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To camp mindfully with nature, first you need to know the best campsites. That’s what I am going to share with you.

If you’re dreaming of a peaceful retreat surrounded by the greenery of Vermont, you’ve landed at the right spot – Woodford State Park. I’m Jenn Fisher, solo traveler, camper and trauma survivor who has set up camp here a dozen times. I’ve explored every nook of Woodford, from cozy cabins to simple tents and rustic lean-tos and I’m excited to share my findings with you.

In This Guide

Not only will you get details on camping at Woodford, you’ll also get tips for traveling mindfully to heal trauma. I hope to inspire you to do more than just camp in nature. My goal is to show you exactly how I used mindfulness while traveling and attained self-healing.

Camping under the New England stars provides a deep connection with the wilderness. Moreover, camping fills your body with crisp, fresh air, sounds of the natural world, and the opportunity to ground yourself in the healing power of the earth itself.

So what specific steps can you take to begin your self healing? First, let me share a bit about my journey as a solo traveler and trauma survivor. I have camped up and down the east coast, and Woodford has been my sanctuary, a place where I’ve laughed, cried, journaled, and healed. Having camped in cabins, lean-tos, and tents, I’m excited to guide you through the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Location

It is located at 142 State Park Rd, affectionately known as Woodford Hollow, Vermont.

To get there by air:

The most convenient major airport you can fly into is Albany International Airport (ALB) in Albany, New York. This airport is approximately 50 miles west of Woodford State Park, making it a drive of about an hour.

Another nearby option, though smaller and with fewer flight options, is the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RUT) in Rutland, Vermont. This airport is about 55 miles from Woodford State Park, which is roughly an hour and a half drive.

Once you arrive at this hidden gem, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s uniquely insulated from the outside world. The camping is situated all around Adams reservoir.

Woodford sign in the winter, showing the versatility of the park
Although closed for winter camping, Woodford is open for sledding and snowmobiles

The Land

Woodford State Park is the perfect setting to camp mindfully with nature. Renowned for its exceptional birding and wildlife watching, this sanctuary offers a dual experience at the reservoir – one as a vast, open pond, and the other as a meandering waterway weaving past beaver lodges and a thriving wildlife habitat, creating an idyllic backdrop for canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts.

main swim beach at Woodford State Park with expansive views of water
Main swim beach for swimming, paddle board rentals, horseshoes, picnics

The park has a popular campground and offers hiking opportunities within the enchanting southern Green Mountains. It also offers swimming in the brisk New England waters.

Woodford is a geographical marvel perched at an impressive elevation of 2,400 feet, marking it as Vermont’s highest campground. This 398-acre park gracefully rests on a mountain plateau, embracing Adams Reservoir in its high-altitude embrace. 

The pristine spruce, fir, and birch forest at this elevation sets a traditional New England scene within the Green Mountain National Forest. Numerous lakes and ponds dot the surrounding landscape, adding to the allure of this lovely destination for those seeking a blend of nature and adventure.

Campground Map

camping map of Woodford State Park
Trillium in purple, Lean-to in blue, and tent sites in yellow

Camping Basics

Woodford state park has rental cabins, 76 tent/RV sites, 20 lean-tos, restrooms with flush toilets, hot and cold running water and Drinking water is available throughout the park. There is a RV sanitary station but there are no hookups.

 The pond, known as Adams Reservoir, is surrounded by fir, spruce, hemlock, and a few hardwoods which creates an enchanting makeshift sacred circle. 

In addition, most of the sites sit about a half mile to a mile from the road. Therefore, even though you are not hiking in, you will still feel warmth and nurturing from the New England forest surrounding you. For a trauma survivor, this feeling of being embraced and enveloped by nature will boost your healing and security. It’s the perfect setting for processing your thoughts and emotions.

Creature Comforts

Furthermore, you will still enjoy all of the perks and creature comforts of convenient camping. Including  flush toilets and hot coin-operated showers. This park offers camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. Paddle boats are for rent at the ranger station.

Cabin: Trillium

First, I will give you a review of the cabins at Woodford. There are four cabins total, and they reserve super fast. The reservation policy is up to eleven months prior to arrival. So once you are within eleven months, the site is open for availability.

I have stayed in all four cabins, and they each offer an exceptional experience. However, the number one choice is the cabin called Trillium.

view from cabin Trillium at the porch, showing the long path and kayaks ready to launch
View from Trillium’s front porch

Even though all of the cabins offer peaceful water views and modern conveniences such as electricity, there’s something mystical about Trillium. Perhaps it is the ground which you are camping upon. There is a sponginess due to the forest floor that gives it a feeling of being alive. 

view of cabin Trillium from water's edge showing the exterior
View of Trillium from the water’s edge

Better yet, you not only have access to a boat launch, but  also a flat, level ground with which to drink your precious morning coffee along the shore. 

You will find that in addition to beautiful sunrises and sunsets, twilight time at dusk is particularly mysterious. This is due to the rapid changing temperature between the air temperature and water temperature that is characteristic of the New England climate.  If you have access to a kayak or canoe, I suggest taking it out during this enchanting time. You will find that you are surrounded by mist rising from the water surface that shrouds your boat and mystifies. It is highly likely you will experience a spiritual connection with your environment. 

Self Healing: You Belong

To begin your journey to camp mindfully with nature, remind yourself that you belong. For self-healing, imagine the people and animals that have walked this land before you, and remind yourself that you are part of a larger whole. Why? Because trauma causes survivors to falsely believe they are separate, different, or don’t belong. This is untrue. Just as you breathe the same air, walk the same earth, feel the cool water on your skin, you have every right to be here as every other living thing. You belong. Which is to say, you are equal to all others. Not better, not less. Equal. And being equal means not being different.

author during her Camp Mindfully With Nature journey at the boat launch / beach at cabins
A boat launch nearby the cabins is a lovely spot to mindfully connect to the water

Finally, there is a stand of trees that create a sense of safety and warmth around the cabin. It’s as if you were experiencing a gentle hug from the forest. As if that were not enough, adjacent to the shoreline lies an excellent bird watching opportunity, including Great Blue Heron. If you sit quietly, you will have the perfect perch with which to observe wildlife in their natural habitat. To the right of the cabin Trillium, there is only forest and cabins or text. 

Lean-To: Maple



You might be quick to dismiss this location because it is near to the dumpster and the road. I did. But after two days in this camping spot, I’m a believer.

View from lean to Maple, quiet and no neighbors nearby

Being close to a road in a campground is not the same as being close to a road in the regular world. First, there’s no ‘traffic’ per se. The cars that do drive by primarily only do so during the day. Therefore, at night when you’re by the fire, it’s silent.

The next reason why this lean-to is a preferred site is because you are mostly sectioned away from the other lean-tos, i.e. people. Even though the other lean-tos in that section are situated closer to the forest depths. However, they’re surrounded by the other campers. People talk. Sometimes loudly. Sometimes they sing their sometimes loud music. The dumpster doesn’t. The other camper that drove to their site and then parked are not carrying on loud conversations and music.

Self Healing: You Are Seen

So let’s talk about self-healing. Another negative effect of trauma is the isolating feeling of loneliness. This is different from being alone. Isolation is on the inside, not the outside, so the loneliness may be pervasive. How can nature help you heal this? With a little willingness to think outside the trauma survivor box. Practicing animism, learning how to first become aware of the living energies around you and connecting with them is the beginning. In reality, this looks like starting to “see” the natural world around you. Everything…trees, boulders, water, the earth, animals, is available to you for healing.

The first step to show up and see these entities. This initiates you being seen by them. If you are new to animism, this may sound woo woo, I get it. However, what if you try it and you receive benefit? What do you have to lose? If you are already camping in nature, that means you appreciate forests, lakes, mountains, etc. Mindfully extending your consciousness to make space for self healing from the natural world around you is a logical next step. If you find you’ve gained something, peace, calm, love from these surroundings, then a simple thank you is all that’s asked in return.

Tent Sites: #56 or #23

Let’s talk about the common points when picking a camping trip. We all want peaceful sites where the only sounds are the wind and leaves. Feeling truly safe, finding solace and self-healing moments at every step, is always my goal. I hope it’s yours too.

View of site 23 in Woodford demonstarting how to Camp Mindfully With Nature
Loop B water views of Adams Reservoir

There is a section of prime sites in Loop B that line Adams Reservoir. Book one of these sites to enjoy cozy water views and memorable camping. Of these sites, #’s 40, 45, 44, 42, 40, 39, 38, 36 shine the brightest.

water views in Woodford state park campground at site #23 on Loop B
Site #23 in Loop B offers a cozy spot for your hammock

Nonetheless, if you have the pick of the litter, go with site #23. It’s the largest, and most private.

Finally, for tent camping, there is a standout for space and privacy and that is Site 56. On the edge of Loop C, this tent site might not seem to offer much at first glance of the map. Especially since it sits close to the road. I’ve even driven by this site and not even noticed it, probably because it’s rarely occupied. However, if you are looking for a site with no neighbors and only deep, New England forest surrounding you, choose site #56.

To Camp Mindfully With Nature, start with a quiet campsite such as these tall pines surrounded by seclusion

Self Healing: You Can Love

So far we’ve talked about animism, healing isolation, and being seen. But how about when you’re ready to test out these victories with other people? Is that something you even want? I know I wasn’t ready or the least bit interested in cultivating relationships with other people when I was deep into my active healing stages. I preferred solo hiking and for lots of good reasons. But in time, my wounds healed and my heart opened more and more to the idea of letting people in. How did it work?

Being in nature mindfully, with the intention of healing yourself, opens the door to connecting with people. From there, being with people can lead to being in relationships. And the primary relationship you need to be in is with yourself. Every relationship on the outside stems from your relationship with you. Therefore, learning how to make connections with the natural world around you gradually leads to self love.

Though it’s cliche, it’s also true that you can’t love anybody until you sincerely love yourself. The great news is, learning to love yourself by holding space for your mindfulness and receiving acceptance and support from nature feels really good.

Other State Parks Near Woodford

If you choose to venture away from Woodford, you won’t be disappointed. The nearby state parks of Molly Stark (20 minute drive) and Emerald State Park (45 minute drive) are both excellent for hiking.

view from nearby Molly Stark state park showing a mix of dark clouds and blue sky
view from nearby Molly Stark state park

At Molly Stark, hit the Mount Olga trail and climb the fire tower. Just check with the rangers first to make sure it’s accessible.

sledding in winter is just as fun as camping in the summer! Children at Woodford in the snow
Even in winter, Woodford is majestic

Camp Mindfully With Nature In Vermont

Woodford State Park has a spiritual magic to it that needs to be experienced to be appreciated. May you enjoy the best campsites and create lasting self-healing bonds in your heart. And if trauma from the past comes up and needs healing, use tools to support your mental health and get to the next level.

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