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[Updated August 6, 2020; updated in RED]

Please note that as of  August 7, 2020 parking will no longer be permitted along Route 30/Williamsville Rd./Depot Station Rd.  for Rock River access. This is a temporary situation to address crowding concerns and COVID-19.

The board of Rock River Preservation invites people to accept this difficult news in the spirit we believe it was meant. Vermont has done well containing Covid-19 and this is a serious preventative measure to what looked like a bad situation in the making. We honor people’s patience in keeping us all safe during this pandemic. We invite you to join us in accepting the practical, communitarian Vermont values manifest in this state decision. It’s sensible at this time. Our actions impact others just as theirs will impact us. We can be angry and sad about this. We will swim again one day if we are good neighbors and continue to play by the rules.

Answers to FAQs About Rock River Access (provided by Rock River Preservation):
Q: “So wait, can I still go to the river – but there’s no parking?”
A:  “Swimming holes still open, but no parking allowed.”

Q: “Can I get an Uber from Brattleboro?”
A: Ummm… not likely. There is limited cell phone service in the area on many carriers – so you may not be able to get an Uber for a ride from the river back to Brattleboro. 

Q: “This sucks! I’m sick of Covid and I just wanted to go relax at Rock River! Is there anything we can do?”
A: This Covid does suck. Nothing is normal now. But our best strategy is to play along with the rules and concerns of the town of Newfane this year so we can have parking along Rt 30 for years to come. We can be good neighbors and keep everyone safe. 

Stay safe. Stay closer to home. Stay Connected.

Board of Rock River Preservation,
Hugh, Thom, Scott, Tim and Troy

Quarantine and non-quarantine counties throughout the northeastern United States, updated weekly on Fridays. Click on the image for current info.

Travel to Rock River: “Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced that the state of emergency has been extended to August 15th, noting.” We all “must continue to follow guidance on mandatory health and safety practices and the latest travel quarantine requirements.”

Here is the link to the directive regarding cross-state travel.

  • Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the Town of Newfane Selectboard has requested that the VT Agency of Transportation to close the Rock River swimming hole parking along Route 30, effective 8/7/20.
  • Please do not come to Vermont at this time if you live in a county with higher Covid-19 cases (colored orange and red).
  • Residents of other states who live in counties that have similar active Covid-19 cases to Vermont may enter the state for leisure travel without quarantining. See the link above to the map showing lower Covid-19 counties in blue/green,
  • If you don’t feel well, you should stay home.
  • If you know someone who is sick or may have been exposed, you should stay home for 14 days or stay home for 7 days and then have a negative Covid-19 test.
  • Please observe social distancing, wear a face mask (mandatory in Vermont effective 8/1/20) and stay safe!

“We’re All In This Together” Rock River Preservation continues to work with the local fire and rescue to reduce risk of exposure in our community. Many visitors to the river are older and others have underlying health conditions. Connecting with people we don’t know is part of the warmth and magic of Rock River for many – but this very same behavior now puts our community at high risk. Please respect state and national guidelines regarding how we can keep one another safe. We have managed this in the HIV response, and together we can get through this. The choices we make individually and within our friend groups this summer will have a direct impact on people’s lives in our community come fall.

We at Frog Meadow, the Board of Rock River Preservation Inc., and the Vermont State Police ask that you reconsider your trip into the Rock River swimming holes at this time. Newbrook Fire and Rescue, the “first emergency responders” for the River, have contacted Rock River Preservation with this request. The current Corona Virus outbreak, has placed demands and hardships on the support organizations in The West River and Rock River Valleys.

In the event of Rescue needing to respond to an accident at the River, respondents would need to wear full PPE. This would slow their response time down, and cause them to use equipment that is limited for a small Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. If the injured party has been exposed to Covid 19, this could have an impact on Rescue should their member become infected. The 14 day quarantine of any member would severely handicap and short staff the Department in it service to the River Valley Community.

The Vermont State Police are monitoring the parking situation on Vermont Route 30. They will be asking people to leave in order for them to adhere to the State of Vermont and Vermont Department of Health’s directives to Stay Home and Stay Safe during Covid 19.

As you are aware of the restrictions on life activities that are in place in your area, the same holds true here in Southern Vermont. We care about the health of our community and that means we care about you. It is with this spirit of community care that we request people to follow the directives in place both within their state and the public health directives here in Vermont.

Please Check Information for current Vermont Guidelines on the Rock River Preservation website which will updating as changes in the area occur.

Thank You!

HISTORIC ROCK RIVER LAND PURCHASE!

THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS! 

On Tuesday, November 20, 2018, Rock River Preservation signed closing documents that placed 21 acres along Rock River under the ownership of RRP, the nonprofit organization formed thirteen years ago by gay men who dreamed this goal might someday be achieved!

This historic transaction was made possible by generous donations from gay men across the country and Canada, some of whom have been gathering on this land for decades, some of whom made their way there for the first time this summer. As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall in 2019, this purchase takes on added significance, reminding us that Rock River is a national gay landmark that provided (and continues to provide) a safe haven for gay men in challenging times.

“This is a momentous occasion,” RRP Board Chair Thom Chiofalo wrote to donors in anticipation of the closing, “because this will ensure that the land will remain as it has been in the past: natural and undeveloped. The Rock River experience will be as you have always known it to be: a space where men gather and commune with other men and nature. The fear that someone will buy the land and restrict its use and access is now a thing of the past.”

Two hundred individuals and couples from at least 15 states, the District of Columbia and Canada made this possible, a testimony to how deep and widespread the love of this special place is. Donors hail from all six of the New England states, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Michigan, Texas, California, Alaska and Ottawa.

The purchase and fundraising were completed by volunteers. While every effort was made to “do it right,” some mistakes were made, including possibly not recognizing and thanking every individual. If you haven’t heard directly from a member of the volunteer fund raising committee or the RRP board, please know that however you’ve contributed this summer and over the years has helped make a difference at Rock River.

The Newfane area of Southern Vermont is Home to the Gay Beach and Nude Swimming Hole on the Rock River

Rock River Preservation Gay Retreats and Men's Workshops Frog Meadow New England's Best All Male Gay Resort in Southern Vermont

While the wooded areas of Rock River are very cruisy, the scene by the water is very social and quite friendly (e.g. no “attitude”). Men often bring preparations with them for a summer BBQ and – generally speaking – all are welcome. There is a feeling of being in another time and place when you’re at Rock River!

Frog Meadow is 4 miles from the Rock River trail head. On a busy summer weekend day parking can be limited.

The West River is a relatively long, wide and warm river as compared to the Rock River, which, true to its name, is very rocky, swift and cool. Just upstream from the confluence of the Rock and West Rivers, and only four miles from Frog Meadow off Route 30, there are a series of deep, clear water swimming holes. Known as “Indian Love Call” by the locals there is a long tradition of nude bathing on the Rock River as there is in Vermont in general.

As you hike further up the Rock River you will notice that the first swimming hole is deep with a sandy beach and a rope swing. This is the “family” swimming hole where the clothing stays on. The further upstream you go the more likely you are to see nude bathers; the next couple of beaches up the trail are mixed, gay and straight, and nude.

As you continue further up the Rock River it becomes increasingly gay until you reach your final destination (about a 30-minute hike from the road) and discover the “official” gay area. While the wooded areas are very cruisy and do have their share of activities, the scene by the water is very social and quite friendly (e.g. no “attitude”). Men often bring preparations with them for a summer BBQ and, generally speaking, all are welcome, especially if you have things to share. There is a feeling of being in another time and place when you’re there.

http://www.rockriverpreservation.org/

Alex’s Beach is named for the former landowner’s gay son Alex Swartz who loved Rock River for many years.

There is also much more to the Rock River Valley than the naked swimming hole for gay guys. The Rock River is a focal point for a larger Vermont community of artists, craftsmen and families. On August 28, 2011 tropical storm Irene slammed into Vermont wreaking wide spread destruction. The Rock River Valley of Newfane and Marlboro was especially hard hit and over two years later the area has still not fully recovered. Several houses were destroyed, roads were washed away and many residents were stranded without phone, electricity or water for weeks, in some cases months.  The trail into the swimming hole was heavily damaged and the face of the Rock River was changed forever. Rock River Preservation, a non-profit volunteer organization founded to preserve access to the family and gay swimming holes responded by not only calling on volunteers to repair the heavily damaged trail but also to help local residents in need of assistance with post-storm clean up. Volunteers coordinated by Rock River Preservation worked along side other community members to clear debris from properties, dig out mud filled basements and otherwise help as they could. Dave coordinated a mountain bike rescue team to reach stranded residents who could not be reached even with ATVs and off road vehicles, bringing medications and news of the outside world.

But as is often the case when tragedy strikes the community came closer together and one year after Irene there was the first annual Rock River Revival Festival and Parade to celebrate that coming together of community.

 

To insure that the Rock River environment remains healthy, everyone’s rights are respected, and all may enjoy the tranquil beauty of this special place, please join us in observing the following guidelines, prepared by Rock River Preservation:

 

  • Consider the trail a wilderness experience of moderate difficulty. Wear appropriate foot gear, and use extreme caution. You use the land and amenities at your own risk.
  • Respect the privacy of adjacent landowners; stay on designated trail and beaches.
  • Carry out all trash, including cigarette butts and food.
  • Open fires prohibited without permission of the Newbrook Fire Department.
  • If you build a fire, make sure it is completely out when you leave.
  • Keep soap and detergent out of the river
  • There are no sanitary facilities at Rock River.  Please plan accordingly.
  • No camping without permission of landowners.
  • Do not cut live trees.
  • Leash all dogs and and clean up after their mess.
  • Refrain from playing radios, tapes and CD players; no mechanized sounds.
  • Always obtain the consent of subject(s) before taking photos or filming.
  • Get dressed when leaving established “clothing optional” areas; respect the rights of private property owners and other beach users.

Rock River Preservation wishes you an enjoyable visit. 

IF YOU’RE HERE, IT’S YOURS! 

PLEASE HELP OTHERS FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES TO KEEP OUR RIVER BEAUTIFUL

Thank You!

 

Discover Gay Vermont!

Discover Gay Vermont Frog Meadow Oasis for Men Vermont

Our region is well known for it’s open, progressive values, welcoming attitude and longstanding embrace of diversity!  It’s such a gay-friendly region…and it has an amazing collection of interesting and fun things to do!

Come discover great restaurants, fresh food sources that include farmer’s markets and a food coop, 3 microbreweries & a distillery, a cultural & arts community that includes monthly gallery walks, museums, music, theatrefrequent artist’s open studio toursliterary & film festivals (including an annual LGBT film festival) and frequent men’s gatherings, workshops & retreats.

Click here to discover & explore the many recreational & cultural activities, events, attractions and culinary delights that Brattleboro and gay-friendly Southeast Vermont have to offer!

Getting Here/Travel FAQs

How Do I Reach Frog Meadow by Car?

  • We’re approximately 2.5 hours from Boston, 3.5 hours from New York City and 2 hours from Hartford, CT.
  • After making your reservation you will receive a confirmation email with detailed instructions on how to get to Frog Meadow.

Our directions are simple and easy to follow. You’ll want to use our directions – NOT GPS – once you’re off the interstate!

What is the Closest Airport to Frog Meadow?

  • Bradley International Airport (BDL) near Hartford, CT is super-convenient, about an hour and a half of easy mostly Interstate Highway (I-91) driving to Brattleboro Directions to Newfane from Bradley International Airport.
  • Albany International Airport New York (ALB) is about 2 hours from Frog Meadow but the roads are almost entirely secondary two lane country highways and can be difficult to travel, especially in the winter. Directions to Newfane From Albany International Airport
  • Logan International Airport Boston (BOS) is about 3 hours From Frog Meadow. The roads are a mix of four lane and two lane highways and during rush hour traffic in the Boston area can be challenging. However depending on where you are coming from the connections to Logan from your originating airport may be much better than to Bradley or Albany, especially if you are coming from the west coast or Europe. Directions to Newfane from Logan International Airport.

Can I Use Public Transportation to get to Frog Meadow?

All Aboard! Daily Train Service from NY City to nearby Brattleboro VT

All Aboard! Daily Train Service from NY City to nearby Brattleboro VT

Yes. There are several options:

  • Train: The Vermonter offers daily Amtrak train service that originates in Washington, DC. The Vermonter services Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City (Penn Station), Connecticut, and Western Massachusetts before arriving in Brattleboro, Vermont which is 12 miles south of Frog Meadow. More information on the Vermonter
  • Train and Rental Car Combo: If you are traveling from New York City, you may want to consider taking Metro North from Grand Central Station to New Haven, CT and renting a car there. The rental rates are much lower than in Manhattan and the train will get you past the most difficult traffic coming out of the city. Avis Rent-a-Car is located in the New Haven train station. The New Haven Train Station is at the southern terminus of I-91 with easy access to I-91 to Brattleboro, Vermont, which is 12 miles south of Frog Meadow. Drive time from New Haven to Brattleboro is approximately 2 hours.
  • Bus: There are also buses that will get you to Brattleboro from Boston and other points not serviced by train. More information on buses to Brattleboro
  • Rental Car: If you are arriving in Brattleboro by bus or train Enterprise Rent-a-Car will pick you up at the train or bus station and take you to their location to complete the paperwork and get you on your way to Frog Meadow. Avis Rent-a-Car is open 7 days a week in Brattleboro and will pick you up too.

About Us

Frog Meadow Farm Bed & Breakfast and Massage Oasis for Men is a welcoming, non-judgmental place for men of all colors and backgrounds to unwind and shed the trappings of busy modern life.

Situated on 63 beautiful & private acres, Frog Meadow frequently hosts men’s gatherings, workshops and retreats. Hosts Dave & Scott are committed to providing a welcoming environment to re-connect with nature and yourself.

The South RoomFrog Meadow is only 4 miles from the popular Rock River swimming hole, 10 miles from Brattleboro, VT and 30 minutes Mount Snow & Stratton Mountain ski resorts.

Relax in our spring-fed swimming pond, soak in our wood-fired hot tub, or enjoy our 4-season recreation trails and extensive perennial gardens and orchard!

Be sure to check out our special events calendarphoto galleriesrooms/lodging pages & lodging specials and discover all that gay-friendly Southern Vermont has to offer!

Frog Meadow Hot Tub

Click here to learn why Edge Boston calls Frog Meadow “Vermont’s Gay Oasis”

 

Guest Reviews

When is My Next Vacation? I’m Going Back!

When is my next vacation? I’m going back!

Great place to escape to. Perfect weather matched the perfect hosts.

Scott and Dave, you guys rock! We had a great time. Accommodations were exceptional. I would recommend the massage too.

Looking forward to returning.

Craig & Chase, West Hartford, CT
Read more guest reviews HERE
 
 

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