SOMERSET RESERVOIR paddling in southern Vermont.

Somerset Reservoir is the southernmost lake in Vermont where loons nest.  There is a little motorboat traffic limited to 10mph, no waterskiing, no jetskis allowed and can be fairly quiet.  Scenery is outstanding with views of Stratton Mtn, Mount Snow & Glastenbury Mtn.  Shores are undeveloped except for the big dam at its southern end.  One can paddle a good 15 miles around its shoreline and there are some nice picnic spots, some on islands.  The Catamount Ski Trail runs along its east side.  Camping is not allowed.  Nearest camping is 3 miles away at Somerset Airfield Campground - free car-camping with privies in the Green Mountain National Forest - not a lot of privacy, the sheriff stops and checks on things occasionally.

Oct 11, 2015 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR. Water level drawn down a few feet revealing rocky shoreline. 10-15mph winds fron SW so quickly crossed to W side but still had to occasionally deal with wind & waves up to 1'. Paddled into the W bay & stopped at an island. Colors & views were absolutely lovely - Stratton & Little Stratton Mountains stood out to the N, Mount Snow to the SE. Couple of motorboats out fishing but lots of space for everyone. Loon. 7.2 miles, 3.5 hours.

July 6, 2014 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR in southern VT.  About 6 miles long, undeveloped.  SW winds 10-20mph.  Paddled over to & stayed on the W side.  Stopped at a picnic site (camping not allowed on SR) with small beach - did some rescue practice, swimming, cooking (interesting 2 sided fire pit) & relaxing then headed back in the late afternoon.  Views of Mt Snow & Stratton, Searsburg Wind Farm.  Quite a few loons.  A handful of motorboats, fishing.  Fairly quiet overall.  8 hours.  WS Zephyr 160 PRO kayak handles wind & waves so well I did not need to drop the skeg.

Aug 1, 2010 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR in southern VT.  Paddled most of the undeveloped perimeter.  A few small motorboats (fishing), fewer paddlers.  Jetskis, waterskiing not allowed.  Deerfield River.  Views of Mt. Snow, Stratton Mtn, Glastenbury Mtn. Osprey, loons, mink, C geese, gb herons, kingfishers, mergansers.  Lots of flowers incl. bottled gentian.  Lunched on one of several islands at N end.  No bad bugs during the paddle.  ~15 miles, 7 hours.  Stopped at the dam after paddling for the view up the reservoir - saw 5 loons together & got 2 blackfly bites.

Jul 5, 2009 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR near Wilmington, VT.  Quite a few picnickers near the parking area but much mellower out on the water.  Some motor boats, 10mph speed limit, mostly fishing - PWCs & waterskiing not allowed.  Waves up to 1', winds W 10-20 mph so we paddled across to W shore.  Sandpipers, gb herons, loons.  Mountain views include Stratton & Snow, undeveloped shores other than dam at S end.  Canoe/kayak launch area requires carrying the boat 100'.  Relaxed on an island with loony tunes.  Bell Prospector - a 16' canoe - sweet!  On drive home, saw a moose in wetland not far from Rt.9 in Woodford.

May 19, 2008 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR in southern VT.  Undeveloped shores.  W winds gusting to 30mph, some horizontal sleet (temp in low 40s), some sun.  Quickly got over to W shore to minimize wind exposure.  Loons, bald eagle, mallards, beaver; moose tracks.  Flowering: hobblebush, trout lily, painted trillium; still looks like early spring here, trees only starting to leaf out.  Views of Stratton Mt. & Mt. Snow (still some snow left on N side).  Too windy for bugs.  4 hours.


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