The Waterbury Reservoir is a man made lake that crosses the town boundaries of Waterbury and Stowe. The put in is free at the Fish and Wildlife boat launch - if you make the trip an overnight, it's ok to leave your car there. You put in right next to the giant dam, and chances are pretty good you'll find a local fishing away for bass or trout.
Paddling north and west will bring you past the beaches of the state park and towards that end of the lake there are a number of free, primitive camp sites, all only accessible by boat.
Further up the road is Little River State park, a proper camping ground with hook ups and showers. Check the Vermont State Parks website for rates and reservations.
We decided to take out our canoe for its maiden voyage and make it an overnight trip. It took us about an hour to get to the primitive sites, 45 minutes in the morning when there was no wind. Our site was gorgeous, located high on a bluff overlooking the lake. We were able to beach our canoe below on the shore with no problem. The sites, especially for free, unmonitored sites, are spectacularly maintained - flat, swept, and clean. No outhouses though!
Campsites are very poorly marked from the water. Campsites all include a fire pit and picnic table - if those aren't there, chances are it's not a site!
The best time to paddle is in the morning, you wouldn't believe the number of motorboats zipping around by noon to past dark that create massive wakes - so, paddle early or be prepared to get a little tippy!
VT Route 2E to Waterbury, take left on Little River Road. Follow to terminus for the State Park, or to the Fish and Wildlife access point shortly before on your right.
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