6 Nature & History Trails To Visit

Taking a closer look 
When hiking, sometimes you want a tough steep climb that makes you breathless, and your legs burn. Other times you might be in the mood for a more reflective walk through forest or field. Here are 5 easy to moderate self-guided interpretive hikes through a variety of Vermont landscapes, that help you learn more about your natural surroundings. 

Healing Springs Nature Trail
Lake Shaftsbury State Park, Shaftsbury VT

This mostly flat, mellow nature walk takes you past small but pretty Lake Shaftsbury, and through the woods of southern Vermont. Look for a variety of forest types including oak, which is unusual in Vermont. The walk also takes you past Warm Brook, which feeds Lake Shaftsbury, and the remains of an old ice house.

Trail map & guide: 

Little River History Hike
Little River State Park, Waterbury VT

Little River is packed with trails for to suit every taste, including hiking, mountain bike and multi-use trails through the forest. The History Hike trail takes you back in time one hundred years ago, when this area supported a whole town. One old farmhouse remains, as well as signs of many other signs of human use such as cellar holes, stone walls, and even the old cemetery.

The nature trail at Lake Shaftsbury
Trail maps & guide:

Maidstone & Brighton Nature Trails
Maidstone State Park, Maidstone VT
Brighton State Park, Island Pond, VT

Explore the natural and human history of Vermont’s wildest and most remote region- the Northeast Kingdom.

Trail maps & guides:

Bear Hill Nature Trail
Allis State Park, Brookfield VT

Slate remains in the forest near Bomoseen State Park 
This is a moderate hike that clearly tells a story of human settlement and forest succession. This land functioned as a working farm until Wallace Allis donated his property to the state in 1931- which makes Allis the oldest state park in our system! Evidence of past settlement include remnants of stone walls and apple trees left in the forest, and an old CCC built fireplace by the ranger’s house. Walking through the woods, you can see a mix of softwood and hardwood trees like American Beech and butternut.  Entrance to this park is free.

Trail map & guide:

Bomoseen Slate Trail
Bomoseen State Park, Castleton, VT

This quiet wooded trail hints at the past history of the once booming slate industry in 19th century Vermont. At one time, 25 slate quarries employed more than 800 people and was one of the busiest in the United States. Many employees were immigrants from Ireland and Wales who lived in temporary worker's camps by the lake. 

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