Seven Daysies Awards: Best place to kayak/canoe, 2023

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Best place to kayak/canoe 

Waterbury Reservoir

click to enlarge Waterbury Reservoir - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Waterbury Reservoir

Waterbury Reservoir —There are many reasons readers chose Waterbury Reservoir as their go-to spot for swimming and paddling. Accessible through two of Vermont's busiest day-use state parks — Waterbury Center and Little River — it offers scenery, a grassy beach with ample shade, an adaptive kayaking program for folks with disabilities, and 850 acres of water and 15 miles of shoreline to explore.

Here's one more draw: the colorful stories the park attendants like to share. On the first day of summer at Waterbury Center State Park, Walter Carpenter was at the lower parking lot directing traffic. A 16-year veteran, Carpenter spoke about how quickly the lot fills up — sometimes just 10 minutes after the park opens, and often with international visitors.

"Africa, Asia, Europe, the Indian subcontinent, " he said. "I've had Russians and Ukrainians here at the same time."

Ask Carpenter about the woman who requested that he fish out the $100 she accidentally dropped down the composting toilet. Spoiler alert: It wasn't Carpenter's first such request, nor does he expect it'll be his last. Guess that's why his name tag reads "Walter the Survivor."

Other Finalists

  • Green River Reservoir State Park
  • LaPlatte River Nature Park

Location Details

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