We knew this fall’s vacation to Smugglers’ Notch State Park would be a bit of a drive from Buffalo. We also didn’t want to take more than a couple days of vacation after enjoying a lot of long weekends this summer. To make the trip to northern Vermont more manageable, we made Wednesday night reservations at Green Lakes State Park, just outside of Syracuse.
This park is just as old as Allegany State Park and in both parks, many of the existing trails and buildings are thanks to Depression-era CCC efforts. What’s different about Green Lakes is that it feels like a little oasis just outside the busy suburbs of Syracuse. You could hear the planes at the airport take off and land from our campsite.
This may be why Green Lakes has received a lot of love the last few years. The bathhouses in the loops were both beautiful and very clean, the beach was closed but still perfectly groomed and new grass was growing by the playground.
We picked Green Lakes State Park as our stop on the way to Vermont because of the Instagram-worthy lakes, which are indeed green. The layers of water within Green Lake and Round Lake don’t mix. The minerals of the deeper layers are what make the water the blue-green color. It’s also incredibly clear and you can rent kayaks with clear bottoms to see more of what lies below the surface.
Our original plan for our time at the Park was to bike around Green Lake, starting at the beach and taking the short path at the south end of the lake to make our way around Round Lake as well. It turns out you can’t bike around the lakes, so we only saw Green Lake before hitting the road.
I didn’t expect the water to be so green. It was cool to see the water between the trees every few yards as we walked. We’ll definitely be back because I so badly want to swim and kayak in this water!