Colchester, VT 05446
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Take exit 17, US 2 Milton/Lake Champlain Islands. Turn south onto Raymond Road and continue to park entrance.
Today’s 584-acre park began with an initial land purchase by the State of Vermont in 1975. It is named for Niquette Bay, the local name for an indentation along the northeastern shore of Lake Champlain’s larger Malletts Bay. 4700 feet of scenic rocky and sandy shoreline along the bay comprise the park’s southern boundary.
The property, much of it farmed and pastured through the 1800’s, is today predominately forested. Two long ridges with summits rising to over 400’ elevation run parallel along either side of a flat, sandy terrace bisecting the property. This terrace, in turn, is bisected by a brook and associated ravine. This brook, over 1000’s of years, has carried away sand and silt as the ravine was carved, depositing it into Lake Champlain and forming the sandy but shallow beach along the eastern half of the park’s shoreline.
The westerly half of the park shore is of dramatically different character. Here, sheer cliffs of dolomitic limestone rise abruptly from deep water to heights exceeding 60 feet. These cliffs form the headwall of the western ridge that cuts through the park.
Activities / Amenities
The park’s trail system accesses high points along each ridge from which impressive vistas overlook Malletts Bay to the south, the Green Mountains to the east, and the Lake Champlain Islands to the west. There are several loops which offer a variety of hiking combinations. The shortest distance to the lake is 0.5 miles via the Allen Trail on foot or by bicycle; there is no public boat launch or motorized vehicle access directly to the lake shore.
Management strategies at Niquette Bay work to support the vision of the park as an oasis for appreciating nature. Camping is not permitted. Day use hours are from 10 a.m. to sunset. There is no public drinking water supply. Fires are allowed only at picnic area fire rings. Bicycles are allowed only on the Allen Trail. Parking is limited to 40 cars in the lot adjacent to the park office at the entrance to the property.
Niquette Bay is pet-friendly with some restrictions. Pet owners must clean up after their pets and carry out pet and other waste out of the park. Parties hiking with pets are limited to four (4) animals per group. Pets must be leashed at all times. Pets may swim at Calm Cove only; all other areas of lake access are off limits for pets.