Thursday June 28, 2018
The South Burlington Recreation and Parks Department recently announced updates and changes for Red Rocks Nature Park in hopes of encouraging new visitors and enhancing the park experience for all. Known as one of the most beautiful parks in the city, Red Rocks encompasses 100 acres with 700 feet of Lake Champlain waterfront. With scenic overlooks, 2.5 miles of pedestrian trails, a beach with designated swim areas, restrooms, and access to the South Burlington Recreation Path, it is the ideal location for summer picnics, walks, and swimming.
The city reports that for the summer season there will be two park rangers onsite at Red Rocks daily from 12 to 7 p.m. While their basecamp is at the ranger station, now located just off the picnic grove, guests of the park are likely to see the rangers walking the trails, prepping the beach, and engaging with park visitors. These rangers serve as ambassadors to welcome those who are enjoying the park and are there to ensure that each visitor has a safe, positive, and enjoyable experience during their visit. Look for their bright blue shirts if you are in need of assistance, whether looking for a trail map, wanting to know key points to visit or how to best comply with park ordinances.
While walking into the park has always been free, new this year is that there is no fee for parking inside the park. Red Rock gates open daily at 8 a.m. and all are welcome to park inside the park gates in one of their two grass parking lots. Those who do need to be sure to have their vehicle removed from the park before park rangers do their final sweep of the night and secure the gates at 7 p.m. as no overnight parking is allowed.
Visitors will begin to see installation of new wayfinding and interpretive signage inside the park. This project is slated to start mid-summer and finish up by fall to provide clear direction around the network of trails, as well as education around some of the parks natural and historical attributes.
While on the trails, park visitors may see staff from the Winooski Valley Park District (WVPD), who have been contracted to enhance the trails system through maintenance and improvements to ensure safety and accessibility where possible. Crews will be installing and fixing water bars to mitigate washout, building up worn spots, closing off spur trails for habitat protection or scoping for erosion solutions. While many of the trails projects might not seem significant, the city notes they are essential for the continued safety and accessibility of the park’s trails system.
In addition to WVPD staff, also keep an eye out for the green uniforms of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. They are working to remove invasive species from the park landscape. The city says to stay tuned for potential “Weed Warrior” events where residents can volunteer to assist the crew with this project.
Coralee A. Holm, the city’s director of community engagement and innovation, says, “We invite you to take some time and enjoy the wonders of nature this summer as you explore all the opportunities that Red Rocks Park offers.”
To learn more about the jewel that is Red Rocks and other city parks and natural areas, visit recandparks.sbvt.gov.