COOLIDGE STATE PARK
A trip to Coolidge State Park is a trip back in time the park remains essentially the way it was when it was first created in the 1930s. Known for its rustic feel, hillside campsites that give way to dramatic mountain views, and authentic character, Coolidge State Park is the developed recreation centerpiece of the 21,500 acre Calvin Coolidge State Forest, the largest state-owned land holding in central Vermont. Coolidge State Park is the only Vermont park with an entire loop of lean-to campsites, some of which have sweeping views of the Black River valley and the Green Mountains. Many campers feel that sites at Coolidge have the best views in all of Vermont. The park also has a loop of forested campsites, restroom facilities with showers, a hilltop picnic area with a log picnic shelter, a group camping area, and several remote lean-to campsites for those wishing to really escape it all.
Within the park, there are miles of hiking trails to explore, several streams home to elusive brook trout, and abundant wildlife. Some visitors are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a barred owl, a moose, or a black bear. Nearby is the village of Plymouth Notch, the birthplace of Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States.
Calvin Coolidge State Forest was established in 1925, when Perry Merrill then head of State forests and parks arranged the purchase of a tract of land in Plymouth. He was successful in obtaining funds for the property due to the great public interest in the Coolidge family and popularity of Plymouth Notch.
Camp Calvin Coolidge, located in Calvin Coolidge State Forest, was established June 9, 1933 as the third Civilian Conservation Corps CCC camp in Vermont. The original Coolidge State Park was built solely by the CCC. They also completed a network of forest highways and carried out extensive reforestation projects.
Much of what is now Coolidge State Forest was once cleared for tilled land and pasture, as evidenced by extensive stonewalls and many foundations. In the late nineteenth century there was a small town immediately adjacent to Coolidge State Park later becoming part of the Forest. Businesses once located there included a store, blacksmith shop, and a hotel.
This park has 26 tent/RV sites and 36 lean-to sites.