Thursday, September 23, 2021

Nearby Lake Shaftsbury State Park

August 3, 2021                                                     Most Recent Posts:
Camping on the Battenkill                        Camping on the Battenkill
Arlington, Vermont                    Hunting for the Connecticut and Owl’s Head

If you haven’t seen the previous post on my new campground in southern Vermont, you might want to use the first link above to take a look.


My first excursions from the campground were to state parks to check out the hiking and kayaking.  I had previously purchased a state park pass and had already gotten plenty of use out of it.  I was about to get some more.

Lake Shaftsbury State Park was only a little over 5 miles south on Route 7a so it was my first venture.

Families were out on the beach in the swimming section of the lake.

There is a boat rental with peddle boats and other types but no public put in.


The beach is wide with coarse sand and I was told I could put my kayak in the water right off the beach but getting it there is quite a hike for me to drag it from the parking lot without someone to help carry it.


After doing that information gathering, I set out to hike the trail around the lake.



I suppose when they put this bench in, the cat tails and other tall plants didn’t block the view.


The trail has a very long boardwalk going through the wetlands at the edge of the lake.



The trail then climbs up above the lake and becomes rocky as you can see.


I crossed this land bridge


and several wooden bridges.


The view from the bridge above.


The bridge ended in a rocky rooty area.


There were a lot of bridges on this trail.  I would like to have seen a map of the lake to see if these were islands being connected.



At points the trail was quite narrow

I thought I’d give this tree a hug to show its size which is not so apparent in the picture above.


Eventually I had come all the way around to this private home.  I’m not sure if it belongs to the park manager or if it is just a little parcel that somehow is not part of the park but is on the lake trail.  Great views of the water for sure.


I thought I was going to be able to walk across the dam and end up at the beach just beyond it.


But no such luck.  I had to get off the dam wall at this point and walk down to the road you can see on the left of the picture above and walk around to the beach.  An uninspiring end to a nice trail in a sweet state park.


I’ve collected all of Paul’s mushroom pictures and put them at the end.  There is quite a variety as you can see.  I wish I knew my fungi better so I’d know if it was safe to eat any of these.  I love mushrooms.








  1. You could have eaten my chicken-of-the-woods — another friend has done so and lives to tell!

    1. Count me in now that someone else has tried it. :-)

  2. What an interesting trail! Love that there are different views of the lake with such great bridges. Lots of mushrooms! There has to be an app or website online to identify mushrooms I would think?

    1. There probably is an app but would you trust it with something like mushrooms? They can be very deadly if it's a look alike which there are a lot of.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks William, It's one of two at the park. I hiked the other one later in my stay.

  4. Bad luck about the dam. That would have been the perfect ending.

    1. That's just what I thought Pam. But I guess I was just back on the road sooner than I expected.

  5. Neat trail. I like the bridges and that is quite an impressive variety of mushrooms!!

    1. There were a lot of bridges. I wished I could see an aerial map of the lake to see what they were going over. They didn't have a visitor's center for me to look in for a map as state parks often don't.

  6. You made my day with all those mushroom pictures, such amazing beauty that too often gets overlooked. You're spoiling me rotten!

    PS: What does it say about a guy that likes looking at mushrooms? :cD

  7. As far as mushrooms go, my friend, Die, took a mushroom class from this expert. Guess how he died? Poison mushroom.... I have friends at Pet Paradise who are really good at finding edible mushrooms. I wouldn't attempt it. xxxooo

    1. I agree, I would not attempt to identify mushrooms. I'll wait until someone else eats them and lives to tell it about it.

  8. We only know a handful of mushrooms—boletes, chanterelles, and morels are a few we are comfortable harvesting. Even then, I'm cautious. I would love to know more! You found such gorgeous lakeside trails in Vermont—bridges and boardwalks always make trails more interesting.

    1. I agree Laurel about bridges and boardwalks. Thanks so much for your comment. I'd love to join you for some tasty morels and chanterelles. Just let me know. :-)

  9. I love when the trail is boardwalk to right above the wetlands and water. Those trees are huge and the eastern forest trails always seem very rocky.

    1. Eastern forests are so wonderfully diverse Gaelyn and luckily there are still some big trees. Nothing like the west coast of course. So glad they have saved the Sequoias and Redwoods so far. Not sure how they came to be so rocky. Up here it might be the glaciers.

  10. Yes, I'm very dubious about eating wild mushrooms. Too dangerous.

  11. LOL at the blocked-view-bench! I see those in many places, and some that aren't blocked but I wonder why that location was chosen. How nice to have well maintained boardwalks providing safe access to beautiful areas.


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