Places: Waterbury, Vermont

At the end of July, we ended up with a weird overlap between the end of H’s leave and the beginning of mine of 5 days – not enough time to do too much, but definitely too much time for us just to sit around home. The result was a quick trip to the coast to check in on the ocean but on the way we wanted to get in a couple of nights of camping. Waterbury was a perfect halfway stop – about 4.5 hours from Ottawa with a great state park for camping and a townsite that we had stopped in before and were eager to explore further.

We stayed at Little River State Park, in site 38. This was a beautiful state park, located up in the mountains on the edges of the Waterbury Resevoir. The dam was built in 1938 (by hand!) as a means of flood control and is now also used as a source to generate electricity.

Our site was excellent – huge, in fact. One thing that did surprise us though was that on the map, it appears to back onto the lake. I guess it is sort of true, although the map fails to convey that there is a 200-foot drop between the back of the site and the start of the lake! After a series of ropes were constructed to keep the kids away from the edge – we were good to go. The park had very nice facilities and an abundant source of cheap, kiln-dried firewood. I am now starting to think that Ontario Parks’ expensive, punk wood is the exception rather than the rule….

On our first night, we had brought groceries from City Market in Burlington and ate at our site. The second morning we headed in to the home of Green Mountain Coffee for our morning jolt and breakfast. I also managed to track down a four-pack of the elusive ‘Heady Topper‘ and then we headed back to the lake to swim. Although fed by mountain streams, the reservoir was surprisingly swimmable and everyone got in the water.

We headed back into town for dinner, and on the way heard a grinding, squealing noise coming from our engine. It wasn’t until the next day that we figured out that was the sound of our A/C compressor exploding.

Despite that, we had a delicious dinner at the Prohibition Pig, it definitely lived up to expectations – excellent food, brew and service. After dinner, we stopped in at the Craft Beer Cellar across the street. This place seems like the dream of every beer aficionado and I am sure it has been the plan of many a failed business plan but the selection was fantastic and it was fun to check out the beers of all the small Vermont brewers.  We capped off the evening by heading to the Ben & Jerry’s factory for the obligatory ice cream.

Two nights of beautiful weather in an excellent park – we will certainly be back to Little River, hopefully for a longer stay next time.  The fact that it is right beside such an interesting town like Waterbury makes it even better.

Site 38
Waterbury Reservoir
Pig Pale
Small? Seriously?
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