Lake Champlain is the defining feature of Burlington, VT, although the body of water is large enough that it’s also the defining feature of quite a few other places as well, but perhaps most importantly for those with active imaginations, it’s hiding a giant lake monster within its placid depths.
The people around Lake Champlain call their hydrous denizen “Champ,” and it’s most often depicted as the usual water-dinosaur-looking creature with a serpentine neck, small head, long tail, humped back, and flippered limbs.
At the end of King Street, which leads right down to the harbor, is Perkins Pier. There you’ll find a small, tombstone-like granite slab dedicated to Champ and “those people in Vermont who have sighted Champ and are in search of Champ.” Besides a cartoony depiction of the creature, it bears the monster’s pseudo-scientific name Belua Aquatica Champlainiensis.
This lonely stone isn’t the only way that the city of Burlington has embraced its monster. Champ has been labeled as an officially protected species by the government of Vermont, and businesses often incorporate Champ into their identity, the most notable example of this being Burlington’s Minor League baseball team, the Vermont Lake Monsters.
Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker