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Rutland, VERMONT
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Can’t wait to go back

We go to this park every year and are never disappointed. Minutes from Lake George Village.

busy with permanent longterm campers but lovely hearing the river babble by

Tent camped here with my dog for two nights. Was sold absolutely green wood that would not burn (why do campgrounds always do this??).  First site I was given was out of view of the river, which was entire reason for visiting.  Campground owner was accommodating and found me a spot that overlooked the river (why not do that from the start?).  There is no privacy whatsoever to the sites, and sites are one on top of the other (my tent was basically uncomfortably close to neighbor's fire pit, but there was no other option for pitching elsewhere).  The nights were very loud with kids screaming and people partying.  It's a mishmash of sites too -- my tent was squished in between a permanent trailer and a weekend fifth wheeler.  But the river was magnificent and I could hear it babble by all night; very relaxing once the place quieted down.  Very close to Townsend State Forest and a beautiful hike up Bald Mountain, which looks to have really nice, spacious and quiet tent sites (already booked for next year).

Wow what an awesome experience

Definitely need a decent sized boat with a gas outboard to get there, but wow. What an experience. Me the wife and our 3 children had an amazing time on our three night stay. Definitely no amenities other than an outhouse but spectacular views and pristine waters. Great fishing, lots of fun to be had on the water and quiet peaceful evening by the campfire. Will definitely be going again in the spring.

[Ranger Review] Gregory Endo 15 Pack at Mt. Ascutney State Park

Intro:

On a whim back in August, our family decided we wanted to camp for a night and discover some new mountain biking trails. I did some research and poking around on the interwebs, and discovered Mt. Ascutney State Park in Windsor, VT. The state park had everything we were looking for: close proximity to mountain bike trails, beautiful hiking trails, available leantos, and less than two hours from our home.

Campground Review

I am going to talk about the positives first, and then lay out the few negatives at the end. Sound good? Great!

The state park is located off of a paved road, about 15 minutes from the closest interstate exit. It is situated on the side of Mt. Ascutney, a 3200+ mountain. There is actually an toll-road that goes up the mountain. The campground has two distinct loops. We stayed in the loop to the left of the entrance in one of the lean tos.  Our campsite was a prime site. It was very large, and quite private.  As a bonus, it even had direct access down a path to a large recreation field that included a volleyball net. Our children and their friends loved biking around the field and exploring it while waiting for meals, etc.  The lean to was very clean, and recently painted. It had ample room for 6, and could fit 8 as well. The lean tos come with a bench that can be used inside, or out by the fire which was a nice touch.

Our site was situated under large pine and hemlock trees, with some small deciduous trees mixed in. This kept the site shady, but rays of sunshine did break through at times.  Our lean to faced east, so we had a view of the sunrise in the morning.

The bathroom was clean, and the shower area was recently tiled with nice tilework. Outside of the bathroom there was a little library book case with books for campers to borrow. Such a fun idea!

The state park maintains its own mountain biking trail loop, which accessible directly from the campground. It is a 3 mile beginner friendly loop, with some nice rollers and moderate terrain.  Down the road  about 10 minutes at the Mt. Ascutney Outdoor Center, there is a whole network of mountain biking trails that range from novice to expert. I checked out some of the trails there, and particularly enjoyed the trails in the Mile Long Field. Beautiful switchbacks traversed an idyllic Vermont field. 

The hiking trails are also pleasant--there is a sweet little nature loop in the campground with signs identifying different trees. There are also other trails that lead to the summit of Mt. Ascutney.  We decided to drive up Mt. Ascutney to see the sunset our first night. Sunset was at 7:30. HOWEVER, the toll road also happened to close at 7:30, which we had ignored on the sign.  Well, the state park staff enforce their rules, and they came up to the top before (sadly) the sun had set to tell us we had to drive back down.  Half of our group decided to stay at the top and watch the sunset and then hike down in the dark.  It was quite the adventure--thankfully we always carry headlamps and flashlights in our car. 

It was a bit disappointing that the auto road closes before sunset, but I understand that the park needs to have rules to keep folks safe. There are 6 cabins that the state park rents out that are partially up the mountain on the auto road. Folks who rent those sites actually do have access to the summit at sunset. So if you are looking for an easy sunset experience, that would be the way to go.

Overall, our experience at the campground was fantastic.  The other campers were quiet, everything was clean, and access to local recreation was convenient.

CONS:

The road nearby is noisy. Because of its location, you can hear both the local highway and I91.  If being in the quiet wilderness is important to you, than this campground might not work out.

Gear Review

From time to time, as a Dyrt Ranger, I am given gear to test out and review.  On this camping trip, we tested out a Gregory Endo 15 3D Hydro Pack.  Gregory specifically designed this pack for mountain bikers.  We chose the one in Carbon Black.  Our first impression of the pack was that it was made out of sturdy, rugged materials, which is important for a pack that has to take the abuse of mountain biking. Our second observation was that it didn't have any external water bottle pockets the way a regular day pack would.  This of course makes sense as water bottles would easily fall out while biking.  The waist belt is unique as it can slide into a few different positions in order to change how the pack rides on your back.  The back panel is lifted away from the users back, which provides excellent ventilation. Inside the pack are sever pockets, including a removable pouch ideal for storing bike tools. My husband really appreciates that feature as it makes it much easier to find his tools on the go.  The included reservoir is easy to fill, and we like that it is also very easy to hang to dry. It seems to dry faster than the reservoirs that we have from other brands.He has also used the pack a few times on hikes, and it is comfortable for that as well. The straps are low profile, so it doesn't work for carrying super heavy stuff.

My husband says the pack is comfortable. He says it does bounce a bit while descending rougher trails, and he wished there was a way to prevent that. Overall, it does its job well, stays out of the way, and holds the gear and water that he needs when biking.  It is great that companies are starting make mountain biking specific packs.

Nice place

We stayed here 2 nights. Wanted to see the sights like Green Mountain Coffee, Ben and Jerry’s and Trapp Family Lodge. Nice quite place. We had a pull through, and nice green grass sights.

We go every year and love it

Friends and I camp here every June, and we love being close to the river. We sleep in tents so the sound of the river put  you to sleep at night. Excellent campground for cooking delicious meals over the fir and sitting around the fire later. We also tube down the river. Very clean restrooms and nice staff.

Very nice campground!

Nice campground that has a gorge trail attached to the campground! This was nice to do right before dinner. The campground has full showers and bathrooms. Also, they have a community bonfire on Saturdays with s’mores, which was nice!

Button Bay

Great campground. Everything from sunny meadow sites to more wooded private sites. Nice pool. No hookups but have a dump station

The Worst

Owner Ross was very rude to everyone, Pool has a scum rim around it, and there are no wooded sites

Relaxing

We had a relaxing weekend getaway. The staff was nice to make sure you are taken care of

Beautiful along the lake

The best part of this campground is the view of Lake Champlain and Vermont. We stayed here one night in our RV with no hookups. The site was gorgeous and the campground clean.

My favorite

Nice group camping area on Connecticut River with tent and lean to options. Ranger Eric and staff were awesome.

WOW What a view !!!

Had a great hike and lunch at top of mountain. Climbed weather tower and was an awesome experience.

Awesome

Very clean and enjoyable. We have gone here a couple times exceeding our expectations.

Great campground

High up on a hillside. The prime lean tos have great views. Sites for tents offer some set away but further from water and toilet. Other sites closer, but also closer together. Firewood available. Take a walk to the picnic pavilion which has a great view. Trail around Slack Hill has view of Ascutney. Pavilion and some shelters look over to Kiliington. CCC trail cuts through. Ash and maple woods. Clean, well kept.

Nice riverfront lots

Lots of room; nice pool and a playground; right on the Connecticut River

Peaceful

Tent camping at its best. Quiet and nestled in the trees. Not much is nearby in the way of attractions but there is amazing hiking trails all throughout this area. If you are new to hiking in real mountains like the ones near this campground (I’m from Jersey so…) be sure to have a personal beacon since your cell phone won’t work on the hikes. The campground does get 1 bar.

Our favorite campground but a bit pricey.

We love going to Lake George RV Park.  It's got large sites, virtually all blacktop roads, bike trails, dog park, indoor pool, outdoor pool and another (new) water park with zero-entry pool.  Great store on-site, Movie theater & shows/entertainment, tennis courts, ball park, paddleball courts.  Pretty close to Lake George Village and the lake, but not on it (about 5 miles).

My only minor issue was with WIFI on one trip, but most of the time it's pretty good for a campground.

We try to get there once or twice a year.

Quiet, out of the way

This campground is easy to navigate. It’s family friendly with a large field for volleyball, badminton, etc…

Nice and relaxing. Right next to Quechee Gorge where you can hike down to the gorge and go swimming or just sit on the rocks in the sun. Very relaxing and fun!

Permanently closed

This was an amazing campground, but was heavily damaged in Hurricane Irene and is now permanently closed.

Great Park

Nice rustic ,small all amenities park.Great place to explore Vermont ,hundreds of things to do and see in the area. Really like this park.

Rangers are terrific!

This is a very popular spot and it’s nice to see so many people enjoying beautiful Lake George. The day use area has shady spots and grills, nice for the kids.

Fun tubing and great staff

We stayed here back in 2016 when the Adirondack Safari had their glamping sites here. We loved it. The best part honestly was tubing down the river. They had a great camp store that had everything you can think of including great beer.

Friendly staff, clean sites, great fun

Stayed here for 3 nights. Everyone was so helpful and very nice. "Good morning friends!" They brought our firewood right to us and even recommended a place to get great pizza on a rainy night. There is a trail from the campgrounds to see the beautiful gorge. They also had very clean bathrooms too. We will definitely be back.

Great place to camp

Quiet campground, close to many hiking high peak trails. Love the caretakers dog Rookie.

Nice, quiet, rustic

Basic camping in a quiet, older campground. Very pretty beach area at the reservoir where you can paddle and swim. No hook ups available but only $20 per night for a site that was plenty big enough for a small motor home. Mostly tent campers though and spots would be tough for anything much bigger. Bathhouse was clean and had a pay shower.

Gasoline generators from morning to night

Saw Hapgood Pond was well reviewed so just went for 2 nights. The site across the way ran a generator midday for3 hours each day. One site down and across a large RV ran their generator from 7 to 10 am or so and again from 4 to 9 pm. These folks never stepped outside their RV. 1 mile trail and day use swimming and boating area. Pit toilets. Showers at day use area at pond. No firewood available. No campground office but host volunteer updates tags on site numbers showing free or reserved.

Nice find...

I was headed from NY to ME and decided to make it a two day trip. VT State Parks have a two night minimum but as this was a Thursday I decided to take a shot. Got there in the late afternoon and a couple sites were open so it all worked out. 

This was just an overnight stop so I didn't explore much but it is definitely on the list should I get back up that way again. 

Site was shaded and private. The bath house was nice. The coin operated shower was a surprise but I had enough quarters for 10 minutes :)

Gorgeous Lake George

Truly the Queen of the American lakes. Crystal clear you can see the bottom even in deep water. Campground is huge but well kept and quiet considering the amount of sites Sites near Rt 9 can hear road noise They offer moorings for watercraft Fireplace was in bad repair Many bathrooms and several shower houses that are in good repair Site 132. not on water Water pic from day use area Cell service on north end of campground but spotty

Highway noise galore

Nice sites, way to close to Northway. I'm longing for home, for peace and quiet. Which is why I like camping. For quiet, it's hard to have a conversation without the need to shout or repeat what you said over the traffic. It doesn't die down overnight. There are so many other campgrounds to go to. I unfortunately will not come back here again. It is clean, not many campers.