Hiking in the Northeast
Kingdom of Vermont is like hiking in Alaska. There are over
1,313,710 acres of land. There are many commercial campgrounds,
and State Parks that allow primitive camping along with those of
you who wish to bring your camper / mobile home with you. All of
our towns, villages, ski, lake side resorts and outdoor
recreation centers offer suggestions on a glorious spring,
summer or autumn hike or walk in their area, and every one is
worth taking in. A lifetime of hiking adventure awaits you in
the Northeast Kingdom.
A few simple precautions will insure your safety: turn back if weather threatens; hike with a partner; pack plenty of food and clothing; carry a first aid kit, and let someone know your itinerary. Another useful thing to learn is how to communicate in Morse Code with a whistle, in case you ever become stranded or disabled. You should also think of bringing along your cell phone and spare battery or other communication device.
Finally, while maximizing enjoyment of your backcountry ventures, you must always minimize your impact on nature when hiking or camping. Just follow the rule of thumb, "Pack it in; pack it out". Let us all do our part to keep Island Pond and the Northeast Kingdom as beautiful as it is now for decades to come!
Some area hikes
Bluff Mountain - Island Pond, VT.
Community Trail - 1.7 miles, + 1080 feet elevation rise - 2 hours
Start at parking area on Mountain St. 0.5 miles beyond end of pavement. Red pine plantation, Northern Hardwood and boreal forest.
Lookout trail: 0.5 miles, + 760 feet elevation rise
Follow Community Trail for one mile to signed intersection. Lookout trail begins on left across brook. Caution: Steep and rocky. Excellent views of Island Pond and the Nulhegan basin.
Brighton State Park - Island Pond VT. (fee)
4 nearly flat trails, total 2 hours
Follow Pleasant St. to the contact station where you can get a map
Gore Mountain - Norton, VT.
3.8 miles, + 1972 feet elevation rise, 5 hours 30 minutes.
Forms the the northern boundary of the Nulhegan River Basin.
Start at the north end of Norton Pond on VT. Route 114
Brousseau Mountain Trail - Norton, VT.
1.2 miles, + 2714 feet elevation rise, 1 hours 30 minutes.
Trail head is located on the left just past the gated terminus of the Brousseau Mountain Rd. off of VT Route 114 in Norton. Spectacular views of Averill Lakes
Maidstone State Park - Maidstone, VT. (fee)
Shore Trail, Loon Trail, and Moose Trail 1.8 miles, + 270 feet elevation rise, 1hour 55 minutes.
Park at Camper's beach parking.
Mt. Monadnock - Lemington, VT.
2.4 miles, + 2108 feet elevation rise, 4 hours 30 minutes
North of Lemington / Colebrook Bridge, on the west side or Route 102, park in gravel pit. View north along the Connecticut River Valley and east toward Dixville Notch, NH. The Summit is habitat for the rare spruce grouse, commonly known as the fool bird.
Bill Sladyck Wildlife Management Area - Holland, VT.
Round Pond, Beaver Pond and Line Pond: 2 miles, + 200 feet elevation rise, 2 hours.
Park at the end of of Selby Rd, (also called Holland Pond Rd) in Holland.
Mt. Pisgah via South Trail - Westmore
3.4 miles, 1450 feet elevation rise, 2 hours 45 minutes.
Start on Route 5A at the south end of the lake. Trail parallels a steep rock face with spectacular views of Fjord-like Lake Willoughby.
Mt. Pisgah via Long Pond Trail - Westmore
5.4 miles, + 950 feet elevation rise, 3 hours 30 minutes.
On Long Pond Rd., trail head is your right. Trail is white-blazed and connects the Mt. Pisgah trails to Bald and Haystack Mountains. Not difficult.
Bald Mountain via Long Pond Trail - Westmore
4.2 miles, + 1450 feet elevation rise, 3 hours.
On Long Pond Rd. past the pond, but before a sharp right turn, park on the left. The top of the fire tower on Bald Mountain provides 360 degree panoramic views taking in everything from the Presidential Range in NH to the spine of the Green Mountains and North into Canada.
Bald Mountain via Mad Brook Trail - Westmore
2.5 Miles, + 1450 feet elevation rise, 3 hours.
Take Mad Brook Farm Rd. off Westmore Rd. to gate (Please do not block the access). Follow the road past the gate and through the field to trail head.
Mollie Beattie Bog Boardwalk
Champion Paper Company protected a 76 acre bog and installed a self-guided, 200 foot interpretive, handicap accessible boardwalk, now part of the SOCNFWR. The trail includes signs illustrating bog formation, the rare plants and animals that inhabit the area, and legacy of the late Mollie Beattie, first woman director of the USFWS.
To reach Mollie Beattie Bog, take Route 105 between Island Pond and Bloomfield. Where the Nulhegan River goes under Route 105 you will see a brown Refuge entrance sign and Stone Dam Road. Turn on to Stone Dam Road (this is a “T” intersection so only one way to turn from either direction from Route 105). Follow this road to a “T” intersection and take a left. Follow this road to the next “T” intersection and turn left. At the next intersection turn right. About a mile and a quarter to a parking area that has a sign on the right welcoming you to Mollie Beattie Bog. Enjoy!
Former Champion Lands
Hiking is allowed on the former Champion Paper Company owned lands.
Although there are no trails specifically designed for hiking, but miles of roads and logging trails are available for your pleasure.