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Camping on The Battenkill

Camping on The Battenkill

Camping on the Battenkill is a campground in Arlington, Vermont, named after the Batten Kill River which borders the property on two sides. Home to 111 RV sites or camping spots, the establishment has options that vary in their respective locations on the property and the amenities they offer. The campground is owned by Shelley-Ann Hincks and her husband Alan, who took over in 2019. Activities on the premises include a playground, a natural swimming area on the Batten Kill River, and a "dog run" where visitors can bring their pets. Shelley-Ann explains that one principal goal for the business—emphasized through its motto—is to let people get "back to nature." 


Located in a relatively vast expanse of forested land in Arlington, Vermont, camping on the Battenkill is a lodging establishment that offers a variety of camping spots and RV sites. The property stretches across nearly 40 acres covered in trees and is surrounded by the park's namesake—the Batten Kill River—on two sides. Approximately 30 of the acres of the campground are comprised of forests, which are home to eight dry-camping sites. An additional 5 acres are located in an open field on the premises, and often this region is utilized for group reservations.

A total of 111 units are located at Camping on the Battenkill. At any given time, 32 sites are set apart for seasonal visitors. Shelley-Ann, who owns the campgrounds, explains that their seasonal sites have a waitlist due to their popularity. The remainder of the sites, however, are designated for short-term stays. A fairly even mix of guest accommodations is located in the hardwoods nearby, in contrast to more "partially wooded areas." A smaller proportion of sites (18 in total) are situated along the open field on the premises.

Apart from the locations of the sites at Battenkill, there is also variety when it comes to the type of hookups that are available. Many of the RV sites have full hookups, while others are only equipped with water and electricity. There are also "raw camping" spots that do not offer any form of hookups. All units contain a picnic table and a fire pit, in addition to Wi-Fi access that is available throughout the park. Public bathrooms and laundry facilities can be found in the central regions of the park and the historic barn at the campground's entrance, respectively. 

Though the overall atmosphere of Camping on the Battenkill is described as a "country farm setting" by Shelley-Ann, there are a few activities that are possible on the grounds of the property. A playground is located in the open field region of the campground, and a natural swimming area is formed by a divot on the Batten Kill River on the north side of the park. When guests come prepared with their own equipment, other aquatic activities such as kayaking, tubing, and rafting are available on the Batten Kill River. The owner also mentions that it is a "hot spot for trout fishing." 

These amenities, among others, allow for younger children to "play like they used to," says Shelley-Ann. She further explains that parents have expressed their enjoyment at seeing their kids "get away from video games" for a while. Often, riding bikes and taking pets to the park's "dog run" occupy their time.

Camping on the Battenkill is open from approximately April to October of each year, with its busiest season taking place from the end of June to the end of August. Many of the outdoor activities and attractions of the area are more accessible during that time, owing to the increase in occupancy. During the spring and fall, there are generally fewer visitors to the campground, though many "leaf peepers" frequent the area in September to view the changing colors of the leaves in Vermont.


From the time that the first owner of Camping on the Battenkill developed the area as a campground, one of the property's most prominent goals has been to allow people to get "back to nature." This three-word phrase has become the camp's slogan over the years. The campground was first developed very "organically," according to its current owner Shelley-Ann. Starting as a location where fellow appreciators of nature would gather to fish and camp, the business has tried to maintain that same environment during the decades it has grown. Shelley-Ann explains that at Camping on the Battenkill, it is "you and nature." 

Two elements of the property's operation that helps to promote their desired environment are the layout of the sites and an overall lack of formal events on the premises. When the RV sites and other camping spots were mapped out, the goal was for people to "see [their] neighbors, but not hear them." This was in hopes that visitors would have privacy from one another if they so desired. In conjunction with an absence of large-scale events at Camping on the Battenkill, guests are able to "camp like it used to be," as explained by staff at the campground.

Multiple guests who have stayed at Battenkill have commented on the bathrooms and other facilities, which have been recently updated under Shelley-Ann's ownership starting in 2019. One recent patron to the establishment commented: "It was an extremely busy weekend, but additional restroom facilities were well maintained in terms of cleanliness and accessibility." Shelley-Ann explains that the increase in the frequency of bathroom cleaning came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We doubled our restroom cleaning schedule," she says, "but people loved the difference so much that we decided to keep the schedule going."

Apart from the maintenance of the property's restrooms, common themes in guest reviews involve its location, amenities, and the hospitality of the staff. "The campground is nestled in the forest with plenty of shade and space, and it's on the Batten Kill with a swimming hole and lots of tubing. The owners, Shelley-Ann and Alan, go out of their way to provide a well-run and maintained, clean campground. They approach campers with genuine friendliness and warmth," stated one camper.

The property has a selection of structured policies and procedures, though the owners of Camping on the Battenkill emphasize that the thing they care about most is that people "respect the campground as much as we do." This includes respecting neighbors and campground staff, and over the years, Shelley-Ann has seen more "genuine, camping" people stay at the park. "People are having a lot of fun, but they don't have to make a lot of noise to do it," she states. Additionally, the park allows pets, with Shelley-Ann commenting that "if pets could speak, they would say that they love our dog run."


Though Camping on the Battenkill has been in operation for over 60 years, there have only ever been three periods of ownership for the campground. The original owner of the establishment enjoyed fishing with his friends on the Batten Kill River, and over time more people wanted to join in on the experience. This resulted in a "very organic growth," according to the current management of the property. Friends continued to visit the ever-growing park, so the original owner found it necessary to add more spots on the land where people could camp or bring recreational vehicles. 

Currently, Camping on the Battenkill contains 111 sites spread across 40 acres of land, which is not likely to change in the foreseeable future. Shelley-Ann Hincks and her husband Alan purchased the campground from its second owner in 2019, beginning the third era for the property. Both Shelley-Ann and Alan are originally from South Africa, though they lived in Oregon for years as they gained their American citizenship. Prior to owning a business in the hospitality industry, Shelley-Ann had been a real estate agent. She explains that her previous profession helped her to realize the potential benefits of owning a campground. "You can buy land, but live on it and make money off of it," she states as her primary motivations. 

Vermont was the location that was settled on due to its forests and diverse seasons. Shelley-Ann and others found it necessary to make various renovations to the campground's amenities and landscape. Cleaning the forest was one of the first things done, which had been left in relative disarray due to a lack of funding from the previous owners. The bathrooms were given new toilets, showers, and towels, the last of which had not been previously available. Additionally, the barn and main house were repainted. Finally, the roads spread throughout the park were upgraded to increase accessibility.

Shelley-Ann and Alan finished making their changes to the park and have since put their focus on keeping their level of service intact. No future plans are in development for the establishment. Shelley-Ann describes her favorite part of the job to be "meeting the genuine, lovely people." Most of those who stay at the campground are on vacation and thus are generally happy. 

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48 Camping On The Battenkill
Arlington, Vermont 05250
United States




Shelley-Ann & Alan Hincks

Owned Since
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