Guilford; Windham County
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Sweet Pond State Park was established in 1976 when the State of Vermont purchased a 100-acre tract of land with funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The park is named after Dr. Charles and Susan Sweet, who maintained a summer home on the property for much of the 20th century. Located in the southeastern Vermont town of Guilford, the park is less than 1½ miles from the Massachusetts border, and is nine miles southwest of Brattleboro. The park includes all of the shoreline of the currently drained 20-acre Sweet Pond. The pond is an artificial impoundment on Keats Brook; a dam was first established here in the mid 19th century to power a mill. The land was originally settled by the Franklin family, who farmed the land for more than 150 years beginning in 1777. The Franklin Cemetery lies within the park just west of the park entrance.
The condemnation of Sweet Pond Dam and subsequent de-watering of Sweet Pond were and continue to be a major issue for the surrounding region. Future public meetings will occur as the ANR moves forward with plans to secure funding for repair of the dam. Updates regarding the status of the dam and pond can be found at:
- What happened to Sweet Pond? (updated May 2, 2016)
The park is undeveloped, except for the Sweet family homestead, a public parking area and a foot trail. There are traces of historic farmsteads and roads on the property. The 1.3 mile Sweet Pond Trail circumnavigates the pond. The park is managed for dispersed recreation, wildlife habitat and timber production. The park is open for day activities; camping or overnight use is not permitted. Hiking is the most common activity here.
The Long Range Management Plan (LRMP) for the Brattleboro Management Unit was developed in 2012.
- Sweet Pond Dam Analysis Documents
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