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Set in picturesque Vermont woods with rolling mountains, Jamaica State Park covers around 772 acres of the Vermont wilderness. Life in the deep, tall woods is slower and idle, to be savored and enjoyed. As sunlight trickle in through the canopy of spring green leaves overhead, the trails meander and weave through the trees. The ground underfoot is loamy, a rich hue of brown. The lush second-growth woods hints at unspoiled Vermont, granting visitors a vision of what the wilderness looked like long before man brought an ax.
Jamaica State Park has been used for several ventures over the past two hundred years. Once there were small mills all along West River, which runs through present-day Jamaica State Park. Settlers razed the trees for lumber and plowed the hills to create a patchwork of farms. It was also, at one point, used as a transport corridor for a railroad company until a flood destroyed its tracks. The park was created in the 1960s, and nature has since then retaken the hills.
Dozens upon dozens of small towns are nestled in the nooks and crannies of Vermont mountains. The largest is Manchester, which is known for not only its historic charms, but also several outlet stores, a hospital, and delicious restaurants. Manchester is about 20 miles to the west. Book an RV in Windham County, VT, and set out to create the perfect RV camping adventure.
A classic example of New England woods, Jamaica State Park’s verdant green woods transform into a blaze of auburn, ember, and gold in autumns. The small park has around five miles of hiking trails for hikers to explore. One of the trails forks and leads to a small, delicate waterfall that tumbles over massive granite stones in two tiers. Upon landing on the second tier, it splits into two veils and descends again into a small pool. Downriver of the falls is Salmon Swimming Hole, a calm, lazy stretch of West River in which you could enjoy cooling off on a humid summer day. This spot is also a favorite of many fishermen. Trout and smallmouth bass are the most common catches, though an occasional catfish can be hooked.
Upriver, there is a small dam, the Ball Mountain Dam. Twice a year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engine releases the water, and this release makes for a great whitewater rafting experience. Depending on snowmelt and rainfall in the months leading up to the release day, the rapids can attain a difficulty rating of as high as Class IV. On these release days, there is a shuttle service transporting paddlers and their boats and kayaks from downriver to the dam so that they can hit the rapids again. The dam releases are usually in early May and mid-September, depending on the weather. This dam-release event creates one of the few whitewater paddling opportunities in Vermont, and as a result, it is highly popular. Parking can be limited on those days.
Jamaica State Park is cradled on three sides by Green Mountain National Forest, a vast park that covers nearly a million acres of Acadian forests and mountains. There are almost a thousand miles of hiking trails for adventurers to explore. A portion of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches over 2,000 miles from Maine to Georgia, passes through Green Mountain National Forest. Both Jamaica State Park and Green Mountain National Forest are home to a wide variety of wild animals, including black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, moose, and beaver.
Skip enduring noisy neighbors at a hotel and wake up surrounded by nature, when you camp at Jamaica State Park. Birds act as an alarm clock, chirping merrily to let everyone know that the sun has risen. At night, relax in a camper rental and listen to crickets and frogs singing as they ready for the coming of night. Far from cities, the stars are bright and clear in the night sky.
RV camp at Jamaica State Park, which has around 41 sites for RVs and camper trailers. Although there are no hookups for electric or water, there are faucets with drinking water available for guests to use. Bathrooms with flush toilets and coin-operated showers are a short walk from most sites. Campfires are permitted (provided that there is not a fire ban at the time), and there are fire rings at most sites, too. WiFi is available close to the ranger station.
Two things visitors should be aware of: the campground is open only May through mid-October, although the park itself can be accessed in winters. The sole road into the campground crosses a bridge that has an 8-tons weight limit, which may be problematic for travelers with large motorhomes.
Hit the road in a motorhome rental and explore all the wonders Vermont has to offer. Chock full of history and old-warm charm, the towns are also filled with friendly coffee-loving residents. A scenic byway is a good way to learn more about the state as well as enjoy its views. President Lincoln’s only surviving child built a grand, stately Colonial-style home just outside Manchester, VT. The grounds, as well as the manor, are open to visitors, and they can choose between self-guided tours and guided tours of the property.
Vermont is well known for its covered bridges, and there are a couple still standing today. One is conveniently close by in the town of Jamaica, VT, and the other, a few miles further south, near Townshend. Townshend also has a couple of historic stone bridges that date back to the early 1800s. While traveling the twisting mountain roads, keep an eye out. Many homes, barns, and other structures were built well over 100, and in some cases, 200 years ago. They are marvelous examples of craftsmanship and fine architecture.
Rent an RV to embark on a quintessential New England adventure with friends and family. The memories made at Jamaica State Park will last a lifetime.