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Plans for the creation of New Discovery State Park began as early as the 1910s, and the state of Vermont began purchasing land. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1920s that it was officially established, because there were farmers with leases on the land. In the early 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt created the New Deal, which was intended to lift America out of the Great Depression. A part of the program was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The state of Vermont hired CCC to work on various parks around the state, one of which included New Discovery State Park. Even today, evidence of their works stand and is still in good condition. CCC built a small campground (which was later expanded), stone shelters, and a stone observation tower on top of the Owl’s Head Mountain.
The closest town is Marshfield, VT, about six miles to the northwest. The small town of about 1,500 residents has a village store with some basic groceries and a couple of restaurants. For more variety in retail options, head to the capital of Vermont, Montpelier, which is about 25 miles to the southwest. Book an RV in Caledonia County, VT, and start preparing for an RV camping trip of a lifetime.
Encompassing around 7,000 acres, the two primary features of New Discovery State Park are Osmore Pond (sometimes referred to as Lake Osmore) and Owl’s Head Mountain. Though there are no boat launches on the pond, it’s well worth the effort to carry a lightweight kayak or canoe to the pond. The pond often overlooked in favor of larger, more popular lakes, is a quiet, serene fishing hole. For much of the year, fishing and boating on this pond is often a very solitary activity.
Owl’s Head Mountain is a short and relatively easy hike, though the last quarter mile can be a challenge for young children. Large blocks of limestone are stacked in tiers, functioning as steep stairs toward the top. Once at the summit, hikers are rewarded with a sweeping view of the Groton State Forest, ponds, and the Green Mountains in the distance.
In addition to the hike up the Owl’s Head Mountain, which is about three miles, there are around 17 miles of multi-use trails, many of which are shared with horseback riders. The trails wind and weave through dense woods consisting of birches, aspens, oaks, and maple. A few trails connect to Groton State Forest and the other neighboring state parks, which adds several more miles of hiking fun.
When the temperature drops, the fun doesn’t stop. As soon as snow blankets the region, transforming it into a winter wonderland, adventurers embark into the woods for a magical outdoor experience. Hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski. Nearby parks also allow snowmobiles on the trails.
In the far northern wilds of Vermont, the temperature rarely rises above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, even in August. Remember, nights in the mountains are cool. Renting an Airstream will make your camping experience more comfortable, particularly overnight.
RV camp at New Discovery State Park to gain more immediate access to nature. In the mornings, birds sing in the trees. At nights, owls hoot as they prepare to hunt. New Discovery State Park has around 45 RV sites, and all set back in deep woods. Well-behaved leashed pets are allowed. Seven RV sites are located near a lean-to stable and corral that can be used to hold horses. Flush toilets and coin-operated hot showers are available to the guests. There are no hookups, but there is a dump station, should an RV require its services.
Surrounded by mountains, trees, and hundreds of ponds, it is hard to imagine that there’s anything to do other than hike or fish. On the contrary! The towns scattered across this region have quirky stores, gift shops, museums, and plenty of history to go around. Hop into a motorhome rental and find your favorite. Montpelier has a lively art, culture, and music scene, delicious restaurants, and regular community events. With only 8,000 residents, you might find yourself sharing a cup of coffee with the state’s governor or mayor. The annual ArtsFest, which has been held since the 80s, is a fun way to discover new and up-and-coming artists and crafters.
The Vermont Granite Museum in Barre is worth a stop. Highlighting heritage, craft, art, and mining history, the museum is anything but boring. The interactive displays give visitors an opportunity for hands-on learning.