One of the most appealing characteristics of Montpelier as a place to live is its access to outdoor recreation. We love to ski, and this city is within an hour’s drive of at least five large ski areas, along with many nordic ski centers. Being in the heart of the Green Mountain State, Montpelier is also close to a lot of great skiing. But also appealing is its proximity to beaches and swimming holes. For being a coastal town, Brunswick doesn’t have easy access to a lot of great swimming options (unless you like subjecting yourself to the frigid Atlantic Ocean), which always bummed us out.
Today was a lovely late-August day, with temperatures reaching into the 80’s. Doreen dropped by my office this afternoon as part of an errand and said she wanted to go swimming. So I did a little research and discovered Wrightsville Beach, just a few miles up the road in Middlesex.
With a ten-minute drive from our apartment, this beach certainly qualifies for easy access. There is also a lot of parking and a bunch of amenities, like kayak and canoe rentals. There’s even a disc golf course. It looks like a nice family destination.
We arrived near 6:00 p.m. By then the sun was lower in the sky and behind a cloud. By which I mean, the 80-degree temperatures were a couple hours past and there was a distinct late-summer early-evening chill in the air. And the water was warm, but not THAT warm. There were a few groups on the beach, mostly families with young children. The kids were playing in the water. Most of the adults were wading up to their thighs.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t so eager to get all the way in, though Doreen clearly wanted to and cajoled me to the point that some of the grownups were chuckling at me. I think I just need to get used to swimming again, thought, because once we were swimming the water was refreshing and invigorating. Wrightsville Beach is on Wrightsville Reservoir, a lovely little mountain lake which, on this evening, provided a pristine setting for our dip. Boating appears to be allowed on the reservoir, which I believe was built for flood control, but tonight we saw just a couple of kayakers returning at the end of their paddle.
Overall Wrightsville exceeded our expectations, not that we had time to establish expectations. There is a very low fee, $2.50 for Vermonters, but the young woman at the “office” let us in for a buck apiece. Annual park passes are available starting at $25 for an individual, so the price can’t be beat. We will definitely return in the future.