Red Rocks Park, South Burlington
By Will George
As you open your car door, the smell of trees and the coast come rushing towards you. Surrounded by dirt, there are three paths to choose from. The one in front will take you deeper into the trees, the path on the left goes down to the shoreline, and the loop trail starts on the right.
The fresh air beats the air in the dorm rooms. I have been in the habit of staying inside and not going out to do things since Covid has started. Since the majority of the activities we used to do is no longer possible, we have to adjust. Instead of hanging out in a friends room, go on a small little hike together. Talk and joke around like you normally would, but also enjoy being outside. Feel the sunlight and the wind on your face. Pick a nice day and take a break from all the screens and masks that have become normal in our everyday lives.
Red Rocks Park has a lot of variety within itself. There are trails all along the park to hike and a beach on Lake Champlain. There are a few cliff jumping spots, but it might be a little too cold for that right now. The Red Rocks loop trail is a trail that takes you all along the park and it is a total of 2.7 miles long. It is a nice short walk that won’t take you too long. The park has 700 feet of shoreline on Champlain and there’s a grass hill above the beach that you can sit on to eat or take a break after walking the trails. There are also plenty of picnic tables if you don’t want to sit on the ground.
The trails can get pretty muddy in spots so I would suggest boots and if it’s snowy/icy out a pair of ice cleats would help, but they are not necessary. Winter in Vermont can be hectic with the changing weather, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside when it gets snowy.
I can just imagine what all the trees would look like covered in white. While the weather is nice, you can sit on the rocks on the waterfront. It is honestly one of my favorite spots near campus because it reminds me of a beach where I live. The park does have a leash policy so if you want to walk your dog, it needs to be on a leash.
To get to Red Rocks Park, go to 47-1 Red Rocks Park Rd. It is a 12 minute drive to the park from campus with decent parking. This park is beautiful at sunset, especially since it is on the water. Downtown Burlington is also right there so you can grab a snack after exploring the park. Red Rocks has plenty of options from sitting on the beach to hiking through the trees and I’m sure everyone can find something to do there.
There are many things we can do while keeping socially distant. You could bring a frisbee or soccer ball if it is a nice day or maybe a snowball fight would break out if it is snowy. You never know what might happen until you get out there.