Vermont Hiking Trails
Appalachian Trail from Hartford Road to Cloudland Road (7.1 miles)
Part of a 25 mile section of the AT that is easily accessible in the Woodstock area (see AT info), the section from West Hartford Rd to Cloudland Road, passes over Bunker Hill. This hill got its name from the fact that Revolutionary War veterans set up residence here. The nearby cemetery to the north is their final resting place. It also crosses Joe Ranger Road named for an eccentric old hermit born in 1875 who claimed to be able to communicate with the beavers in the ponds next to his shack.
The Hike: The trail in this section rolls across a patchwork of wooded and cleared hills, ridges, and valleys. Evidence of the extensive farming that once covered the area—old cellar holes, stone walls, open hilltops, and abandoned woods roads—can be found at every turn (see map). The trail enters the woods immediately and crosses a swampy area on puncheon, and ascends through open hardwoods. At 1 mile you will cross a hilltop with outstanding views of the White River Valley. At 1.8 miles you pass through a red pine plantation. You will cross an old farm road at 2.3 miles, and pass through hilltop pastures with views to the southeast. Just before reaching the wooded summit of Bunker Hill at 2.7 miles, you will cross an old town road by a cemetery. In 3.3 miles you will cross unpaved Joe Ranger Road by a small pond with a stone dam. After passing through an open field with views to the north, at 4 miles, you will reach another open field atop Arms Hill with views to the south. At 4.8 miles, a short spur leads .1 mile east to Thistle Hill Shelter. After crossing a woods road and top of wooded Thistle Hill at 5.1 miles, you will reach gravel Cloudland Road at 7.1 miles.
Getting There: The trail starts from the intersection with Quechee/West Hartford Road and Westfield Dr. Click on the "Directions" link on the map inset, and a bigger map will appear. Enter a start address and complete driving directions will be generated.