The Ascutney Outdoors Center is the gateway to some of the best hiking trails in Vermont. The trail network right around the AOC is a great option for shorter trips, whether a fun family adventure, a stroll in the woods, or a scenic trail run. The trails are shared with mountain bikers and are clearly marked and well maintained by our sister organization, the Ascutney Trails Association. Biking trail Maps are posted at the AOC and other major trail heads.
The Ascutney Outdoors Center is also the starting point for our newest marked trail, aptly named the Ascutney Outdoors Trail – click for a larger and printable map. The trail goes to the top of the old triple chair lift and offers open vistas and spectacular views all along the way for your enjoyment – just follow the yellow markers. If you are looking for a shorter hike, we recommend going to the ‘picnic table’, about a half mile up from the AOC. This stopping point offers panoramic views of Brownsville and the surrounding countryside. If you want a longer hike, go all the way up to the top of the trail (some steeps) and take in the views all the way to the White Mountains. This hike is about 1.5 miles long and has an elevation gain of nearly 1,500 feet.
Longer term plans are being made to connect the AOT to the Town’s Bicentennial Trail and State Park trails. Until then, for those wanting to reach the summit of Mt Ascutney on foot, the mountain features five principal, summit-bound hiking trails, three of which are named for the town from which that trail originates. The State Park publishes this map showing the Summit Trails on Mt Ascutney and other useful information.
Ascutney Outdoors is also well along the path towards completion of the new ‘Ascutney Discovery Trail’, an interpretive walking trail starting and ending at the Ascutney Outdoors Center. The roughly one-mile loop will include stops with panels that engage visitors to understand and explore the natural and human history of the area. The trail is an extension of our programs and will attract many families, school children, and visitors to the mountain.
The plan’s interactive features and panels were professionally designed and paid for through a grant from the National Park Service’ Rivers & Trails Program. The funding for the fabrication of the interpretive panels and related interactive is being provided by a grant from the State of Vermont’s Recreational Facilities Grant and several foundations who are long-time supporters of Ascutney Outdoors’ community programs. Completion is targeted for early summer 2021.
Another existing hiking option includes departing from the Mountainside Drive trailhead for a stroll up the expansive Mile Long Field and easy access to the central section of the trails network. The Town Forest trail head provides an extensive trail network wandering up, around, and through a variety of different environments highlighting the natural beauty of Vermont.
Visit our Locations page for more information and directions to each trail-head.