Colchester, Vermont, located just north of Burlington in Chittenden County on the great Lake Champlain is home to more than 17,000 residents. This beautiful, friendly lakefront community is also host to hundreds of vacationers ever year. Beautiful new lakefront homes are built every year as Colchester continues to grow.
Tourism and recreation in Colchester revolves around the beautiful views and sandy shores of Lake Champlain and Malletts Bay. Lake Niquette State Park, the area main public beach area, is 290 acres of State protected land, and is one of forty properties preserved by the Lake Champlain Land Trust. The lowland of the Champlain Valley and the calcium-rich bedrock make the Lake Niquette State Park an exceptional learning environment. Managed by Vermont State Parks, the park is open from dawn to dusk. No motorized vehicles are allowed at Niquette due to the fragile nature of the forest. Visitors can enjoy the new nature center built in 2002, in addition to boating swimming, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and picnicking.
Fort Ethan Allen is an old U.S. army installation in Vermont, named for American Revolutionary War figure Ethan Allen. It was first occupied as a cavalry post in 1894, and today is the center of a designated national historic district in Colchester. One of the most famous buildings in the installation is The Riding Hall, or Drill Hall, built in 1895. It was used for cavalry until 1944 when it became the post gymnasium. It is located at the center of the Fort, signifying its importance to the enlisted men who lived there. When the hall was not being used for exercising the cavalry, enlisted men would gather there to enjoy live entertainment before the Herrouet Theater was built. Today the building is a significant piece of historical architecture, appreciated for its Romanesque Revival style brick entrance.