Update: 05-06-2020

USDA Forest Service officials in Vermont, in alignment with current federal and state guidance to ensure the health and safety of employees, visitors and volunteers, are restricting overnight camping at designated campgrounds and shelters in addition to prohibiting the use of backcountry privies along the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail segments on the National Forest.

Green Mountain National Forest Restricts Some Overnight Camping Sites

These difficult decisions are not taken lightly. They consider the current risk to public health, the national effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the local community desire to access public lands.Restricting access to recreational sites or areas is a particularly difficult decision for the Forest Service, but health and safety concerns during this pandemic must be taken seriously.

Areas impacted by the current Forest Closure include:

Rochester Ranger District: Bingo Campground, Chittenden Brook Campground, Moosalamoo Campground and Silver Lake Campground.

Manchester Ranger District: Greendale Campground, Grout Pond Campground, Hapgood Pond Campground, Somerset Campground, and Old Job (shelter).

Appalachian Trail and Long Trail Shelters and Privies: Churchill Scott, Governor Clement, Clarendon (privy only), Stony Brook, Winturri, Thistle Hill, Happy Hill, Minerva Hinchey, Greenwall, Little Rock Pond, Big Branch, Lost Pond, Griffith Lake, Peru Peak, Bromley, Spruce Peak, Douglas, Stratton Pond, Story Spring, Kid Gore, Goddard, Melville Nauheim, Congdon and Seth Warner.

Long Trail Shelters and Privies: Battell (Mt. Abe), Cooley Glen, Emily Proctor, Skyline Lodge, Boyce, Sucker Brook, Sunrise and Tucker Johnson.

While the Green Mountain National Forest has restricted activities at certain locations, the majority of the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont and Finger Lakes National Forest in New York remains open. Please consider the following recommendations while recreating on your public lands:

  • Avoid visiting the forest if you are sick.
  • Stay at least six feet apart from others, including having your dog on a leash and close to you.
  • Be cautious and choose low-risk activities to avoid injury. This will help lower the burden on our hospitals and health care system.
  • Take your trash with you when you leave. Trash overflowing the receptacles becomes litter and can be harmful to wildlife and attract predators. 
  • Please make arrangements to use the restroom before or after your visit to the forest as the restrooms facilities on the National Forest remain locked. Unmanaged waste creates a health hazard for our employees and for other visitors.
  • If an area is crowded, look for a less occupied location or return at a later time. Consider avoiding the forest during high-use periods. 

The USDA Forest Service continues to assess access to recreation areas that attract large crowds and cannot meet social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Everyone is urged to take the precautions recommended by the CDC.   

Updates from the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests Related to COVID-19

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National Forests

The Green Mountain National Forest in western Vermont and the Finger Lakes National Forest in New York State's Finger Lakes region are Vermont's and New York's only public, federally managed national forests. Both Forests offer extensive multi-use advantages to the public, providing ecological and science-based forestry stewardship, clean water, diverse vegetation, high-value, high-quality forest products, economical and educational contributions, and trail-based backcountry recreation.


Discover your National Forest

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Telephone Gap Bio-Blitz

A monarch caterpillar is show with Telephone Gap Integrated resource Project Area BioBlitz

We are excited to announce our first year-long Bio-Blitz! It will take place in the Telephone Gap Integrated Resource Project Area, centered in Chittenden, VT. Find out more about this great new citizen scientist project. 

Spring Road Openings on the Green Mountain National Forest

Some Green Mountain National Forest roads are gated throughout snowmobile season and for the winter months. Openings are carried out depending on local conditions as many forest roads continue to be soft, muddy and snow covered. Road listings are updated weekly during Spring opening season and Fall closure season. 

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Volunteer Receives Regional Award

Mike Smith receives an award at the Manchester Ranger Station.

Mike Smith, President of the Bennington Trail Cruisers, was recognized for outstanding contributionsi n repairing and building Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) trails on the Manchester District.

West Branch White River Restoration

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Learn about the restoration of the West Branch of the White River  in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene in central Vermont. 


Forest Service Seeking Comments on Recreation Site Analysis

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The Green Mountain and Finger Lake National Forests have been working to develop a strategy that will prioritize investments and recommend changes to our recreation program into the future.

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