Special Places

The Green Mountain National Forest offers many natural attractions our visitors. Each attraction provides a unique experiences. These range from accessible trails at the Thundering Falls, to historical Stratton fire tower, to the serenity of hiking in the wilderness...

Highlighted Areas

Thundering Falls

History:The Green Mountain Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the National Park Service, and GreenMountain National Forest have worked on this project since the mid-1980s when they acquired a propertyeasement across the Ottauquechee flood plain. Major funding was secured by the ATC and the GreenMountain Club and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps began work in 2005.Thundering Falls provides the first universal accessible portion of the Appalachian Trail in Vermont withwheelchair accessible parking on River Road in Killington. The Thundering Falls relocation also gets ridof a dusty road walk on Thundering Brook Road, adds great views of the Ottauquechee Valley and thefalls, protects the resource, and takes advantage of flat terrain to make a stretch of the AT accessible topeople who use wheelchairs.Description:Thundering Falls is said to be the sixth tallest waterfall in Vermont. It is part of Kent Brook which flowsout of Kent Pond just north of where the AT and the Long Trail split. At high water it is a magnificentcascade as the stream tumbles 140 feet through a steep and narrow cataract. The falls are also the site of ahistoric mill powered by the energy of the falling water.Starting from the River Road parking area the AT passes through open Ottauquechee River floodplainacross 900 feet of boardwalk built by the Green Mountain Club. The trail than ascends to the fallsviewing platform via an accessible switchback and spur trail built by the Vermont Youth ConservationCorps. From here the AT continues its ascent through northern hardwood forest to Thundering Brook Road where a small parking lot can be found.

Thundering Falls Recreation Opportunity Guide

White Rocks Cliffs Trail

During the last Ice Age, glaciers scoured and exposed the Cheshire quartzite that makes up White Rocks Cliffs. Since that time, the White Rocks area has had a long history of human use. Native Americans quarried stone from the site for tools, and in the 1850s white settlers cleared the land for grazing. As the abandoned fields reverted to forest during this century, logging came to the area. Today, the White Rocks Cliffs have been set-aside as part of a National Recreation Area for backcountry recreation and to insure a continuous wildlife habitat.

White Rocks Cliffs offers several beautiful vistas of the Route 7 valley, the Taconic Mountains, and the Adirondack Mountains in the distance. Please practice Leave No Trace ethics, such as carry out what you carry in.

White Rocks Cliffs Trail Recreation Opportunity Guide

Little Rock Pond Trail

This section of the Appalachian/Long Trail, marked with white blazes, is a narrow, gradually inclining path through a mixed hardwood forest. The trail crisscrosses and follows Little Black Brook. One such crossing is made over a narrow steel “I” beam. The pond is surrounded by hills and large boulders, and is a very popular area for swimming, fishing, and camping. Shelters and tent platforms 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.

Little Rock Pond Trail Recreation Opportunity Guide

Stratton Mountain Trail

This section of the Appalachian/Long Trail, marked with white blazes, travels to the summit of Stratton Mountain. The trail begins a gradual ascent from the parking area through a mixed hard/softwood forest. At 1.4 miles the trail crosses Forest Road 341, and begins the steeper climb up the mountain. The trail flattens out for a little while following a ridgeline, then climbs again using switchbacks. 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. A Green Mountain Club caretaker is stationed at the summit during summer and fall months, to assist hikers and help preserve the natural area.

Stratton Mountain Trail Recreation Opportunity Guide

Hapgood Pond Recreation Area

Hapgood Pond Recreation Area was the first land acquired by the Green Mountain National Forest. The Civilian Conservation Corps built many of the facilities from 1936 through 1938. Hapgood Pond Recreation Area consists of a campground in a wooded setting, open day-use areas, picnic areas with tables and grills, a 0.8-mile nature trail, and a beach for swimming (no lifeguard on duty, swim at own risk). There are 28 campsites available, each with a cleared tenting area, a picnic table, a fire ring with grill, and a parking spur. Within the camping area there are 4 accessible vault toilets and 3 fountains available for drinking water. A dumpster for rubbish is available for camping guests. The 2 day-use areas consist of large open areas that have picnic tables with grills. Please do your part and pack out what you pack in from the day use area. There are also a bathhouse with flush toilets, 2 pavilions - which can be reserved for a small fee with advanced notice, a wheelchair accessible fishing pier, a hand-carry boat launch, and drinking fountains found throughout the area. A Green Mountain National Forest campground host is available to assist visitors and answer questions.

Hapgood Pond Recreation Area Recreation Opportunity Guide

Hapgood Pond Trail Recreation Opportunity Guide

Boating Recreation Opportunity Guide

Robert Frost Interpretive Trail

This trail is a National Recreation Trail that 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 Forest Service maintains all of the old fields along this trail with prescribed fire to preserve the scenic, open appearance of the area. 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. Please practice Leave No Trace ethics, such as carry out what you carry in.

Robert Frost Interpretive Trail Recreation Opportunity Guide

Areas & Activities