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Fort Dummer, in Vermont, was built in 1724 during Dummer’s War, a series of conflicts between New England and the Wabanaki Confederacy, which was allied with France. The fort is the first known permanent European settlement in Vermont. Unfortunately, when Vernon Dam was constructed on the Connecticut River, it flooded the original site of the fort. From a certain viewpoint in the park, however, it is possible to see the original site, which is underwater, when the river is calm.
Fort Dummer State Park was officially established in the 1930s when the Civilian Conservation Corps built access roads, a couple of buildings, and the restrooms. The campground was created in the 1960s to provide people with campers and travel trailers a place to stay.
Brattleboro is the closest large town with several charming shops, restaurants, and a hospital. The downtown area is historical, and many homes and buildings date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. It also has art galleries, photography studios, museums, and an indie film theater. The farmer’s market, which is open between May and October, is a terrific way to find local artists and crafters. Search for an RV in Windham County and get ready to embark on an RV camping adventure of a lifetime.
Fort Dummer State Park is a small but refreshing retreat from the busy suburbs. Red, white, and chestnut oaks, beech, maple, and birch trees tower overhead. The leaves on their branches reach out to one another, forming a dense canopy that filters daylight in dappled streaks. In autumn, the leaves transform from verdant green to a blaze of red, gold, and bronze. Photographers and nature lovers will enjoy wandering through this park’s three trails in pursuit of the perfect spot to enjoy the leaves. One trail, aptly named Sunrise Trail, meanders eastward, up toward a summit that faces the dawn. There, the foundations of the long-gone drowned fort can be seen on a calm day, usually in late summer. One of the other trails leads to a swimming hole. On three sides of the hole, sheer granite slabs rise, cradling the crystal clear water.
Covering only about 217 acres, hikers may want more challenging trails to explore. There are several state parks and forests, and county and city parks around. The trails are interconnected, spidering out into deep woods. Hikers should take precautions in autumn and wear blaze orange. Many local and out-of-town hunters descend upon the woods in search of a buck with an impressive set of antlers or flighty grouse and wild turkeys.
Hogback Mountain Conservation Area near Marlboro is famous for its views. It’s said that hikers who successfully achieve summit atop the Hogback Mountain are rewarded with a “100-mile view” of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
Skip staying at hotels and get closer to nature by renting a camper at Fort Dummer State Park. In the comforts of your temporary home, listen to the sounds of wildlife. Birds sing to one another as they herald the sunrise. Winds set the trees overhead a-fluttering. Crickets and frogs croon as they ready for the coming of the night. Fort Dummer State Park RV campground has around 50 sites that are lined with heavy vegetation and shrubbery. The natural walls that line each site blocks the views of your neighbors, further adding to the sense of solitude and quiet.
The restrooms, which have coin-operated showers, are a short walk from most sites, and there is a dump station for any visitors who may require such services. Though there are no hookups, the scenic woods and the opportunity for quiet reflection may be worth the tradeoff.
Slip past Brattleboro and join the other leaf peepers on the Connecticut River Byway. In the comforts of a rental motorhome, effortlessly navigate the twisting mountain road as it follows the contours of the river. Stop in remote mountain towns and search for quaint artists’ shops, boutique stores, and shops featuring vintage goods that can be hundreds of years old. Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney is a long-standing yarn shop that spins their yarns by hand. Their staff will happily demonstrate the ancient art. Watching the wheel whir away as they magically form yarn out of cottony fleece is hypnotic.
Bellows Falls, VT, is known not only for its waterfall, which is an impressive sight but also for its antique-store district in the downtown area. The aroma of dusty, old books fills the air at used bookstores, which are nestled in between secondhand clothing stores, antique centers, and a charming coffee roastery cafe.
After you’ve had your fill of covered bridges, historic buildings, and snow-clad mountains, kick up your heels outside your rental RV and watch the stars appear in the night sky.