Treasure Island & the Vermontasaurus: A Summer Encounter with Land-Use Law

I love summer adventures and  I want to share with you my favorite place to go swimming throughout our short, albeit beautiful Vermont summer.

I am obsessed with Treasure Island, at Lake Fairlee. Treasure Island is public beach operated by the town of Thetford and is about 45 minutes from South Royalton. Sort of a drive, but worth it:  something about this place is pure magic. Upon arrival, you pay an entrance fee, based on the honor code. After paying, I always park my car beneath the shade of a big pine tree.

The beach is prime people watching. There are always kids running around on adventures and the trials of putting sunblock on young children is always entertaining. Just this weekend a little boy and  his buddy caught three huge frogs and a little girl and her friends were learning how navigate a mini-canoe. One of the girls paddled out too far into the lake, and couldn’t make her way to shore. Her dad had to swim out to rescue her and bring her back to land. That was an interesting scene.

If you get tired of people watching, there are tennis courts, a volleyball net and trails to the island.

After going to Treasure Island, I like to go to the Post Mills Airstrip and watch the little planes take-off. Last year, I nicely asked a pilot for a ride, and he took me up in his two-seater plane to launch a glider. The airstrip is also the home of the Vermontasaurus. The Vermontasaurus, a community-built wooden sculpture, has a legal history related to Act 250 and it’s environmental impact. The Vermonatasaurus also has some other interesting land-use issues related to permitting and town plans. This is definitely a must-see for the budding land-use attorney.

I do want to offer a tiny piece of advice for the inaugural Treasure Island trip: pack the Vermont Gazetteer, just in case you get lost, and bring the Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could bring the Act 250 Handbook (but for a more fun trip, I suggest “accidentally” leaving it on the kitchen table!).