Barnard is a classic Vermont hill town surrounded by high rolling hills, dotted with farms and affording many scenic vistas. This busy park is popular for its sandy swimming area, picnic grounds, and camping area. Its proximity to Woodstock and other central Vermont tourist destinations makes it ideal for family vacations.
The park encompasses the northern shoreline of 84-acre Silver Lake which supports excellent fishing of northern pike, perch, smallmouth bass and other warm-water species. The lake is popular for paddling and quieter recreation, with only occasional motorboats passing by. During the winter months, when the park is closed, the lake is a popular spot for ice skating and ice fishing.
Silver Lake State Park was established in 1955 when two pieces of land were donated to the State by Mr. and Mrs. John McDill of Woodstock, Miss Margaret Crosby of Barnard, and Mr. Richard H. field of Boston. Development of recreational facilities began soon after. Silver Lake was originally called Stebblings' Pond after Benjamin Stebblings who owned land at the outlet where the Barnard General Store now stands. When Benjamin Stebblings moved out of the area, the lake became known as Barnard Pond. In 1869, Barnard Pond was renamed Silver Lake.