Green River Reservoir, Hyde Park VT

This is a guide for people interested in the Green River Reservoir in Hyde Park, Vermont. The illustrations accompanying this document are all thumbnails and you can see a larger version by clicking on them.

Green River Reservoir has the distinction of being the largest lake in Vermont on which the state has banned powerboats. Its shoreline is completely undeveloped.

The lake is just over three miles long. The nearest large town is Morrisville. Follow this link for a map.

In 2000 I tried to get a group together to go to Green River Reservoir but we never managed to do it; all I could manage was a quick look while visiting friends in the vicinity, but I managed to take the picture above. My girlfriend and I (and her dog!) went later that year, but by then it was the last weekend in October. There was a seriously bad weather forecast with plummeting temperature, snow flurries and strong winds. The forecast was exactly right, but only the wind was a serious problem. There were some waves to contend with and at one spot we simply had to turn around. But we got a good look at the lake.

The following year (2001) we had a serious heatwave in early August and I took the opportunity to flee north and check out Green River Reservoir. I camped there for 2 nights and had an excellent time. Even up there it was quite warm, and I hardly wore clothes except when paddling past someone else's campsite. There are over 30 sites and they vary in the amount of privacy they offer. I had site 9, which wasn't too bad (it's just under 1/4 mile across the lake to other sites, but that's close enough for visibility, especially if binoculars are available!) I'd recommend site 31 if it's available, or 10, 11, 12 or 16, though I doubt if you'd be seriously disappointed anywhere (but see below). I was annoyed to find that if we'd got a 2000 trip together, camping would have been free; the next year they were charging $12 a night. Addition for 2003: the fee is still $12 per site. OK if you have a group (up to 4 for the same price) but a bit much if you're alone.

According to the leaflet I picked up, you can make camping reservations by calling 802-888-1349, summer only. I haven't tried this. I originally said that "in the autumn you just show up, launch your boat, and camp wherever you like" but in fact the ranger told me that he's on duty until October 6. He asked if we had reservations (for the weekend of September 13) so I assume you can actually get reservations any time. It would make sense to do this, as we found the place pretty crowded.

Another note regarding campsites, added September 2003. A companion and I just went to Green River Reservoir again, and this time we were assigned site 12. I said "I doubt if you'd be seriously disappointed anywhere" but quite honestly site 12 was pretty bad. Apart from having nowhere to beach a boat, and being up a steep hill with a postage-stamp sized area of rocks for a tent, it has no sanitary facilities. We mentioned this to the ranger on our way out and he informed us that in fact only some sites have a "throne" (see pictures), because "The state won't let us install any more of them". I don't know if they'll tell you in advance whether your site has any facilities or not. It's a good plan to bring a trowel, in case you have to dig.

The reason that we asked for site 12 was that we wanted to try a hike, and there's a trail that runs behind the site (and also sites 10 and 11). We found the trail easily, but didn't go very far. It's an old road that's getting badly overgrown, and even in September the mosquitoes were aggressive. You can walk there, but you need to be hardy.

See below for first the summer 2001 pictures, then the autumn 2000 ones.

Compare this with "Room and a view" below. Same location.
The lake has a long inlet at the northern end which leads to a stream called Boomhour Brook. The first obstacle was this beaver dam, at least 2 feet high and filled to the brim. I didn't go any farther.
Also along the northern inlet is a huge old dead pine planted in the water, presumably there since the lake filled.
A closer look at the old tree. As of September 2003 only two of the three trunks were standing.
A view north from campsite 9, in the aftermath of a thundershower.
Camping is available on a first-come-first-served basis and was free until the end of the 2000 season but now it's $12 per site, per night (2001 rates). See picture for the old method of reserving campsites. If you arrive late they ask you to mark a map with a selected site and come back the next day and pay.
Afloat amid the wind and waves. Mookie is keping her head down.
At times the snow was significant.
Sanitary facilities at lakeside meet the highest standards. With room, and a view!
Our accomodation for the weekend. Owned by Joanne's cousins, it hasn't been lived in fulltime since the early 60s and it's a bit run-down. Just a bit... Oh, yes, it snowed a little more overnight.

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