The 20,000 acres of this Vermont state park include the 4,083 foot Camel's Hump and liberal sprinkings of spruce. Known as `Le Lion Couchant` (the sleeping lion) by French explorers, Camel's Hump remains one of the few undeveloped peaks among the mountains of Vermont. Scenic trails to the summit, where an abundance of alpine vegetation grows. The Long Trail, which traverses the park, extends the length of the state along the Green Mountains, The park is open year-round 24 hours a day.
Waubanaukee Indians first named it "Tah-wak-be-dee-ee-wadso" or Saddle Mountain. Samuel de Champlain's explorers in the 1600's called it "lion couchant" or resting lion. The name "Camel's Rump" was used on a historical map by Ira Allen in 1798, and this became "Camel's Hump" in 1830.
The Park came about as an original gift of 1000 acres including the summit from Colonel Joseph Battell, who originally bought Camel's Hump to preserve the wooded mountainous view from his home. In 1911, care of the mountain was entrusted to the State Forester who managed with the aim to keep it in a primitive state according to Battell's wish.
The State of Vermont eventually adopted a policy of development regulation on all state forest lands to preserve aesthetic values. It fought proposed intrusions by communications towers and ski resorts until the summit's Natural Area was set aside; then special legislation was passed in 1969 to create a Forest Reserve whose state-owned acres (about 20,000 by 1991) form Camel's Hump State Park.
An ecological area, for preservation of rare plants and wilderness habitat, is between 2500 feet in elevation and the summit, plus Gleason Brook drainage down to 900 feet. It is studied for the impacts of environmental changes, such as air pollution, on the forest.
A timber management and wildlife area, from 1800 to 2500 feet in elevation, protects the ecological area, encourages wildlife, and preserves the natural appearance of the region as seen from the outside. Uses include timber production, wildlife management, hunting, hiking, Nordic skiing, and snowmobiling.
A multiple use area includes the balance of the land in the reserve. Uses are farming, seasonal and permanent homes, and those listed above for the timber management/wildlife area.
Primitive camping is allowed only in the lower elevations and away from trails, roads, and water, in accordance with the "Vermont Guide to Primitive camping on State Lands". Otherwise, overnight camping is permitted only in Green Mountain Club shelters and lodges, and at Hump Brook Tenting Area. Shelters and Lodges are supervised by GMC from May to October with a nominal fee for overnight use. There is a 2-night limit. The shelters are open year-round, and reservations are not accepted. Open fires are permitted only in tent platform fire rings and in designated primitive camping areas. camping facilities are also available at nearby Little River State Park.
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