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In the town of Maidstone, some 25 miles from Lunenburg and Jefferson, is a 475-acre natural gem. With its crystal clear water, boreal and hardwood forests, and wild beauty, Maidstone State Park is one of the best remote escapes in the state of Vermont. Rugged trails wind through woods that consist of balsam fir, yellow birch, beech, red spruce, and sugar maple, which is why hikers, RV camping enthusiasts, nature and wildlife lovers are regular guests here.
The main source of the park’s unique charm is the pristine lake, which is home to trout, smelt, and landlocked salmon. Other animals also call this natural area home, so you might spot loons and even a moose. As the lake permits both boating and fishing, anglers are another group of visitors that love camping at Maidstone State Park.
As the park offers multiple recreation opportunities, as well as amazing spots for a calm and relaxing motorhome camping experience, it's an ideal location for your next vacation. You can rent an RV in Essex County to ensure you have both comfort and mobility during your camping trip. Alternatively, you might want to find an RV rental in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, as it's just an hour away from the state park.
Explore the state park by hopping on one of three hiking trails. If you want to observe the park's wildlife and soak up its natural beauty, you should opt for Moose Trail, which will have you go through thick woods and climb hilly terrain. Loon Trail is a shorter pathway that goes along the craggy shoreline and is typically used for bird watching. Lastly, the Shore Trail will take you through cedar and hemlock woodlands and along the shore of Maidstone Lake.
Another way to make the most of your Maidstone State Park camping trip is to have fun at the lake. Here, you can go boating, swimming, or fishing. You can bring your own kayak or canoe, or if you don’t have one, there are rental options at the park.
The lake also boasts a variety of fish species, so make sure you pack your gear if you plan on fishing. It should be relatively easy to find a nice peaceful spot to do so here. Since the lake's water is so clear, make sure you bring your swimming goggles and explore the lake by diving and snorkeling. Just know that the water in Maidstone Lake tends to be cold!
Maidstone State Park's campground can accommodate both tent and RV camping. There are nearly 35 RV campsites where you can park your camper rental along with 25 lean-to sites. Although the campsites are primitive, amenities like restrooms, coin-operated hot showers, and a dump station are all available.
There's also a picnic pavilion that guests can rent, which includes a fire pit, restrooms, and can accommodate over 30 people. Rental fees only apply during certain days; check with the park staff if you have any questions.
Once you’ve recharged your batteries and feel like exploring a more urban setting, you can visit one of the nearby towns. Head to St. Johnsbury in Vermont, or you can go to Lancaster in New Hampshire, as both towns have engaging attractions and lots of dining options. If you're looking for pizzerias, grills, Mexican restaurants, and fast-food places, both Lancaster and St.Johnsbury will have lots of eateries to choose from.
St. Johnsbury is home to a museum and planetarium that the whole family will find interesting. It's housed in a Victorian building, packed with a dazzling display of artifacts, dolls, animals, fossils, and all sorts of wonders. The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium is the only public planetarium in Vermont, so if you want to explore the mysteries of cosmos, you won't want to miss this spot.
If you're traveling with kids, they might find a trip to Lancaster more entertaining, as you get to take them to see Santa, even if it’s summer. There's a Christmas-themed amusement park with lots of rides, water slides, toy stores, and restaurants. You can look forward to some quality time with your kids and enjoying the Christmas spirit all year long.
North of the park is the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, and if you love animals, you'll want to check it out. You'll be able to see some rare and endangered native species. Much like in Maidstone State Park, you can spend days exploring the untamed wilderness, but this time, you're sure to see a lot more birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish in this seven-million-acre area.