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man hiking with dog in killington, vermont.

Adventure To Plymouth State Park During Your Killington Vacation

Killington, VT, is a prime destination for skiers: home to the Killington Mountain Resort & Ski Area, the largest ski resort in the eastern United States. But did you know there are many other things to do in Killington, VT, during the spring and summer months?

You’ll find many activities to fill your days against the backdrop of the lush green mountains that give the 14th state its nickname. Among Killington, summer activities that should be placed high on a must-do list are visits to Plymouth State Park, VT. This Plymouth VT state park is well worth the trip, just a short drive from many Killington vacation rentals.

Between swimming, camping, and the endless hiking trails that Killington has to offer, there are many opportunities that your family can take advantage of at Plymouth State Park. Let’s take a closer look at this 295-acre state park: its rich history, popular activities, and unique features.

About Plymouth State Park

When you visit Plymouth State Park, VT, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy its many well-known activities and facilities. 

Swim, kayak, and canoe on its waters; picnic at its pavilions and picnic areas; camp in lean-to’s, cabins, tents, or RVs at its camping site; and even go recreational gold panning by hand. Horse camping is available on the south side of Buffalo Brook. (Note: there are no horse trails nearby, so horses must be transported to any trails as horse riding in other areas of the park is not allowed).

The park sits on the eastern shore of freshwater, 520-acre Echo Lake.

Hours of use during the park’s season (May 28th – September 26th) are from 10 a.m. – official sunset. Pets are allowed on a leash in grassy areas; no pets are permitted on the sand or beach. Pets can even swim but only at the cartop boat launch.

The daily entrance fee to the park is $4 for adults and $2 for children (between 4 and 13 years old). Season passes can be purchased ($30 for individual, $90 for vehicle). Group rates are available (25 or larger); school groups and municipal recreation groups each have their group rate.

woman kayaking in killington vermont
photo from Shutterstock

The History of Plymouth State Park

The history of this Plymouth, VT state park can be traced back to the nation’s birth.

The road on which Plymouth State Park is located, Scout Camp Road, was constructed in 1759 as a military road linking posts and moving troops and supplies between Charlestown, New Hampshire, and Crown Point on Lake Champlain in Essex County, New York. The military used this route in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. The course was later used for commercial traffic.

In 1855, gold was discovered along Buffalo Brook, which started mining operations that continued for the next 30-plus years. When the mining company went bankrupt in 1889, the mine was purchased by the superintendent, Henry Fox, who continued his search for gold until he died in 1919.

Between 1925 and 1927, the park served as a girls’ summer camp for two years. Then, the Boy Scouts of America bought the park and named it Camp Plymouth. For the next 60 years or so, the area housed several camping sites and contained an archery range, a rifle range, a campfire area, and a trading post. At its apex, Camp Plymouth had sites for ten Boy Scouts troops.

In 1984, the land was conserved and conveyed to the state. Between 1984 and 1989, park facilities were erected. In 1989, Vermont opened Plymouth State Park to the public.

Plan your visit!

Ready to experience all that Plymouth State Park has to offer? Make precious memories with your family and book your Killington vacation home rental today!

Activities at Plymouth State Park

There is no shortage of things to do at Plymouth State Park for those who love the outdoors.

For starters, campers will love the park. There’s something for every camper, from the novice to the experienced. For instance, if you like to rough it, you can camp in tents or lean-to’s; however, you can rent one of four cottages if you prefer more luxuries when camping. You can also bring your RV. Of course, our cabin rentals aren’t far away if you don’t want to stay on the property!

There’s a one-mile moderate hiking trail for hikers, the Vista Trail, which takes you through the white pine forest. The start of the course is on the old logging road beside Birch Cottage; from there, look for trail signs and blue blazes and turn left after 0.1 miles. This footpath intersects with another road, where you will bear left and continue to the cemetery. At the top of the cemetery, a trail sign directs you to re-enter the woods and climb to a vista of Echo Lake and Plymouth State Park. Then, turn around and follow the same trail back. Don’t forget to bring along your furry friends! Our Killington pet-friendly rentals give you the opportunity to include all members of your family on this scenic hike.

You can fish for bass, pickerel, trout, and perch in Echo Lake. Boaters are welcome at the park, and boats can be rented through Plymouth State Park, or you can bring your own and enter the lake through the car-top boat launch. There’s a sandy beach where you can sun and swim. The beach also has a volleyball net. 

Canoes, single kayaks, and rowboats are available for rent; minimum one hour, $10/hour, $30/half day, $40 full day. Tandem kayaks are available for $12/hour, $32/half day, $50/full day. Stand-up paddleboards and pedal boats are rented for a minimum of half an hour, $20/hour, and $7/hour, respectively.

Plymouth State Park is home to many species, including the common raven, peregrine falcon, turkey vulture, woodpecker, and eastern meadowlark if bird watching is your thing. Other wildlife you can spot include the yellow-spotted salamander, wood frog, American toad, and spring peeper.

The park also has a bicycle route, or you can bike on Scout Camp Road though that road is lightly trafficked. Bike riding on Scout Camp Road is also longer and more challenging.

Hand panning for gold is allowed east of the park’s entrance in Buffalo Brook. Mechanical apparatus for gold panning is strictly prohibited, as are commercial operations. Gold panning in the garden is for recreational purposes only. 

Large parties can rent a group picnic pavilion. The largest is the indoor Harwood Pavilion, which seats 150 and offers two stoves and two refrigerators in addition to banquet tables and chairs. It can be rented for $300. Great for weddings! Smaller pavilions are open-air and also have electricity, as well as picnic tables and group grills. The rate for open-air pavilions is $100.

Smaller groups and families can picnic at picnic areas that have grills. Little ones can have plenty of fun on the park’s playground!

The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Homestead and Historic Site is located nearby for history buffs.

older man fishing in the lake in killington
photo from Shutterstock

How to Get There

From almost any Killington rentals, you will have no more than a 20-minute drive or so to Plymouth State Park, VT, which is in Ludlow. Killington is about 17 miles north of the park.

Get on Route 4 East; after a few miles, you’ll turn onto Route 100 South. Travel Route 100 South for about 10.5 miles. You’ll eventually see Echo Lake on your left. Turn left by the Echo Lake Inn onto Kingdom Road/Town Highway 2 and drive three-quarters of a mile. Turn left onto Camp Scout Road, and the park is about a half-mile down that road.

Ready to make your dream trip to Killington? Get in touch with us today to get started!