Kill Kare State Park is named for Kill Kare, a summer camp for boys, which operated on this site for some fifty years through the mid-1900s. Located on the southwestern tip of St. Albans Point, a three-mile peninsula which defines St. Albans Bay, Kill Kare is surrounded on three sides by the sparkling water of Lake Champlain. In the 1840s, the property was part of a farm owned by C.C. Burton. The three-story building in the center of the park was built in the 1870s and operated as a summer resort hotel until about 1900, when the boys' camp was founded.
The boat ramp was blasted out on the east shore, and the breakwater, to protect the launch ramp and ferry dock, was built into the lake. Some group picnicking was permitted on the grounds but the primary purpose of the park, in the early days, was to support Burton Island. It wasn't until the mid-1970s, a period during which water quality within St. Albans Bay was particularly poor, that the public began to come swimming and picnicking at Kill Kare, and to appreciate the park for its clean water and cooling summer breezes.