Special Places

The Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests each offers visitors many unique natural attractions and experiences. These range from the accessible trails at Thundering Falls, to the historical Stratton fire tower, to the serenity of hiking in the wilderness. Discover what makes your National Forests special.

Find Your Wild Side

Two cross country skies in red coats pop out from the white and snowy forest wilderness

The Green Mountain National Forest is home to 8 congressionally designated wilderness areas that offer more of an escape from everyday modern life. Additional planning should be taken before visiting these areas, but the rewards are immense.

 

Connect to Something Big

A small wooden sign reads AT South against the mossy forest backdrop

Long-distance hiking trails connect local communities, state public lands, and sometimes multiple National Forests across state lines on both the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. Find your trail and plan a order to create hiking experiences worthy of epic tales.

Campgrounds on Long Trails

 

Pick Your Own

A hand reaches from the bottom of the frame to pluck a ripe red apple from a tree

You can taste history on the Finger Lakes National Forest. Apples, wild raspberries, blueberries, and other fruits found today are partly remnants of the people that settled the farms in areas that have been restored as forests. Forest management has never tasted so good.

Highlighted Areas

Thundering Falls

Thundering Falls is said to be the sixth tallest waterfall in Vermont. It is part of Kent Brook which flows out of Kent Pond just north of where the AT and the Long Trail split. At high water it is a magnificent cascade as the stream tumbles 140 feet through a steep and narrow cataract. The falls are also the site of a historic mill powered by the energy of the falling water.


White Rocks Cliffs Trail

The vista at White Rocks Cliffs offers beautiful views of the Route 7 valley, the Taconic Mountains, and the Adirondack Mountains in the distance.  The trail begins at the White Rocks picnic area on the Keewaydin Trail.  It passes the cascading Bully Brook  before joining the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and coincident Long Trail. The stunning “White Rocks” below the cliffs can be seen from Vermont State Route 7 just south of the village of Wallingford. 


Little Rock Pond Trail

This section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and coincident Long Trail is marked with white blazes and gradually climbs through a mixed hardwood forest. The trail crisscrosses and follows Little Black Brook. One such crossing is made over a narrow steel beam. Located in the White Rocks National Recreation Area, the pond is surrounded by hills and large boulders. The pond is stocked annually with brook trout. While hiking is the biggest attraction, there is a shelter and tent platforms available for camping. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are found on the east side of the trail, in close proximity to the pond.


Stratton Mountain Trail

This section of the Appalachian/Long Trail, marked with white blazes, travels to the summit of Stratton Mountain. Vista openings along the trail offer beautiful views of Somerset Reservoir to the south. At the summit of Stratton Mountain, you may climb a recently renovated 70 ft. fire tower that was originally erected by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934. The tower offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Green Mountain range and the Taconic Mountains to the west.


Hapgood Pond Recreation Area

Hapgood Pond Recreation Area offers camping, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and hiking among the tranquil surroundings of Hapgood Pond.  The pond itself is 12 acres in size and 12 feet at its deepest point. The recreation area offers a 28-site campground in a wooded setting, a 1 mile nature trail, and a day use area with a beach for swimming. No lifeguard is on duty; swim at your own risk.


Robert Frost Interpretive Trail

This National Recreation Trail commemorates Robert Frost’s poetry; several of his poems are mounted along the trail in the woods and fields. Blueberries and huckleberries grow in an old field at the far end of the trail. The trail is an easy walk, and the first 0.3 miles across a beaver pond boardwalk out to the South Branch of the Middlebury River is accessible and suitable for wheelchairs. The Forest Service maintains all of the old fields along this trail with prescribed fire to preserve the scenic, open appearance of the area.


Recreation Areas