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 area includes a diverse range of natural habitats, and offers beautiful 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.
The Fund’s Paran land acquisitions were funded by two grants from Vermont’s Housing and Conservation Board and by generous public donations. 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.
For more information about conserved land and trails in and around Lake Paran:
- A gallery of historic and contemporary photographs of Lake Paran
- Management plan for Paran properties (2022) (pdf)
- About The Robert Frost Trail
- A guide to The Robert Frost Trail
- Pocket guide to The Robert Frost Trail (pdf)
- A gallery of photographs of the Robert Frost Trail
- Hunting policies for the Paran lands
- Map of conserved land near Lake Paran