’ll be surrounded by beautiful woodlands and grassy knolls. Located near Barnard and Woodstock, you’ll be greeted by rolling hills and quaint farms and get a taste of authentic New England charm in a serene setting while you explore this 35-acre state park.

The park is built on the remnants of a 19th-century farmstead, and you can still see the foundation of one of the original barns on the grounds today. Silver Lake State Park was founded in 1955 when two pieces of beautiful New England land were donated to the state. The lake was previously known as Barnard Pond after the city of its location. When you visit the park in your camper, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities in a relaxing setting.

During the warmer months, you can swim in the majestic Silver Lake or fish for perch, pike, and bass. If you want to get out on the water, you can bring your own motorboat or rent non-motorized boats like canoes and kayaks. The whole family can enjoy a fun-filled getaway with outdoor recreation such as horseshoes or volleyball. Although the park is closed during the winter months, you can still enjoy ice skating and ice fishing. No matter what brings you to Vermont, Silver Lake State Park is the perfect spot for an RV getaway where you can enjoy the serenity and solitude of nature.

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Camping Accommodations

34'
Max RV length
30'
Max trailer Length
Electrical hookup
Water hookup
Generator use
Food storage
Sewer hookup
Dogs & cats

RV Rentals in Silver Lake State Park

Transportation

Driving

Silver Lake State Park is easy to get to by RV or car. Just an hour southeast of the town of Middlebury and only 32 minutes southeast of Rochester, Vermont, the park is simple to access via main roads with plenty of signage. Once you arrive, there are several local roads that will take you all around the park including the park office, swimming area, and campground. There are no driving restrictions for RVs or trailers in the park.

Parking

There is one main, large parking lot in the park, located right next to Silver Lake. From this parking lot, you can easily access the swimming area, outdoor recreation area, nature center, and campgrounds. Parking for RVs and trailers is available. You can also park your RV or trailer at the campground if you are staying overnight.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Silver Lake State Park

Campsites in Silver Lake State Park

Reservations camping

Silver Lake State Park Campground

The Silver Lake State Park Campground features 39 campsites that are open to tents and RVs and seven lean-to sites. The maximum length for RV and trailer sites vary but range up to 30 feet for trailers and up to 34 feet for RVs. You’ll have easy access to restrooms and coin-operated hot showers. You can choose a shady or open site, but every spot is within walking distance to the sandy shore of the beautiful Silver Lake.

There are no hook-ups but there is a sanitary station available, and trash must be packed out. Sites do include a firepit and a picnic table. You’ll also be close to a snack bar, changing rooms, and boat rentals. A picnic pavilion is located nearby as well. Reservations can be made from one day to 11 months in advance. The campground and the park are closed during the winter.

First-come first-served

Silver Lake State Park Campground

Although reservations are allowed, first-come, first-served campers are welcome if there are unreserved sites available. Even during the summer months, there may be a few RV sites available, especially during the middle of the week. You may be able to stay at one of the 39 campsites that are open to RVs and tents or one of the seven lean-to sites. The maximum length accommodations are 34 feet for RVs and 30 feet for trailers. You’ll be within walking distance to all the fun at Silver Lake, as well as restrooms, and pay showers. There are no hookups, but there is a sanitary station available, and trash must be packed out. The campground and the park are closed during the winter.

Alternate camping

Private Campgrounds

If you’d prefer to stay off-site, you can stay at a private campground or RV park nearby, such as near Bethel in the north, or Hartford to the south. This is a great option if you are looking for modern amenities like full hookups, wireless internet, or cable TV. You can choose between a private campground that offers a rustic experience or a private RV resort that provides a more luxurious atmosphere.

Seasonal activities in Silver Lake State Park

In-Season

Swimming

Silver Lake is a prime spot to go swimming during your RV escape to Vermont. You can bask in the sun and work on your tan on the sandy shores of the lake while the kids splash in the water. The air is warm but the water is cool and refreshing, perfect for cooling off after an afternoon hike. You’ll be swimming in a serene setting, surrounded by a majestic forest and grassy knolls. Changing rooms, a snack bar, and restrooms are located nearby, but no lifeguard is on duty, so swim at your own risk.

Hiking

Hiking is a popular activity at Silver Lake State Park because of the miles of trails for all levels of fitness and abilities. With six maintained trails, hikers can choose relatively flat trails or ones with a nice elevation change for a more challenging trek. Many of the trails meet, so hikers can change it up for variety.

Try the Goshen Trail for a nice easy hike of a little over a half-mile. For a longer hike, take the Goshen Trail to Leicester Hollow Trail, a 5.5-mile trail connecting with the Silver Loop Trail, which loops around the lake. For a real challenge, take the steep Silver Lake Trail, which climbs 850 feet of elevation to the top of the lake and offers breathtaking views.

No matter which trail you choose, you're sure to get a workout while taking in some of the most beautiful landscapes around, so make sure to pack your most comfortable hiking boots for this coming trip.

Boating and Paddling

The lake at Silver Lake State Park is a quiet setting to go boating during your motorhome trip to the Northeast. You are welcome to bring your motorized boat and cruise around the 84 acres of Silver Lake. Whether you want to cruise on the water in your speed boat or on a jet ski, you’ll have loads of fun on the open waters of Silver Lake. Be aware that Silver Lake State Park does not have a boat launch, so getting your skiff into the water may be a little challenging.

Non-motorized boating is a popular way to spend the day at Silver Lake State Park. Whether you want to bring your own or rent a non-motorized boat, you can go along the enchanting waters of this 84-acre lake on a kayak, canoe, pedal boat, or rowboat. You can also rent stand-up paddleboards if you’re up for an adventure. Life jackets are required on the lake, so pack one in your motorhome.

Fishing

Silver Lake provides one of the best opportunities for fishing in the entire state. Make sure you pack your bait and tackle in your campervan since you’ll have the chance to catch largemouth bass, perch, and bullhead. Walleye and Pike are abundant in the cool waters of Vermont as well. Silver Lake State Park participates in the Reel Fun program, where you can borrow free fishing gear such as rods, lines, and reels, as well as getting an information packet that gives tips about fishing in the area and how to obtain a Vermont fishing license.

Nature Programs

During the summer months, Silver Lake State Park hosts almost daily nature programs. You can enjoy all sorts of ranger-led activities during your RV stay in Vermont including nature talks and guided walks. Park interpreters lead activities designed to educate visitors about local flora and fauna, wildlife, history, and survival techniques. Events include night hikes, crafts for kids, amphibian exploration hikes, and games. This is a great way to learn about the natural history and heritage of the park in a way the whole family can enjoy.

Off-Season

Ice Fishing

If you’re up for a challenge, you can go ice fishing on the frozen waters of Silver Lake during your motorhome escape to Vermont. Although Silver Lake State Park's services are closed during the winter, you can still access the lake and enjoy the chance to catch, bass, perch, and pike. So grab your auger and fishing gear and head over to the lake, but make sure to check the weather, the ice thickness for safety, as well as park regulations regarding ice shanties and fires before building one on the lake. You'll also want to check the local fish and game office for rules and regulations during the winter months before heading out for your winter adventure. Make sure you bundle up for an exciting day of ice fishing.

Snowshoeing

Although there are no groomed trails, snowshoeing guests will enjoy trekking through the hiking trails in the winter. Out of the six hiking trails in the park, two of them are suitable for snowshoeing: the Rocky Point Trail leading around Silver lake that crosses Chandler Ridge Trail before continuing around the lake, and the Leicester Hollow Trail, which offers 5.6 miles of gradual increase in elevation. Bring plenty of water and layer clothing as snowshoeing is physically exerting. Although the park services are not open during the winter, the trails are still accessible.

Photography

Autumn is the perfect time to grab your best lenses and head to Silver Lake State Park to get some amazing landscape photos. Capture the season change as the colors begin to emerge in the local foliage. The park is less crowded, so you can easily capture that idyllic shot of the glistening waters of Silver Lake or take artistic photos of historic barn foundation. Snap a mesmerizing sunset as it touches the edge of the water or take some shots of the local wildlife in their natural habitat. You'll find plenty of opportunities to take beautiful photography at Silver Lake State Park any time of year.

Ice Skating

Although the park is closed during the winter months, you can still access Silver Lake and enjoy a fun-filled day of ice skating. If you pack your ice skates in your trailer and the waters are frozen, you can cruise on top of the 84-acres of Silver Lake. Make sure to check the weather forecast and the ice thickness before heading out on the lake. Always skate with a partner for safety. This is a thrilling adventure the whole family can enjoy during your camper stay in Vermont.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiles are allowed once the snow is deep enough for the blades/tracks to not damage the ground and trails of the park. There are no groomed trails and park staff only occasionally visit the park in the offseason. However, you will still need a TMA decal and have your vehicle registered. Additionally, overnight camping during the winter requires a permit. RVers can purchase their permits online and check for weather conditions and snow depth before heading out for their winter escape.