Description - Early settlers cleared the land in the 1700's but hard demands of the land and weather forced younger generations to abandon the farms. Several local floods in the early 1900's spurred the creation of Waterbury Dam. The state began development of recreation amenities in the 1960's and today offers an extensive network of trails, developed campsites, a sandy swimming beach, a playground and boat launch.
Copyright: Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation
Little River State Park
- In the late 1700s, pioneers cleared fields and roads of rocks and stumps from the tracts now called Ricker Basin and Cotton Brook. At one time, a large settlement of 50 or so families lived in this area. The hard demands of the land and weather forced younger generations to abandon the farms. Today, old cemeteries, a sawmill, old town roads, bridges, and many cellar holes can still be found as evidence of a past community.
On November 3 and 4, 1927 torrential rains and Little River's rising waters drove residents to their roofs. A second flood in 1934 spurred the construction of Waterbury Dam. Between 1935 and 1938 the Civilian Conservation Corps in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers constructed Waterbury Reservoir. Interestingly, the CCC camp was a fully operating, thriving community with more than 80 buildings, housing 2,000 men at its peak. Yet today, half a century later, only a few solitary chimneys and concrete foundations remain. In 1962, the Vermont Park Service began development of Little River State Park.
Recreation - Little River State Park rests on the shores of Waterbury Reservoir offering a swimming beach, fishing opportunities, a boat launch, a playground and lovely developed campsites. There are even regularly scheduled nature programs. Cross-country skiing permitted in winter by walking around entrance gate; all facilities closed including restrooms.
Nearby attractions include the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory and Cold Hollow Cider Mill along SR 100, Waterbury; the Alpine Slide and Gondolas, Stowe; Granite Quarries, Barre; Vermont's State Capitol and Historical Society, Montpelier; and Camel's Hump in North Duxbury.
Climate - Winter daytime temperatures in the lower half of the Lakes / Kingdom region averages 14 to 16 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 to -9 Celsius). The upper half of this region experiences winter temperatures ranging below 14 degrees Fahrenheit (below -10 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures are cooler along the western area of Lake Champlain averaging 66 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (19 to 21 Celsius). The central area of this region expects temperatures from 66 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (19 to 20 Celsius) with the eastern area of this region experiencing the coolest summer time temperatures of less than 66 degrees Fahrenheit (below 19 Celsius). The yearly precipitation for Lakes and Kingdom Travel Region vary from less than 36 inches (91 centimeters) along the western line to more than 44 inches (112 centimeters) along the eastern border of New Hampshire and Canada.
From the junction of SR 100 and US 2 travel 1.5 miles west on US 2. Turn right (north) on Little River Road and go 3.5 miles to the park.