Adventure, Destinations, hiking, New England, photography, State Parks, Travel Tips, travel with dogs, United States, Vermont

A Walk Around Lake Shaftsbury

This is a lovely off-season walk for photographers and dog lovers.

Lake Shaftsbury State Park is nestled among rolling hills and dense forest in Southwestern Vermont. It’s not exactly a destination for tourists, but the locals make good use of the park  in the summer, when they come with coolers, sand toys, and toddlers to make the most of the little sandy beach and perfectly shallow water.

I stay away in the summer – too many people for such a little park, and dogs aren’t allowed at all when the season is in full swing. I lean toward dog-friendly most of the time. My dog is my favorite hiking companion.Lake Shaftsbury

When the gates close after Labor Day, the park belongs to me and a handful of dog and nature-lovers. It’s usually warm enough to swim until late September, and the mile trail around the lake is the perfect little adventure for restless dogs and their human companions.

I visit Lake Shaftsbury once a week or so in off season. I know its charms so well, that I often forget to bring my camera. Last week I remembered and thought to capture a bit of fall’s fleeting beauty. It’s a good thing, too, because today the rain is coming down in sheets, the wind is blowing fiercely, and fall seems all played out.Lake Shaftsbury


The beautiful nature trail around Lake Shaftsbury.

Lake Shaftsbury

Lake Shaftsbury

Lake Shaftsbury

Lake Shaftsbury

Ogden at Lake Shaftsbury

Visiting Lake Shaftsbury State Park

The park is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day for swimming, paddling, hiking, and camping. Dogs are not allowed when the park is open. The campground here is small and buggy, but really quiet. I don’t really recommend it, but there is a delightful cottage for rent right on the water that sleeps six. It’s a great place for kids, with a sandy beach, snack bar, playground, canoe and kayak rentals, and a nice nature trail.Lake Shaftsbury

If you visit during the off season, you’ll have to park your car outside the gate and walk in. There are no amenities available and usually no people either. A resident bald eagle or osprey will usually put on a show early in the morning and the sun will play hide-and-seek in the trees as it rises. It’s a lovely place to capture the foliage in the fall or to strap on snowshoes in the winter. If you’re traveling through on route 7 from Bennington to Manchester, Lake Shaftsbury is totally worth a stop – stretch your legs and enjoy some of Vermont’s hidden beauty.

I’m linking up this post with Photo Friday at Pierced Wondering. Get your weekly dose of photo inspiration there and check out some amazing bloggers.

Pierced Wonderings
And for all you pinners out there:
This is a great park in Southern Vermont.



  1. Gorgeous photos! They look like Monet paintings 🙂
    Jenny @ Till the Money Runs Out recently posted…New Orleans Commander’s Palace 25¢ Martini Lunch HourMy Profile

  2. Jen

    What incredible photos! Like Steph, I love the light. I love the shots with the mist coming off the water – just perfect.

    thank you for sharing with us at Photo Friday!
    Jen recently posted…Photo Friday – Paddington Reservoir Gardens via Steph’s JoyMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jen. Photo Friday has inspired me to take pictures and to blog more, even when I’m not initially feeling it. I’m glad you stopped in.

  3. Autumn is just the most beautiful season of the year anywhere in the world. Your photos are stunning, I particularly loved the light in the trees.
    stephanie@stephsjoy recently posted…Taipei breakfastMy Profile

  4. Wow, these are absolutely beautiful photos!! Breathtaking!
    Stephanie recently posted…Nature in FallMy Profile

    • Thank you, Stephanie. That means a lot to me, especially coming from such an amazing photographer!

  5. You have taken some spectacular shots showing off the park perfectly.
    Cath recently posted…Fun Friday Favourites (3)My Profile

    • Hi Cath, Thanks for stopping in. It’s much easier to capture the beauty of a place when there’s so much of it!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

Theme by Anders Norén