Description - Coolidge State Forest contains a total of 18,511 acres scattered throughout seven towns and is divided by SR 100 into two districts. The recreational center of the forest is Coolidge State Park, which consists of about 500 acres in the eastern district. The park includes a campground, picnic area and an established hiking trail system.
Copyright: Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation
Coolidge State Park
- Coolidge State Forest contains a total of 18,511 acres scattered throughout seven towns, and is divided by Route 100 into two districts. The recreational center of the forest is Coolidge State Park, which consists of about 500 acres in the eastern district. The park includes a campground, picnic area and an established hiking trail system. Slack Hill is to the east side of the park and state designated "wilderness" sites are located there. Brooks in the vicinity are Whetstone Brook, across from the park entrance, and Pinney Hollow Brook, running along the entrance road, across 100A and into Whetstone which in turn flows into the Ottauquechee River
Nestled in the mountains to the south is the community of Plymouth, birthplace of Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States. Here, the Coolidge Homestead is maintained by the Vermont Board of Historic Sites complete with the furnishings that were present the night of his inauguration in 1923.
In 1925, when Perry Merrill purchased for Vermont a tract of land in Plymouth, he began to put together his dream of Calvin Coolidge State Forest. Because this land was near the Calvin Coolidge homestead, an historic site that interested many people, he believed that funds could be obtained to develop the area.
Camp Calvin Coolidge, located in the Coolidge State Forest in Plymouth, was established June 9, 1933 as the third Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp to be set up in Vermont. The original Coolidge State Park was built solely by the CCC and consisted of 19 log lean-tos. Today, the lean-tos are in almost as good condition as when they were built by the CCC, evidence of the remarkable workmanship.
Much of what is now Coolidge State Forest was once cleared for tilled land and pasture, as evidenced by the extensive stonewalls and numerous foundations. In the late eighteen hundreds there was a small town immediately adjacent to Coolidge State Park (later becoming part of the Forest). Businesses known to have located there were a store, blacksmith shop and the Glen House Hotel.
Now the abandoned town of Five Corners offers park visitors a chance to try their luck at gold panning. Several people have obtained small nuggets and a good deal of gold dust from the streams in the vicinity of Five Corners. The best way to view Plymouth Five Corners is to hike up the brooks where one can easily view the stone foundations built up to the edge of the streams. One may even run across the remains of an old cellar hole while hiking these woods.
Recreation - Coolidge State Park offers camping, picnicking, an established hiking trail system, hunting and a playground. Cross-country skiing permitted in winter by walking around entrance gate; all facilities closed including restrooms.
Nearby attractions include art galleries, Bridgewater Mill Mall and Chaffee, Rutland; Wilson's Castle, Vermont Marble Exhibit, Proctor; Cheese Factory, Calvin Coolidge Memorial Center, Plymouth; Pico Alpine Slide; Killington Gondola, Shelburne and Camp Plymouth State Park which offers swimming and picnicking.
Climate - Winter daytime temperatures average between 16 and 18 degrees Fahrenheit (between -9 and -8 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures average between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 21 Celsius). Much of the state's precipitation is the result of snow, particularly throughout the mountains. The Heart of Vermont Travel Region has diverse precipitation totals ranging from 40 to 44 inches (102 and 112 centimeters) in the center area of the region decreasing to less than 36 inches (91 centimeters) along the state lines of New York and New Hampshire.
From Plymouth at the junction of SR 100 and SR 100A travel 2 miles north on SR 100A to reach the park.