Townshend State Park

Townshend State Park

Quick Facts

Townshend State Park

Vermont

(802) 365-7500

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The land in and around Townshend State Park was originally purchased as Townshend State Forest in 1912. Little is recorded prior to 1924, yet records indicate that a small public camping area was available with nearly 1,000 people registering there during 1927. Initially, the primary objective for this land was timber management. A fire tower was constructed in 1924 to help protect the area. The fire tower was removed in 1949.

Townshend State Park is located at the foot of Bald Mountain on a bend of the West River. A view of Rattlesnake Mountain to the north can be seen from the ranger's quarters. Visitors can take a hiking trail 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.

Map of Townshend (VT)

Latitude, Longitude: 43.044265, -72.690600

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Activities

  • Boating

    Kayaking and canoeing are permitted on the West River. In addition, boaters, canoeists, and kayakers, can enjoy nearby Townshend Reservoir.

  • Bird Watching

    The Southeastern Audubon Society of Vermont keeps good track of sightings in the area. Folks have seen yellow-rumped warbler, Canada goose, cackler, long-tailed duck, Bald Eagles, Golden Eagle, Red-tail, Northern Harrier, Goshawk, Cooper's, Sharpie, Red Shoulder, Osprey, Kestrel, Rough-legged, Junco, Chickadee, Cardinal, White-throated Sparrow, Blue Jay, Morning Dove, White-breasted Nuthatch, Goldfinch, Tufted Titmice. Townshend is the perfect park for birding.

  • Bicycling

    Outside of the family friendly biking around the campground, their are bike rides that loop on Rt. 121. This is a dirt road and is recommended for mountain and hybrid bikes.

  • Camping

    Today, the campground is a popular destination for visitors seeking a back-to-basics, rustic experience. Guests staying on the west side of the campground will hear the gurgling of a small brook running down Bald Mountain. The campground, situated in a wooded area, has 30 tent/trailer sites and 4 lean-to sites. There are two bathrooms, one of which has showers ($). Firewood is available for purchase. Pets are permitted in the campground.

  • Fishing

    Great fishing can be found on the West River. Common species include: Rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and smallmouth-bass. Visitors over 15 years of age must carry a valid fishing license.

  • Hiking

    Visitors can take a hike up Bald Mountain Trail (1.7 miles one way), passing various chutes, waterfalls, and pools on the way to spectacular vistas to the north, south and east. Beautiful views at the summit are well worth the hike.

    For those wanting a historic hike, take the Civilian Conservation Corps' history trail from the park.

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

  • Historic Sites

    The Scott covered bridge in Townshend expands 276' over the West River, an impressive and beautiful piece of history.

    A short drive away, visitors can indulge in the Historical Society of Windham County in Newfane, tour Hildene - the home of Robert Todd Lincoln in Manchester, or take in the gallery and other exhibits at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

  • Picnicking

    A picnic shelter with a fireplace and picnic tables is attached to the ranger's quarters for visitors to use.

  • RVing

    No RVs are allowed at Townshend, but pop-ups and pick-up Truck trailers are allowed. There are 30 tent/trailer sites (no hookups) available in the wooded campground at Townshend. Limited generator use is permitted. There are hot showers ($) in one of the restrooms. Ice and firewood are available for purchase.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming and wading can be done at the nearby Townshend Dam recreation area.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Wildlife abounds in Townshend State Park. Reptiles and amphibians include wood frog, spring peeper, American toad, and yellow-spotted salamander. Other commonly seen animals include white-tailed deer, fisher, coyote, beaver, otter, turkey, owl, eastern bluebird, brown creeper, chestnut-sided warbler, red-tailed hawk and sometimes bald eagle.

  • Winter Sports

    Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are fun ways to see the park in winter. A network of snowmobile VAST trails are also nearby connecting Townshend with West Townshend and East Putney. 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.

Seasonality/Weather

Open Memorial Day weekend - Labor Day weekend for camping.

Directions

Driving

From the North - Take Rte 30 S to the Townshend Lake Recreation Area; turn right over dam, then left at T-intersection. Park is 2 mi ahead on right.

From the South - Take Rte 30 N to State Forest Road. Park is 2 mi ahead on left.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(802) 365-7500

Campground reservations

(888) 409-7579

Links