The Green Mountain National Forest is located in Vermont and is
comprised of 353,757 acres. There are five developed
campgrounds, four of which meet the selection criteria.
New England is well-known for Autumn color and excellent skiing. In the heart of New England is the Green Mountain National Forest, know for an even wider selection of recreation opportunities. Camping, hiking, fishing, trails for mountain bicycles or horses, picnicking, and auto tours are just a few of the activities visitors to the Forest might enjoy. Offering an alternative to the hectic pace of the many nearby urban centers, the Green Mountain National Forest has a little something for everyone.
The wonderful diversity of New England's landscape forms the Green Mountain National Forest. Hills and mountains, ponds and brooks, lakes and rivers are found here. Over 500 miles of trails crisscross the rugged terrain and offer a unique "up-close-and-personal" way to explore the Forest. Included in the 500-plus miles of hiking trails are sections of both the Long Trail (LT) and Appalachian Trail (AT). The AT stretches 2,000- mile from Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. The LT is "only" 265 miles and winds it way from Massachusetts into Canada along Vermont's backbone, the Green Mountains. While the LT and AT are probably better known and more popular, don't overlook the many trails that either connect or stand independent of these major trails.
An alternative method of exploring Green Mountain National Forest is taking one of the "Auto Tours." All through Autumn these Tours are lined with the famous fall foliage of New England. However, they are equally interesting during other seasons. One, the Robert Frost Memorial Drive (State Route 125), is so named for the unique national beauty that inspired some of the poems by that poet. Brandon Gap Tour (State Route 73) passes by the Mt Horrid Observation Site and offers overviews of a large beaver pond. The Danby Tour (Forest Route 10) was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s and climbs over the Green Mountains, winding through the White Rocks National Recreation Area and passes Big Branch and Peru Peak wildernesses. And then there are Bingo Road, White River Road, Somerset Road, and State Route 9 Auto Tours to explore. It's enough to keep your camera finger busy for days.
The campground with a name that is probably the most fun to say is Moosalamoo. Moosalamoo campground is well located for hikers who want to experience the Forest's beauty and solitude. From the challenge of Oak Ridge Trail to the comfortable Goshen Trail, the area around Moosalamoo has a trail the whole family or an individual can enjoy. And, mountain bicyclists will also find trails to explore around Moosalamoo campground.
For visitors interested in more water-based recreation, Hapgood
Pond campground is the place to stay. Hapgood Pond offers an interesting shoreline that canoes and small boats can explore for many hours. There is a sandy swimming beach and a pleasant nature trail for an evening stroll. And, the Pond is stocked with trout to challenge anglers young and old.
One of the better campgrounds for viewing wildlife in a wetland area around is Chittenden Brook. An occasional moose has been known to pass through the campground as if to ensure visitors are enjoying themselves. A network of trails leading from the campground offer hiking ranging from a pleasant family stroll to challenging overnight backpacking experiences.
The 36,000-acre Recreation Area contains the Big Branch and Peru Peak wildernesses along with non-wilderness designated areas. Creation of the White Rocks NRA began some 500 million years ago when oceans covered Vermont. Later mountains were formed by the dynamic uplifting of the earth's crust. Then, dinosaurs, followed by such things as glaciers and mastodons, came along. Some 6,000 to 1,000 years ago Native Americans moved into the area and their cultures flourished. Europeans began colonizing the White Rocks NRA's area in 1680. Farming and logging became the main industries of the area and eventually bison, elk, grey wolf, deer, cougar, bears, and a long list of other species vanished. During the past forty years some of these absent species have been reintroduced. Today, White Rocks NRA offers Green Mountain National Forest visitors a chance to see a Vermont similar to what the pioneers experienced 100 to 200 years ago.
Frankly, the Green Mountain National Forest is an outstanding place for car and tent camping enthusiasts. The Forest has, proudly, retained a self-sufficient Yankee philosophy and does not have the hook-ups and RV dump stations of some other national forests. This may discourage some in recreational vehicle (RV) and motorhome from camping in the Forest but those who have discovered Green Mountain National Forest know better. The Green Mountain National Forest is not a large forest but it is a forest with a lot to do. And it isn't only a wintertime playground. Whether you bring a pair of sturdy hiking boots, a canoe, fishing pole, camera, or just a good book, there is a place to enjoy a favorite recreational activity.
231 N. Main St.
Rutland, Vermont 05701
RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES
Routes 11 and 30
RR #1, Box 1940
Manchester Center, Vermont 05255
RR #4, Box 1260
Middlebury, Vermont 05753
RD #1, Box 108
Rochester, Vermont 05767