Well maintained trail in Knight Point State Park. Several lookouts to Lake Champlain. On-site restrooms and good parking. Good mix of trees overhead and open fields. Easy hike. Many access points from the center of the park. Beach and boat rental facilities at the park.
About the Park:
Knight Point on North Hero Island opened as a state park in 1978, but its history goes back much further. John Knight, the Point's first resident, began ferry service between the islands in 1785. His family operated a ferry until the first bridge opened in 1892. The historic Knight Point house is a parks staff residence. The wooden frame wing is a reconstruction of the Knight Tavern, an inn built in 1790 for travelers crossing between the islands. The brick section of the building, added to the tavern in 1845, has an unusual two-story porch.
Expansive lawns are the center of this 54-acre day use park. The lawn becomes meadow west of the developed area, where the forest along the lakeside is a substantial natural feature. Besides stands of mature, windswept oak and maple on the point, hickory and hop hornbeam are found further inland. Tight clusters of cedar trees enhance the beauty and wildlife cover of the area.
The cobbled shoreline, west of the swimming beach and extending around the point, is a State Natural Area. It's the largest undisturbed example of this type of natural community on Lake Champlain, and is home to an unusually diverse group of rare plant species.
A trail loops around the point to offer scenic lake and shore vistas, plus intimate opportunities for close-up nature and forest viewing. A connecting path cuts through the meadow for those wishing to shorten the walk. Both trails are wide and easy to follow.
The land you can see south of Knight Point is Grand Isle. The channel between the islands is known as "The Gut" and is one of only three navigable routes between the main body of Lake Champlain, and the lake's "inland sea", east of the drawbridge. It's the only one suitable for sailboats and large cruisers. There is usually plenty of boat traffic to watch, right from the beach.
The facilities include a sandy swimming beach and boat rentals. Shaded and open picnic areas include cooking grills.
You Can Rent the Pavilion at Knight Point This open pavilion seats up to 100 people and has charcoal grills, picnic tables, and restrooms nearby. There is electricity and the pavilion is accessible. It costs $125 (plus reservation fee) to rent for a day, find out more on the VT State Park shelter rentals webpage.
The park and trail are open year round. Between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day a fee is charged and the restrooms are open.
Knight Point State Park is home to the Island Center for Arts and Recreation, a community-based non-profit group that works to promote and encourage the splendid natural setting that is Knight Point as a venue for cultural and recreational programming. Events hosted by the center have included performances by Hermann's Royal Lipizzan Stallions, the Vermont Shakespeare Company, and the Vermont Mozart Festival. For information about this season's ICAR events, contact the Lake Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce at (802) 372-8400.
Visit Vermont State Parks online for more information or contact:
This state park is to the west of Route 2 in North Hero. From the south on US Route 2, the entrance is the first left after the North Hero/Grand Isle drawbridge. From the north on US Route 2, the entrance is the last right before the North Hero/Grand Isle drawbridge.
There is a small lot plowed for winter access.
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