Kill Kare State Park
Submitted by: Vermont State Parks
Submitted on: 2010-10-07
Kill Kare State Park is named for Kill Kare, a summer camp for boys, which operated on this site for some fifty years through the mid-1900s. Located on the southwestern tip of St. Albans Point, a three-mile peninsula which defines St. Albans Bay, Kill Kare is surrounded on three sides by the sparkling water of Lake Champlain. In the 1840s, the property was part of a farm owned by C.C. Burton. The three-story building in the center of the park was built in the 1870s and operated as a summer resort hotel until about 1900, when the boys' camp was founded.
Recognizing the need for a mainland base from which to service Burton Island State Park, the state of Vermont purchased the 17-acre Kill Kare property in 1967. The boat ramp was blasted out on the east shore, and the breakwater, to protect the launch ramp and ferry dock, was built into the lake. Some group picnicking was permitted on the grounds but the primary purpose of the park, in the early days, was to support Burton Island. It wasn't until the mid-1970s, a period during which water quality within St. Albans Bay was particularly poor, that the public began to come swimming and picnicking at Kill Kare, and to appreciate the park for its clean water and cooling summer breezes. Visitations were such by the early 1980s that modernization was a necessity. The old hotel was renovated in 1982. Park staff live in apartments upstairs, while the first floor includes modern rest room and changing facilities, and two public lobby areas with reproductions of historic photographs of Kill Kare in the old days. The group picnic shelter, the paved entrance road and parking lots are more recent additions. It is a popular day use area, and continues to be the vital mainland link to Burton, Woods, and Knight Island State Parks' operations.
Picnic tables and cooking grills are located throughout the park in open or shaded lawn areas. The 26' x 40' open-air shelter has group-sized cooking grills, available electricity, and may be reserved for group functions. The south-facing swimming area has a mostly sandy bottom. The shallower northwest shore is good for wading. There are no lifeguards. The public boat launching ramp gets your boat quickly into deep water. If you haven't got a boat, rowboats may be rented, or you can ride the Burton Island ferry.
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