Emerald Lake State Park

Emerald Lake State Park

Quick Facts

Emerald Lake State Park


(802) 362-1655

Map Directions

Things To Do


The 430-acre park is located along the side of Dorset Mountain with Emerald Lake, the head waters of Otter Creek, at its base. The area was historically important for its marble quarrying activities with the park lands once operating as a large farm and summer retreat before becoming a state park in 1960. Located conveniently between Manchester and Rutland, the park is popular for its wooded hillside campground, beach and swimming area, and nearby attractions and tourist destinations. The park surrounds 20-acre Emerald Lake, named for the emerald green color of its waters when viewed from above.

Map of Emerald Lake (VT)

Latitude, Longitude: 43.283948, -73.005745



  • Boating

    Canoe, kayak, row boat and pedal boat rentals are available at the beach. Only non-motorized boats are permitted on this lake.

  • Bird Watching

    Emerald Lake State Park is home to many species of open water, woodland, and cliff/bluff birds. Species you might spot include: turkey vulture, peregrine falcon, eastern phoebe, cliff swallow, wood thrush, brown creeper, black-throated green warbler, scarlet tanager, common loon, black scoter, scaup, ring-necked duck, herring gull, and common tern.

  • Bicycling

    Take an easy and leisurely bike ride for all ages around Emerald Lake campground. For those wanting a longer or more challenging ride, take to the secondary roads around the park (take Sweeney Ln to Dorset Hill Rd).

  • Camping

    The 67 tent/RV sites (no hookups) and 37 lean-tos are located on a heavily wooded ridge above Emerald Lake. Flush toilets, hot showers ($) and a dump station are provided. Some limited generator use is permitted. Firewood and ice are available for purchase. Pets are permitted, but not in the day use areas.

  • Fishing

    The lake also offers anglers an opportunity to catch yellow perch, small-mouth bass, northern pike and other warm-water species. Visitors over 15 years of age must carry a valid fishing license.

  • Hiking

    The park is a favorite destination of hikers with the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail nearby and trails on Dorset Mountain.

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

  • Historic Sites

    Between 1918 and 1921, Robert Alfred Shaw purchased more than 1,000 acres of land, establishing North Dorset Farms. His acquisitions included the area surrounding Dorset Pond, which is now known as Emerald Lake. In 1957, following Mr. Shaw's death, the State purchased approximately 1,000 acres from his estate. Approximately 500 acres, located adjacent to the park on the east side of US Route 7, is now Emerald Lake State Forest. The 430 acres on the west side of the highway comprises the park. In 1960 Emerald Lake State Park opened to the public. The original facilities included a small campground, beach and picnic area.

    Today, the remains of past quarry operations can still be seen. Stone remains of the Freedley and Sons finishing plant are located approximately 2 mi south of the park. Other former quarries remain as water-filled pits. Examples of these can be seen along US Route 30 in Dorset and on the mountainside along Route 7. One of the more unique features from this bygone era is the North Dorset Cemetery located on the hill overlooking the park's contact station and parking lot. The cemetery has many headstones made of local marble.

    While in the area, you may be interested in a visit to the Vermont Marble Exhibit, the Bennington Museum and Monument, and the historic Hildene and Equinox hotel in Manchester.

  • Picnicking

    An open picnic pavilion can be reserved and seat up to 100 people. The pavilion has electricity, 2 group grills and one smaller grill, picnic tables, and access to swings, hiking, paddling, swimming, fishing, and horseshoes. A hillside picnic area, as well as lakeside picnic tables are available.

  • RVing

    The 67 RV/tent sites (no hookups) and 37 lean-tos are located on a heavily wooded ridge above Emerald Lake. Flush toilets, hot showers ($), and a dump station are provided. Ice and firewood are available for purchase.

  • Water Sports

    Enjoy a swim in the lake or take an inner tube and relax while floating in Emerald Lakes cool waters. There is also a beach with snack bar and boat rental facilities.

  • Wildlife Watching

    In addition to many bird species and fish, Emerald Lake contains white-tailed deer, porcupine, raccoon, squirrel, fox, barred owl, and skunk that can occasionally be seen while visiting.

  • Winter Sports

    Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing are popular winter activities.


Open Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend from 10:00 am - sunset.



In North Dorset on Rt 7

Phone Numbers


(802) 362-1655

Campground reservations

(888) 409-7579