Crystal Beach

Birds of Interest

The best times to visit are mid-September through May except when the lake is completely frozen over. While it is easy to scan the immediate shoreline here with binoculars, a scope is helpful for scanning for ducks, loons, and grebes out in the water as well as for eagles on the white pines on Neshobe Island.

Mid-October through December can be productive as the ice forms and concentrates the birds. Goldeneye (including the occasional Barrow’s), three scoter species, Long-tailed Ducks and Ring-necked Ducks, and Horned and Red-necked grebes are all possibilities and, less commonly, Red-throated Loon.

Bonaparte’s Gulls may be seen off the small spit at the end of the beach at the end of April into the first week of May and then again in October into early November. Both Lesser Black-backed Gull and Laughing Gull were reported here although only once each.

About this Location

Crystal Beach is located on the east side of Lake Bomoseen on Route 30. Except for the Kehoe Fishing Access and Bomoseen State Park on the west side of the lake, there are few other spots to access the lake so this is a worthwhile place to stop.

During the summer months, there is a fee to access the area as it is used for swimming and picnicking. This is probably not the best time to visit anyway as human activities limit the birds and birdwatching. Sometimes in the off-season, there is a chain fence across the entrance, but you can parallel park along the gate, not blocking the entrance, and still enter.

About Bomoseen State Park

See all hotspots at Bomoseen State Park

Bomoseen State Park, 3,576 acres, is located in the Taconic Mountains on the shores of Lake Bomoseen, the largest lake entirely within Vermont’s borders. The Taconics are the slate-producing region of Vermont, and the area’s history parallels the rise and fall of Vermont’s slate industry. The park contains several quarry holes and their adjacent colorful slate rubble piles as reminders of this period. These quarries provided slate for the West Castleton Railroad and Slate Company, a complex of 60 to 70 buildings that stood between Glen Lake and Lake Bomoseen. Several slate buildings and foundations remain in the park. A self-guided Slate History Trail leads hikers through remnants of this bygone era.

Part of the area comprising the park was owned by the Lake Shore Slate Company, owned and operated by Samuel L. Hazard. When Mr. Hazard passed away in 1929 the remaining property was left to his stepdaughter, Martha Warren. Mrs. Warren lived there year-round, before making it her summer home. In 1959 she donated approximately 365 acres of land and included buildings to the State for recreational purposes and as a refuge and sanctuary for wildlife. A collection of historical objects is located in Mrs. Warren’s former home, which also includes the Park Ranger’s quarters.

First opened to the public in 1960, the park boundaries encompass more than 2,000 acres surrounding nearby Glen Lake and forested land comprising the camping area that is Half Moon State Park. Several hiking trails, including one to Half Moon, provide great hiking and wildlife-viewing opportunities. Boating, fishing, and swimming are popular in Lake Bomoseen and nearby Glen Lake.

The park has a beach for swimming and a picnic area. Several hiking trails, including one to Half Moon Pond State Park, provide great hiking opportunities. There is fishing in Lake Bomoseen, as well as in nearby Glen Lake.

State park entrance fees are in effect (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day). During the off-season, this (and all Vermont State Parks) are open for day use. Restrooms are available when the park is open. A port-a-potty is usually available from mid-October until spring. Additional port-a-potties are available at nearby (but not walking distance) at the Kehoe Fishing Access on the west side of the lake. 


  • Restrooms on site

  • Entrance fee

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

Content from Bomoseen State Park Official Website and Susan Elliott, Rutland County Audubon Society

Last updated October 6, 2023