Often when we think of Vermont State Parks, we think of hiking, boating and camping.
However, there is something happening that is off the beaten path, that is growing in popularity.
Have you heard of horse camping?
It is only available at two state parks, but it is a perk for riders who also love to camp.
"There's so many trails. It's a trail riders delight! It's really wonderful," said Patty Hammond.
"There's no traffic," said her husband Stewart Hammond. "It's quiet, a lot of trails, it's great."
"We came last year for the first time and we loved it," she said. "So this year we booked a whole week."
A whole week of calling the New Discovery State Park. The Hammonds, along with De-sah and Fiola, set up camp in one of the seven horse camping sites at the New Discovery State Park.
Whether they need a safe spot to do some grooming or a nice paddock to eat and rest the Hammonds and their horses have it here.
"We have paddocks set up," said Nick Caputo from Vermont State Parks. "They bring their own electric tape. We have facilities for water and it's an easy access to some horseback riding trails."
The services are pretty incredible. The state park provides a cart for campers to dispose manure. Then the park will come, hitch up the cart and take it away. This way riders can spend their time on the trails.
At New Discovery, riders can catch the Montpelier-Wells River Rail Trail. It is eleven miles of riding and is part of the Cross Vermont Trail. The Telephone Line Trail is also an option.
Julie Kelley: This seems like the perfect week to be out here with the leaves changing.
Patty Hammond: Yeah. I ordered the weather. Don't tell Sharon Myers!
Julie Kelley: We'll give you both a little credit!
Monday night is the last night for horse camping.
The season starts again Memorial Day, but reservations can be booked 11 months in advance.
The second horse camping spot is at Camp Plymouth State Park near Rutland.
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