The park trails are a network that offers a variety of routing options by piecing together Main Trail, Logger's Loop, Shore Trail, Red Pine Trail, and other unnamed trails. There is a nature center at the entrance of the park with information about the wildlife and vegetation on the trails. There are also nature brochures available for Main Trail and Logger's Loop that provide self-guided tours of the trails. Red Pine trail winds through the forest while Shoreline Trail skirts the water and passes Loon Point, Eagle Point, and Indian Point.
The primary trail system is for campers during the park season. It starts in two places and eventually meets at the same intersection. One leaves from the end of the parking lot near the campers’ beach; the other trailhead (to Main Trail) is located on the left side of the road before the turn-off to the parking area. The primary trail system starts in two places and eventually meets at the same intersection. One leaves from the end of the parking lot; the other trailhead (to Main Trail) is located on the left side of the road before the turn-off to the parking area.
The Boreal Forest Trail starts behind the nature center and makes a 0.3 mile loop. The trail is wheelchair accessible with interpretive panels. It is 4+ feet wide and primarily compacted stone, but there is a small section of boardwalk as well. Use of the Boreal Forest trail requires a day fee during the camping season.
During the off-season, park at the entrance gate to use the trails.
The campground sits on the mostly undeveloped Spectacle Pond where it is common to hear loons calling at night. There are 5 cabins, 61 tent/RV sites and 23 lean-tos. All three restrooms include hot showers ($). A sanitary dump station is available, but there are no hookups. In addition to the hiking trails, there is a camper's beach with boat rentals, nature museum, an amphitheater, a garage theater, and play area. At the nearby day-use area there is a long sandy beach (at the southern end of Island Pond), a bathhouse with restrooms, and rental boats.
Pets are allowed on-leash in the campground and trails, but not in the cabins (except Raven cabin) or at the day-use beach.
Island Pond enjoyed a heyday from the late 1800s until the Depression years, along with the fortunes of the Grand Trunk railroad between Montreal, Canada and Portland, Maine. Island Pond was the site of the first international railroad junction in the United States. At the height of the town’s population, its streets were lively with railroad men and loggers, most of whom rode in on one of the 13 rail tracks that passed through town. A mere two tracks remain today. The unique wooden bridge, which once held all 13 tracks, is gone, but the heritage of railroading is still evident in the well-kept train station and a few associated structures at the north end of town.
For more information about the park or the trails, visit the Vermont State Parks - Brighton State Park page online, or contact:
From the town of Island Pond, turn off of VT-114 and onto VT-105 (East Brighton Road). Continue on VT-105 for 1.6 miles, turn right onto Lakeshore Drive, then turn left onto State Park Road, which is the entrance to Brighton State Park. Please stop at the contact station to pay day use and camping fees.
To access the parking area, turn right when the park road comes to a T, then turn left on the campground loop and then left on the spur road to the parking area.
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