lake paran and beyond

View of Lake Paran from The Robert Frost Trail -- looking west toward the Park-McCullough House and The Mile-Around Woods.
View of Lake Paran from The Robert Frost Trail — looking toward the Village of North Bennington.

Lake Paran is an undeveloped 35-acre lake located in three Vermont municipalities — the Village of North Bennington and the Towns of Bennington and Shaftsbury.

The Fund for North Bennington, Inc. owns 146 acres along the shorelines of Lake Paran and Paran Creek, and east through the Paran uplands to Route 7A in Shaftsbury. This land and these waters — the Paran Preserve — include a diverse range of natural habitats. From a hillside above Paran Creek there are splendid views south to the Berkshires and east to the Green Mountains. Almost half of this property was once part of a farm owned by Robert Frost. There in 1922 Frost composed “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” 

A community non-profit organization, Paran Recreations, Inc., maintains a swimming beach on the northwest shore of Lake Paran. The State of Vermont provides a fishing and boating access area on the lake’s south shore.

The Fund developed The Robert Frost Trail along the lake’s north shore and east to the poet’s farm in South Shaftsbury.

The trail can be accessed by entering the woods from the swimming area and following blue blazes. The trail climbs the hill at the east end of the lake, and affords views of the entire lake, the Village of North Bennington and west to other conserved lands owned by The Fund North Bennington, Inc.

Much of the shoreline was donated by Sage City Syndicate, Inc. This conservation work was only possible because of the cooperation of five public-spirited landowners, and through the organizing efforts of the Vermont Land Trust (VLT). All of the land is now subject to a conservation easement held by VLT.

Trapping, foraging, camping and building of fires are prohibited on the Paran Preserve. No bicycles or access by ATVs or other wheeled vehicles. Dogs are permitted if kept under strict voice control. No building of structures.

For more information about conserved land and trails in and around Lake Paran: