From Jamaica, VT: Go 1/2 mi. E on
N43° 6.332' W72° 46.370' Directions/Map
About the Park:
Jamaica State Park, now comprising 772 acres, was completed and opened to the public in 1969.
Previously, the area had supported a few small farms and a sawmill. The West River Railroad ran through the park. The old railroad bed is now used as the trail that leads along the West River to Ball Mountain Dam. The railroad operated from about 1879 until 1927, when a flood wiped most of it out.
The area at Salmon Hole, now used as the swimming area, was the site of a famous Indian Massacre in 1748.
Jamaica State Park is located on a bend of the West River about one-half mile from the center of the town of Jamaica. Nearby to the north is Ball Mountain. Hamilton Falls is located about one mile up Cobb Brook, which enters the West River upstream from the park. The West River has a very large drainage area extending from Weston and the south side of Terrible Mountain to Windham on the east and Bromley on the west.
Every fall, on one weekend in September, there is a water release on the West River from Ball Mountain Dam that draws whitewater paddlers to the park.
The West River is also a favorite spot for many fishermen. The combination of deep slow running water and shallow fast ripples makes for some fine fishing.
There are 41 tent/RV sites and 18 lean-to sites that are spread out through the campground. Two rest rooms, complete with hot showers ($), are located in the campground. A picnic shelter and nature center are located near the picnic area and swimming hole. A hiking trail follows the West River and branches off toward Hamilton Falls.
Park Interpreter Programs:
There is a Park Interpreter offering fun, hands-on activities at this park. Interpreters are park staff solely dedicated to helping you learn more about the natural and cultural history of this park. Are you curious about some of the animals that live in the park? Are you wondering the history of this place you love to visit? Get answers to all your questions by attending interpretive programs, or by having a chat with the Park Interpreter during your visit. Some popular activities available are night hikes, nature crafts, campfire programs, amphibian explorations, and nature games. Check out the calendar of current events to see some of the programs planned during your visit, look for program schedules displayed in the park, and stop by the nature center to learn more.
Click here for a calendar of events at all parks on our department website
Nearby Things to Do:
Hamilton Falls, Hildene - Robert Todd Lincoln's home, Manchester. A theater and shops, Weston; Art Center, Manchester; Alpine Slide, Bromley; Townshend Dam Recreation Area.