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Long before Stillwater State Park was founded in VT, various Native American tribes dwelled in these woods. Sometimes in the early 18th century, the first European settlers arrived with the intent of scratching out a living in the wild Vermont mountains. Over the following 100 years, the settlers logged the mountains heavily, stripping them of their natural beauty. At the turn of the century, this practice fell out of favor, and Vermont’s residents worked to restore it in favor of bolstering the vacation/tourism industry. With the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was established as a part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal, they replanted tens of thousand trees, built cabins and restrooms, and campgrounds.
The land that would be used for Stillwater State Park was purchased in 1938, and CCC built the park ranger’s cabin, restrooms, access roads, fireplaces, and a picnic area. Today, the small park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The closest town is Groton, VT, which has a grocery store and a handful of shops in the town. It’s just under 10 miles south. However, the closest large town with an emergency medical center is Montpelier, about 30 miles southwest. Start planning your RV camping trip today, and search for an RV in Caledonia County.
Encompassing 57 acres of wilderness, Stillwater State Park is small but mighty. The park borders Lake Groton, a picturesque fishing hole. Tall second-growth hemlock, spruce, pine, oak, and birch trees crowd the banks of the lake, acting as a windbreak to calm the waters of the lake, and providing shade to the aquatic life that swims within its crystal clear depths. The tranquil lake, on many days, is glassy, reflecting the sky. Non-powered boats like canoes and kayaks are welcomed on the lake, and there is a small boat launch to facilitate access. Stillwater State Park also runs a rental boat program where visitors can rent kayaks and canoes for the day. The lake supports a wide variety of fish, and smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, and brown bullheads are especially robust.
Stillwater State Park participates in the “Reel Fun Gear Loaner Program,” which lends out rods, reels, lures, and lifejackets. On a slow day, the park rangers are known to enthusiastically offer unplanned lessons for beginners, too.
Being a small park, Stillwater State Park has only walking trails that navigate through the tree from the RV campground to the park office. From there, however, hikers and adventurers can gain access to over 40 miles of multi-use trails in the neighboring state parks. Some trails are dedicated to hikers, while others are open to mountain bikers and horseback riders.
As a part of Groton State Forest, the admission fee to gain access to Stillwater State Park will also allow any visitors to enter one of the other six state parks or Groton State Forest, many of which are walking distance from Stillwater State Park.
Lamoille Valley Rail Trail is a lovely way to explore Vermont by foot or bicycle. Spanning 93 miles, it winds and meanders from St. Johnsbury, passing by Danville and terminates in Swanton, VT, close to the state border. It claims to be the longest single trail in New England.
One advantage of renting an RV is no noisy hotel neighbors. RV camp at Stillwater State Park and wake to the sound of birds serenade the sun as it rises above the horizon. Stillwater State Park RV campground has 59 sites for adventurers to choose from. Heavy vegetation screen most sites, further enhancing the sense of solitude and quiet. The campground is open only between May through September, though the park may be accessed during the offseason. Well-behaved leashed dogs are permitted nearly everywhere on the campground as well as the trails; however, they are not allowed on the beach of Groton Lake.
A handful of sites are wheelchair accessible, and they are conveniently close to the restrooms. The restrooms, which also have coin-operated hot showers, are a short walk from most sites.
Stillwater State Park is accessed by twisting mountain roads, and, it can, at times feel very far removed from civilization. With the help of a rental motorhome, though, traveling to small mountain towns of Vermont in search of artists, boutique shops, and unusual attractions is effortless. Groton has a handful of charming shops, a country store at which one may replenish their food supplies, and a winery that specializes in honey meads. Barre claims to have the world’s largest zipper and is the home of the Granite Museum. The museum explores Vermont’s role in mining and the granite industry.
The Maple Grove Museum in St. Johnsbury, VT, demonstrates how maple syrup is made in its working sugarhouse. The gift shop has an assortment of maple syrup and candies. Also close by is the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, which has tens of thousand specimens, artifacts, and photographs of various wildlife around the world. The planetarium is the only public planetarium in Vermont. Learn about ancient stars whose lights traveled millions of years through the vast, endless cosmos.
Join the other leaf peepers today and find your perfect photogenic RV camping adventure in Vermont.