Vermont state parks are all open. What You Need To Know – NBC Boston
A possible record high season could arrive in the Vermont state park system, which on Friday saw all locations open, after gradual openings in recent weeks.
Offers such as cottage rentals are returning in 2021 after a hiatus in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s a treat, it really is,” said Dave Grossman of Newton, Massachusetts, who cycled to the top of the famous Mount Vermont. Ascutney State Park.
While Grossman joked that driving the difficult climb might have been better than cycling it, he enjoyed the view of Okemo and the Green Mountains.
“It’s quite extraordinary,” beamed the cyclist.
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Grossman is just one of possible record numbers of visitors the Vermont state park system has predicted it could see this season at its 55 locations.
“If we could make $ 1.2 million that would be wonderful,” said Nate McKeen, director of the Vermont State Park System.
McKeen said that in recent years – outside of 2020 – visits to Vermont state parks have hovered around a million or a little more.
McKeen knows that the pandemic has caused many of us to go out into the fresh air, both for our physical and mental health. He said he was therefore quite sure that many people ended up with a renewed and enduring appreciation for trails, vistas, and other outdoor recreation options.
“These are resources to be treasured,” McKeen said.
Acadia National Park will continue to require a mask to be worn for 2021, but is opening some attractions on-site.
Additionally, consumer analysts have found that there is a strong pent-up travel demand, which could contribute to heavy traffic to the parks this season.
Cabins in state parks that were not in use during the pandemic are now open again, and a new tool on the Vermont State Parks website makes it easier to both find overnight availability and information on the touring amenities you are looking for.
“Beautiful scenery, great company – what more could you ask for?” said Jeremy Guyette, who was part of a group of friends who grew up together in Webster, Massachusetts, visiting Vermont for Memorial Day weekend.
The 16 friends chose Vermont and Mt. Ascutney for their reunion camping trip, which Guyette says was made possible by vaccinations and the lifting of COVID restrictions.
“I hope we get to come here later this summer as well and can start over,” Guyette said.
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Several Vermont State Historic Sites also open this weekend, including the Battle of Bennington Monument and President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch, both reopened on Saturday.
Lake Champlain underwater reserves will be open by June 1, according to the Historic Preservation Division
The Hubbardton Battlefield in Hubbardton and Chimney Point in Addison will open to the public on July 2, the state said. Senator Justin Morrill’s State Historic Site in Strafford will open on July 3.