Snow on the Shore

Temperatures had been low leading up to my final visit to Oakledge Park this week, and snow and ice coated the ground and the lakeshore. All the beautiful colors of fall have been replaced with ghostly whites and grays, and the beautiful view of the Adirondacks was almost completely covered in a heavy, low fog. As I walked along the edge of the water, it was almost impossible not to slide on the frozen rocks, all of which were covered in a thick veneer of ice. The plant life was frozen solid, and the clear, faultless ice surrounding them provided a window into a world frozen solid. The leaves have long since left the deciduous trees of the area, and many of them could be found at the bottom of the beautifully clear water, drifting in the currents. The freezing winds and slippery shore has scared away many of the park’s patrons, but it was easy to see why people have flocked here during the summer months for years.

Oakledge Park has been a swimming area for the people around Burlington for generations. The Oakledge Manor Resort once sat on these shores. Built as a house for the Webb family (the same family that eventually moved to Shelburne Farms) in 1884, it became a resort in 1926, and later a country club. It closed down in 1970, and a year later was burned to the ground by the Burlington Fire Department in a training exercise.

This bay has been used as a boat launch since settlers came to Lake Champlain, and will hopefully remain a historical swimming area for generations to come.

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