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Vermont State Parks

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USA Parks
Southern Region
Townshend State Forest
Oh Yell ©
Spring Hike ©
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Townshend, Vermont   05353
(lat:43.0336 lon:-72.6949) map location

Reservations: 888-409-7579
Townshend State Park is located at the foot of Bald Mountain on a bend of the West River. There is a view of Rattlesnake Mountain to the north from the ranger's quarters.

A hiking trail leads to the summit of the mountain, a vertical climb of 1,100 feet from the campground. Geological features along the trail include waterfalls, chutes, and pools. From the top of the mountain, vistas provide views to the north, south, and east.
History of the Area
1. Early Settlement: The Townshend area was first settled in the early 18th century by European colonists. The land that now constitutes the state forest was part of the colonial grants given to the early settlers.

2. Logging Era: In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Townshend area saw significant lumbering activities. The old-growth forests were heavily logged, providing timber for regional construction and other industries.

3. Soil Conservation Efforts: In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public work relief program, was actively involved in reforestation and soil conservation projects across the United States. The CCC played a key role in the development of the Townshend State Forest.

4. Acquisition of Land: The State of Vermont gradually acquired the forested lands around Townshend, including those previously owned by private timber companies. The acquisition process took place over several decades, starting in the mid-20th century.

5. Vermont State Forest Establishment: Townshend State Forest was officially established as a state forest in 1968. It was recognized for its ecological importance and recreational value, offering opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife observation.

6. Management and Recreation: The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation manages the Townshend State Forest. Over the years, they have implemented sustainable forestry practices to maintain healthy forest ecosystems and ensure recreational opportunities for visitors.
1. Townshend State Park offers 30 tent/RV sites and lean:to shelters for camping.
2. Primitive group camping is available at the park.
3. The campground features flush toilets, hot showers, and a dump station for RVs.
4. Pets are allowed in certain areas of the campgrounds but must be leashed at all times.
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1. Townshend Lake Trail: A 2-mile round trip trail, offering views of the lake and surrounding forest.

2. Bald Mountain Trail: This challenging 3.8 mile out-and-back trail leads to a summit with panoramic views.

3. West River Rail-Trail: An easy flat path stretching for about 16 miles along an old railway line beside the scenic West River.

4. Hamilton Falls Natural Area Trails: Features several trails ranging from half-a-mile to two-miles long leading through dense forests towards beautiful waterfalls in this natural area within State Forest boundaries.

5. Townshend Dam Recreation Area Loop : Easy looped hike around Townshend dam spanning approximately one mile; ideal for families or beginners.

6.Scott Covered Bridge Pathway - Short .25 mile walk that takes you across Scott covered bridge over west river providing picturesque view points

7. Bald Peak Hiking Route - Moderate difficulty level hiking route covering distance of nearly four miles up till bald peak's topmost point

8. Pinnacle Viewpoint Track- Roughly three kilometers track taking hikers on moderate terrain ending at viewpoint overlooking lush green valley below

9. West Ridge Nature Walk - Simple walking pathway extending roughly five hundred meters amidst thick foliage perfect for nature enthusiasts

10. South Hill Summit Trek - Approximately six kilometer trekking route climbing steep inclines reaching South hill's highest altitude giving breathtaking mountainous vistas

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Area Campgrounds
West River Camperama
192 Depot Road
Townshend, VT
Bald Mountain Campground
1760 State Forest Road
Townshend, VT
Area Cabins and Lodges
Ski Maple Valley
3219 W River Rd
Dummerston, VT
(802) 254-6083
Grafton Ponds Nordic Ski & Mtn
783 Townshand Rd
Grafton, VT
(802) 843-2400

1. Start on I:91 N towards White River Junction.
2. Take exit 3 for VT:5/US-5 toward Putney.
3. Turn right onto US:5 S/Vermont Ave (signs for Westminster).
4. Continue straight to stay on US Route 30 W/Westminster St, following signs for Townshend State Forest.
6. After about a mile, turn left onto Grafton Rd/Rte 35 and continue until you reach the forest entrance.

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Vermont State Parks