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Burton Island State Park

Birding in Vermont

Burton Island State Park
2714 Hathaway Point Road
Saint Albans, Vermont 05481
Burton Island State Park webpage
Burton Island State Park map and guide
Burton Island Trails (TrailFinder) webpage

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Franklin County

Burton Island State Park
Coordinates: 44.7730616, -73.2063675
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Tips for birding Burton Island State Park
The TrailFinder website has a description and map of a hike at Burton Island State Park.

About Burton Island State Park
Burton Island is a 253-acre park off the southwestern tip of St. Albans Point in Lake Champlain’s ‘Inland Sea’. The park is accessible only by boat, with the state’s passenger ferry making the 10-minute trip from Kill Kare State Park.

18th-century maps refer to this as the “Isle of White.” Jesse Welden, an early Saint Albans settler and agent for Ethan and Ira Allen, is attributed to clearing and farming the island. As recently as 1874, Lake Champlain navigation charts label it “Potter’s Island,” though C.C. Burton, a farmer on the mainland, was using the island for pasture by the 1840s. Sidney Burton owned the island through the early 1900s and leased it to tenant farmers who raised cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens. Crops included beans and peas. Remnants of the island’s agricultural past such as fence lines and stone piles, rusted farm implements, and the foundation of the old barn are still visible.

Sidney Burton built a hunting and fishing camp on the eastern point in 1902. Ida Lashway inherited the island and continued leasing to tenant farmers, selling it to Randall Dimon in the 1950s. The Dimon’s summered in the cottage for many years after selling the island to the State of Vermont in 1962.

Burton Island State Park opened in 1964. Original plans to build a causeway were abandoned for the unique appeal of an island campground without cars. A marina was built to accommodate boats. Ferry service was implemented in the 1980’s. The marina is a lively stopover for people cruising the lake. The campground is popular with those who enjoy relaxing on a semi-remote island away from cars.

Early logistical problems posed by the lack of a nearby mainland access to Burton Island led to the acquisition of Kill Kare, a former boy’s camp at the tip of Saint Albans Point, in 1967. Kill Kare State Park provides support facilities for Burton Island, including parking lots, a boat ramp, and the ferry dock and breakwater. Kill Kare is a day-use park with a swimming beach, picnic area, and group shelter. Renovated in 1982, the 1870’s-era railroad resort hotel on the grounds now includes staff housing and public restrooms. The first-floor lobby includes historic photos of both parks.
From Burton Island State Park webpage