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In Season, Summer 2016 

click to enlarge Sand Bar State Park - COURTESY OF AL ABRAMS/VERMONT STATE PARKS
  • courtesy of al abrams/Vermont state parks
  • Sand Bar State Park

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Vermont Days

Summer in Vermont has many charms, and easy access to Mother Nature is one of them. Looking to swim, hike, picnic or camp? No matter where you're vacationing, a nearby park is likely up to the task. Vermont's 52 state parks attract more than one million visitors annually. Entry is only a few dollars, but day use is free on the second weekend in June, making that an ideal time to explore your natural surroundings.

Thirty minutes from Burlington, Waterbury Center State Park is perfect for paddling. Glide through the 860-acre Waterbury Reservoir in a kayak or canoe rental, and you might just catch sight of a bald eagle or beaver. North of Burlington, Sand Bar State Park is a swimming hot spot: Its 2,000-foot-long sandy beach stretches along shallow waters that warm up quickly in the sun. For a loftier view of Lake Champlain, head to Mt. Philo, just off Route 7 in Charlotte. Hike the steep mountain trail or drive up the winding auto road for a sweeping vista of the lake.

Free day-use entry to Vermont state parks and historic sites on Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12. vermontvacation.com/vermont-days

Shipwreck Tours

click to enlarge COURTESY OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN MARITIME MUSEUM
  • courtesy of lake champlain maritime museum

Gazing out onto gentle Burlington Harbor, you'd never guess that more than 300 shipwrecks rest on Lake Champlain's floor. A water highway since French explorer Samuel de Champlain "discovered" the lake in 1609, these cold, dark waves preserve everything from the Revolutionary War gunboat Spitfire to the schooner Water Witch to the civilian airplane Seabee — sunk by warfare, weather and human error, respectively.

Thanks to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in nearby Vergennes, anyone intrigued by these underwater relics can explore one — no swimsuit or scuba gear needed. On select summer Saturdays, visitors take boat tours to the site of a wreck — often the steamboat Champlain II, run aground in 1875 by a morphine-addled pilot — and go for virtual, real-time dives made possible by a robotic, remotely operated camera. The hourlong outings are suitable for all ages and offer a rare and captivating view of local history.

Saturdays, July 9 and 23 and August 6 and 20, at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes. $19-24 includes free museum admission. lcmm.org

ArborTrek Canopy Adventures

click to enlarge COURTESY OF SMUGGLERS NOTCH RESORT
  • courtesy of smugglers notch resort

Vermont's mountains aren't just for skiing — or hiking. Come warm weather, they're for flying. Smugglers' Notch Resort's ArborTrek Canopy Adventures invite thrill seekers to soar through the sky on a mountain zip line. The guided course — named one of the 10 best in the country by USA Today — promises an "eco-adventure like no other," complete with guides offering fun facts about local ecology, natural history and how Smugglers' Notch got its name.

If catching the breeze through the trees isn't enough of an adrenaline rush, hit up the aerial adventure park for more physical fun. Seventy-plus treetop obstacles, from wobbly suspension bridges to rope swings, take Green Mountain views to spectacular new heights.

Open daily in summer and weekends in spring and fall at Smugglers' Notch Resort in Jeffersonville. Prices vary per activity. smuggs.com

Vermont Days

click to enlarge Sand Bar State Park - COURTESY OF AL ABRAMS/VERMONT STATE PARKS
  • courtesy of al abrams/Vermont state parks
  • Sand Bar State Park

L'été au Vermont a ses charmes et l'accès à la nature en fait partie. Vous voulez vous baigner, faire de la randonnée, pique-niquer ou camper? Peu importe l'endroit où vous passez vos vacances, il y a toujours un parc à proximité qui comblera vos désirs. Les 52 parcs de l'État du Vermont attirent plus d'un million de visiteurs par année. L'entrée ne coûte que quelques dollars, mais les visites d'une journée sont gratuites la deuxième fin de semaine de juin, ce qui en fait le moment idéal pour explorer l'environnement naturel.

À trente minutes de Burlington, le Waterbury Center State Park est l'endroit idéal pour pagayer. Glissez en canot ou en kayak sur les eaux du réservoir Waterbury, d'une superficie de 350 hectares, et vous pourriez apercevoir un castor ou un pygargue à tête blanche. Au nord de Burlington, le Sand Bar State Park est très populaire auprès des amateurs de baignade : sa plage de sable longue de 600 mètres donne accès à des eaux peu profondes qui se réchauffent vite au soleil. Pour voir le lac Champlain de plus haut, allez au mont Philo, sur la route 7, à Charlotte. Grimpez à pied par le sentier abrupt ou montez en voiture sur la route sinueuse d'où on a une vue imprenable sur le lac.

Entrée gratuite dans les parcs et les sites historiques de l'État du Vermont le samedi 11 juin et le dimanche 12 juin. vermontvacation.com/vermont-days

Shipwreck Tours

click to enlarge COURTESY OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN MARITIME MUSEUM
  • courtesy of lake champlain maritime museum

Quand on regarde le joli port de Burlington, il est difficile d'imaginer que plus de 300 naufrages ont eu lieu sur le lac Champlain. Cette voie d'eau, « découverte » par l'explorateur français Samuel de Champlain en 1609, renferme des épaves de toutes sortes, depuis la canonnière Spitfire de l'époque de la guerre d'indépendance jusqu'à la goélette Water Witch, sans oublier l'avion civil Seabee, qui ont fini au fond du lac à cause, respectivement, de la guerre, du mauvais temps et d'une erreur humaine.

Le musée maritime du lac Champlain, situé tout près, à Vergennes, vous permet de découvrir ces vestiges submergés, sans maillot ni équipement de plongée. Pendant l'été, certains samedis, les visiteurs peuvent en effet faire une excursion en bateau jusqu'au site d'une épave — souvent le vapeur Champlain II, qui s'est échoué en 1875 à cause d'un capitaine à l'esprit embrouillé par la morphine — et plonger en réalité virtuelle et en temps réel, grâce à une caméra robotique télécommandée. Cette excursion d'une heure convient à tous les âges et offre un regard à la fois rare et captivant sur l'histoire locale.

Les samedis 9 juillet, 23 juillet, 6 août et 20 août, au Lake Champlain Maritime Museum à Vergennes. Entrée : 19 $-24 $, incluant la visite gratuite du musée. lcmm.org

ArborTrek Canopy Adventures

click to enlarge COURTESY OF SMUGGLERS NOTCH RESORT
  • courtesy of smugglers notch resort

Les montagnes du Vermont évoquent le ski et la randonnée, mais on peut aussi y voler. À Smugglers' Notch, ArborTrek Canopy Adventures invite les amateurs de sensations fortes à traverser les airs en tyrolienne. Le parcours balisé — l'un des 10 meilleurs des États-Unis selon USA Today — offre une « écoaventure pareille à nulle autre ». Les guides vous renseigneront sur l'écologie locale, l'histoire naturelle et l'origine du nom de Smugglers' Notch.

Si la traversée des arbres à toute vitesse ne vous procure pas suffisamment d'adrénaline, le parc aérien peut vous procurer des défis physiques encore plus grands. Plus de soixante-dix obstacles à la cime des arbres, tels que ponts suspendus instables et cordes de Tarzan, vous feront découvrir les Montagnes vertes depuis des hauteurs insoupçonnées.

Ouvert tous les jours l'été, et la fin de semaine au printemps et en automne, à la station Smugglers' Notch, à Jeffersonville. Les prix varient en fonction de l'activité. smuggs.com

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About The Author

Carolyn Fox

Carolyn Fox

Bio:
Carolyn Fox was the Seven Days calendar editor from 2009-2012. From 2012-2013, she was the managing editor of Kids VT. She currently works as Special Publications Manager for Seven Days.

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