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Take A Hike - Climb Haystack Mountain

Looking for a gorgeous bird’s eye view of the Stone Valley? Climb Haystack Mountain in nearby Pawlet (not to be confused with Haystack Mountain in Wilmington, VT.)

View from the top of Haystack Mountain

Haystack is southernmost mountain of "three sisters", visible from Lake St Catherine. Middle and Bald Mountain complete the trio that forms the centerpiece of the north Pawlet hills, where approximately two thousand acres of unbroken forest survives, undeveloped and practically unimpacted by any human use since its beginnings after the glaciers retreated at the end of the last ice age.

Haystack Mountain, the Town's distinctive natural emblem, rises abruptly from the valley in North Pawlet. Once called in local advertisements “the Gibraltar of the America”, Haystack affords the hardy hiker one of the best panoramic views in Southern Vermont.

Start from the center of town and proceed 1.7 miles North on RT 30. Make a Right turn at Waite Hill road (dirt) and go exactly 1.2 miles and park at the entrance to Tunket Road, this is the entrance to the hike. Directions via Google Maps.

Please do not block the entrance to Tunket Road. There are lots of “Do Not Enter” signs about – no worries- this refers to cars. Just follow the trail marked with the green sign for the Nature Conservancy.

The trail head is about a 15 minute walk from the parking area. To reach the summit will take between 1 and 1.5 hours (bring water and good shoes). This is not an easy hike (the last 20 minutes are steep) but the panoramic views from the top of Haystack are well worth it! From the modest 1,919-foot summit you can see as far west as Glens Falls, NY, and south beyond the farms of the Mettowee Valley to Mount Equinox in Manchester.

- by Jennifer Good

 

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Take A Hike - Climb St. Catherine Mountain

Looking for a local hike? Climb St. Catherine Mountain and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the lake and the Adirondack Mountains in the distance.

The view of Lake St. Catherine from St. Catherine Mountain

Green Mountain College’s Lewis Deane Nature Preserve is an 85-acre parcel of land located on the eastern slopes of Mount St. Catherine, part of the Taconic Mountains. More than 285 plant species provide a habitat to more than 50 species of birds, nine species of mammals, five species of amphibians, and one reptilian species. Endless Brook is home to indigenous brook trout. The brook snakes its way along the east side of the nature preserve, going underground as it nears Lake St. Catherine, earning the brook its intriguing name. Two trails climb to the top of the mountain, a favorite site for picking blueberries and enjoying the view.

Since its acquisition in 2002, Green Mountain College has utilized the preserve as an outdoor classroom. A number of classes have incorporated Deane Preserve into their curricula. Students from Images of Nature classes have helped to build and maintain these trails.

Trail head parking is on the west side of Endless Brook Road just past the pink bed and breakfast, Toad Hall, about one mile southeast of Route 30. A kiosk provides visitors with background information on the geology, hydrology, ecology, and history of the reserve, and it highlights how the preserve is being used by Green Mountain College for education, research, and recreation.

Map of St. Catherine Mountain trail

Map by Green Mountain College

Visitor Guidelines

All visitors to the preserve are asked to follow these guidelines:

1. Leave-no-trace: carry it in, carry it out.
2. Travel on foot only, except for handicapped access or approved management practices.
3. Hunt only by permission.
4. Engage in no illegal activities.
5. Camp only in designated areas.
6. Build no fires, except in designated areas.

- by Jennifer Good

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