Burton Island State Park

Burton Island State Park

Quick Facts

Burton Island State Park

Vermont

(802) 524-6353

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Burton Island is a 253-acre island off the southwestern tip of Point St. Albans in Lake Champlain's "inland sea." This park offers the feel of remote camping without having to travel too far. Burton Island State Park opened in 1964. Original plans to build a causeway were abandoned for the unique appeal of an island campground without cars. A marina was built to accommodate boats and ferry service was implemented in the 1980's. The marina is a lively stopover for people cruising the lake.

Map of Burton Island (VT)

Latitude, Longitude: 44.773010, -73.203940

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Activities

  • Boating

    15 boat moorings and a 100-slip marina with Wi-Fi (wireless internet) connection, dockside electricity, fuel service, and a marine holding-tank pump-out facility are available. These amenities, along with ferry service to the island (no vehicles) from Kill Kare, make Burton Island one of the most unique parks in Vermont.

  • Bird Watching

    Burton Island is part of the Lake Champlain Birding Trail. Woodland and shoreline species can be found throughout the park, including: veery, hermit thrush, rose-breasted grosbeak, great blue heron, black-crowned night heron, bald eagle, plovers, lesser yellowlegs, pectoral sandpiper, and belted kingfisher.

  • Bicycling

    Biking is the preferred method of transportation on the island, whether you're heading out to the south tip, the camp store, or the marina. Bike-friendly trails are located around the park.

  • Camping

    The campground is popular with those who enjoy relaxing on a semi-remote island away from cars. There are 17 tent sites and 26 lean-to sites. Some lean-to sites are located on the lake and have private beaches. Bathhouses with hot water and showers are available and within walking distance. Campfire wood and ice are available for purchase.

  • Fishing

    Lake Champlain is a beautiful place to fish from the shore, a canoe, a kayak, or a boat. Fish species that visitors can catch here include brook, rainbow, and brown trout, landlocked salmon, rainbow smelt, yellow perch, walleye, northern pike, chain pickerel, large-mouth bass, small-mouth bass, bullhead, panfish and crappie. Visitors age 15 or older must carry a valid fishing license.

  • Hiking

    The landscape of Burton Island State Park has undergone many changes in the past 14,000 years. You can explore its fascinating island history by walking the North Shore Nature Trail. This self guided trail will help you visualize and understand the natural and cultural events that shaped this place as you walk to scenic Eagle Bay. Uncover the geologic and natural community mysteries of the island by carrying along the self-guided brochure.

    The Southern Tip trail traverses meadows and woodlands before reaching a stunning view of Lake Champlain at the southern point of the island.

    West Shore Trail, Island Farm Nature Trail and Eagle Bay Trail are all popular hikes appropriate for all ages.

    For detailed trail info and maps, click on the link below to visit the park web page.

  • Historic Sites

    Nature and interpretive programs are available. 18th century maps refer to this as the "Isle of White." Jesse Welden, an early St. Albans settler and agent for Ethan and Ira Allen, is attributed with clearing and farming the island. As recently as 1874, Lake Champlain navigation charts label it "Potter's Island," though C.C. Burton, a farmer on the mainland, was using the island for pasture by the 1840s. Sidney Burton owned the island through the early 1900's and leased it to tenant farmers who raised cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. Crops included beans and peas. Remnants of the island's agricultural past such as fence lines and stone piles, rusted farm implements and the foundation of the old barn are still visible.

    Sidney Burton built a hunting and fishing camp on the eastern point in 1902. Ida Lashway inherited the island and continued leasing to tenant farmers, selling it to Randall Dimon in the 1950's. The Dimons summered in the cottage for many years after selling the island to the State of Vermont in 1962.

    Burton Island State Park opened in 1964. Original plans to build a causeway was abandoned for the unique appeal of an island campground without cars. A marina was built to accommodate boats. Ferry service was implemented in the 1980's.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic areas are available throughout the park with picnic table and grills.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming is allowed along beach neighboring the marina and from campsites. Scuba diving among sunken shipwrecks on Lake Champlain is also popular.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Wildlife abounds in Burton Island State Park. In addition to the many species of bird and fish, visitors can spot animals such as beaver, otter, turkey, ruffed grouse, wood frog, spring peeper, American toad, and yellow-spotted salamander.

  • Winter Sports

    Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are fun ways to see the park in winter. There are no facilities or staff available, but visitors are encouraged to explore the park during the off season and enjoy the quieter time of year. Lake Champlain is a great winter playground when frozen, offering ice fishing, ice skating, kite-skiing, and dog sledding opportunities. Enjoy!

Seasonality/Weather

Season: Memorial Day weekend - Labor Day weekend for camping.

Park Partners

Juanita's Bistro

A camp store and bistro is located on the island. The bistro serves breakfast and lunch. Camp store sells some groceries, camping gear, souveniers, ice, beer and wine.

Directions

Driving

From St. Albans Bay: Go 3-1/2 mi SW on Town Road, Lake Road and Point Road to Kill Kare State Park. Passenger Ferry to Burton Island which is accessible only by boat; no vehicles.

Public Transportation

A ferry running from Kill Kare State Park to Burton Island operates from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Phone Numbers

Primary

(802) 524-6353

Campground reservations

(888) 409-7579

Links