It is easy to see why Vermont is nicknamed the “Green Mountain State.” Upon crossing into Vermont from New York State, we were greeted by the rolling Adirondack Mountains, framing the beautiful Lake Champlain. It’s easy to see why historical greats like Benjamin Franklin and Ethan Allen would want to visit this area, it is a virtual wonderland of outdoor activities and beauty. Resting along the shores of Lake Champlain with the Adirondack Mountains as a backdrop, is Button Bay State Park. Officially named a state park in 1964, this park abundant in family friendly fun was originally a farm. We recently visited Button Bay State Park as part of our #90DayRoadTrip, and we have compiled a list of 5 “must do’s” when you visit with kids.
Perhaps the best reason to come to Button Bay State Park is to take advantage of their campgrounds. With 73 total sites that includes 13 lean-to’s and 4 cabins, the campgrounds here provide the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy time with the family. There are no electrical or water hook-ups available, but there is a room for charging items located next to the bathrooms, and water spigots are nearby.
We stayed in a lean-to space during our visit, and it would be the perfect place to house a small tent completely protected from the rain and elements, or to sleep out under the stars in good weather. Tent pads in each space are grass, and the area has a tendency to retain moisture, so this campground is best visited during a good weather weekend, but with flush toilets, fee-based hot showers, and gorgeous views of the nearby Adironack Mountains and Lake Champlain, Button Bay State Park’s location can’t be beat.
As soon as my oldest heard that there was fishing available at Lake Champlain from within the State Park, he was gone. About a half mile down a gravel path that travels along the edge of the lake, he found the perfect fishing rock. There he stayed and caught fish for hours. In fact, he caught 24 in just the span of an hour or two, making Button Bay State Park a prime location for fishing. Not to mention, the water was clear and the surroundings stunning.
3. Visit the Nature Center
About a mile down that same gravel trail is the Button Bay State Park Nature Center. Hours vary here, so you’ll want to check the activity board located next to the restrooms near the pool area before you head off on your hike to it. In the nature center, you will find a wide range of information and hands on activities regarding the flora and fauna of the area, as well as the geological history of the park.
Special programs are often held here from time to time, and it is the perfect opportunity to visit “The Point,” which is just a few short steps away. The Point is a collection of rock that provides a platform that goes out into Lake Champlain. It is a great spot for reflection or a family picnic.
I believe Button Bay State Park is the only state park we have ever visited that has its own swimming pool. Complete with a small slide, some water jets and a life guard, the swimming pool is open daily during the Summer, and is the perfect way to beat the heat. Campers flock to this area, and with the nearby picnic tables, pavilion and playground, it is the perfect place to spend the day with the kids.
5. State Park Programs and Activities
Button Bay State Park provides a wide range of programs and activities daily for visitors during the Summer months. The night we arrived, they were playing a movie down in the pavilion by the pool. The boys enjoyed getting to watch the Lorax under the stars.
Daytime programs include crafts for kids and even boating activities. During our visit there was a morning kayak trip out to Button Island, that was free of charge. We just barely missed this activity, and were super bummed, as it looked like a ton of fun. Be sure to check the board or flier you are given at check-in daily so you don’t miss out.
Button Bay State Park is the perfect family-friendly destination for Summer fun in Vermont. With its ample activities and amenities, it provides all the ingredients you need for an ideal outdoors getaway. To learn more about Button Bay and other State Parks within the state of Vermont, visit VermontVacation.com.