Indian Brook Park

02.08.24 Please take extreme caution when considering recreating on open bodies of water this Winter, specifically, Indian Brook Reservoir. Although there has been ice, consistent warmer temperatures such as those in our current forecast, WILL create thin ice and danger.

Indian Brook has long been the crown jewel of our natural areas in Essex, and we have been hard at work re-imagining what access, management, and best practices look like to keep Indian Brook the natural treasure that it is.  We’re confident that these changes will help us protect the beauty of Indian Brook while providing increased opportunities for outdoor recreation in the cleanest and safest environment we can create, all right in your backyard!

For information on how to get your pass, rates, and more, please click here.

150 Indian Brook Road, Essex, Vermont

Park Features: Indian Brook Park is a 740-acre community park featuring a 60-acre reservoir, trails, a non-motorized boat launch, picnic areas, and parking. An ideal location to fish, hike, horseback ride, or run! The park is bordered to the northwest by over 600 acres of Winooski Valley Park District land, including Colchester Pond.

Indian Brook Map PDF
Firearms Ordinance (Updated 10/7/19)
Parks Ordinance (Updated 10/7/19)
Firearms Discharge Area Map (Updated 10/7/19)
Firearms Signage Indian Brook (Updated 10/7/19)

Indian Brook Rules and Reminders

Indian Brook FAQ 2024 Season


Q:    Why can't City of Essex Junction residents purchase season passes at the resident rate?

A:    City of Essex Junction residents are no longer residents of the Town of Essex. City of Essex Junction residents no longer contribute financially to Town amenities.


Q:    Why do you charge more for bringing your dog?  

A:     While we love our four-legged friends, they do have a tendency to leave behind waste and create additional wear and tear on the trails.  These certainly are not new problems, but they do need new solutions.  We’ll still be asking park users to clean up after their animals, but we’ll also be able to increase staffing and have our staff monitor, and if needed intervene, with any park users not following this etiquette and ordinance.  These changes will also give us better information to address the problems submitted to us by park users and the resources required to address them.


Q:    Why are dogs even allowed at Indian Brook at all OR Why do I have to have my dog on a leash at all?

A:    Some people love dogs and value them as family members, some people find them terrifying and anxiety-producing.  Leash rules and increased enforcement of waste removal are a compromise.  Dogs will be required to be on-leash unless in designated off-leash areas on the trails.  Even in these places, dog owners are expected to leash their dogs or communicate with other park users before any dog-to-person or dog-to-dog interactions occur.


Q:    Won’t this new process result in overrunning the park with new users?

A:    This new process will allow us to track the number of users at Indian Brook (including the number of dogs) at any given time much more accurately than we’ve done in the past.  Having this information will allow us to plan and make informed decisions every year.  If we find that the number of users is overrunning the park and it can’t be maintained and improved to meet the demand, then we’ll know exactly what needs to change and why.  This is the first step in learning more about the park's carrying capacity, which is why an initial season pass hold was created back in 2012.


Q:     Does this mean the State will pay to stock the reservoir now?

A:    Unfortunately the State will not be paying for any stocking of the water and hasn’t for several years, but Essex Rec has been stocking the waters with approximately 1,000 Brook and Brown Trout since the State had stopped.  We’re planning on doing the same this year!