With its picturesque setting on the shores of Lake Champlain, the park provides an ideal setting for anyone seeking a relaxing day visit or an overnight respite. A quiet park, it is popular for its large, open campground, grassy picnic areas and stone pavilion. It is a favorite spot for birdwatchers. DAR is conveniently located near boat access to Lake Champlain.
Located in the contemporary rural agricultural community of Addison, the area is one of the earliest and most intensely settled parts of Vermont, with evidence of human habitation dating back over 7,500 years. Native Americans regularly used the greater Chimney Point area for camping, hunting and fishing (and later, village settlements) for as long as 7,000 years until Euro-american settlers arrived.
This area is thought to be the site of the first permanent Euro-american agricultural settlements in Vermont. In 1731, The french constructed a fort at Chimney Point to prevent the British advance up the Champlain Valley. Sieur Gilles Hocquart, Intendant of New France, was granted a large seigneury by the King of France in 1743. Seigneuries, or land grants, were issued to encourage settlement and cultivation and to maintain a strong presence against British encroachment. The Hocquart Seigneury included Ft. St. Frédéric, built in 1734, (now called Crown Point) on the western shore of Lake Champlain and land along the eastern shore, including what is now Chimney Point and the park. In 1759, the French evacuated Hocquart Seigneury, including Ft. St. Frédéric, and fled to Canada in response to pressure from the British. Historic accounts say the British blew up Ft. St. Frédéric and burned the French dwellings, leaving nothing but chimneys standing, giving Chimney Point its name.
After the English won control of the area in 1760, English settlers began to arrive and build homesteads. John Strong is believed to have built a cabin on top of a former French home site. The foundation is visible just north of the park picnic pavilion. The Strong’s cabin was burned in 1790 by loyalist British forces; at that time they decided to build the imposing brick mansion near the park entrance. The Daughters of the American Revolution purchased the property in 1934 and turned it into a museum depicting early colonial life. In 1955, they donated 95 acres to the State for creation of D.A.R. State Park.
There are 70 sites including 24 lean-tos located in an open grassy area and under a mature stand of hickory trees. There are flush toilets, hot showers ($), and a dump station provided. There is a small picnic area located on a bluff above the lake, as well as a nice stone pavilion for group gatherings. Boating, fishing, sailing, and swimming are popular in Lake Champlain.