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Open Farm Week: Take a Walk on the Farm

During Open Farm Week, escape to a Vermont farm, where a meandering walk awaits you. Venture out as a solo explorer or with loved ones, and discover the sounds of crickets in hayfields, birdsong in sugarwoods, and humming equipment in the fields as farmers produce food, forage, fiber, and timber. 

The Farm Walk Trail network is a new initiative of food, farming, and agritourism organizations to create a directory of walking trails on farms across Vermont. Farm walks offer Vermonters a healthy and safe place to be outside, engage with the working landscape, and get to know their agricultural neighbors. 

Enjoy a Walk at these Farms:


Four Springs Farm, Campground & Learning Center, Royalton

There are mowed paths and foot bridges connecting various parts of the farm. Walks are not long and take guests to the top of the property with spectacular views and into the woods, through fields and into stream areas, as well.

Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home, Manchester

Twelve miles of well-maintained and varied terrain trails - mostly easy to moderate in difficulty - lead guests across the campus. From the historic Hildene home and formal gardens, to the restored Pullman railcar, Goat Dairy & cheesemaking facility, and down to Dene Farm, guests will experience wetlands, woodlands, formal and working gardens, ponds and vernal pools, animal barns, pastureland and meadows, and pollinator sanctuaries. Fans of history, cultural heritage, agriculture, and environmental sustainability have plenty to experience during their visit.

Knoll Farm, Fayston

Enjoy wide trails through mature maple forest with choice of a relatively flat walk or one that ascends to 1,800 with beautiful views of the valley.

Lavender Essentials of Vermont, Derby

Take in 360 degree views of mountains, lakes, and Canada. A labyrinth, informational placards, seating areas, volleyball, badminton, and kite flying are all possible on the farm.

Merck Forest and Farmland Center, Rupert

Merck Forest is located in the northern Taconic Range, and sits above the valley at 1800+ feet in elevation. The views at Merck Forest are spectacular! From the farm, you can see the Adirondack Mountains to the west, the Greens to the east, and the Taconics stretching to the north. On a very clear day, you can see the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Page Pond is a popular place to explore, where frogs and salamanders abound. Visit their draft horses, Fern and Arch, or say hello to the lambs. Check out their Sap House and trace the sap lines from above the fields to the "Marshmallow" to the evaporator. Picnic tables are available, or spread a blanket under the maples by the Harwood Barn.

Retreat Farm, Brattleboro

The walking trails and farm are all free and open to the public this summer. The trails are full of interesting native flora and fauna, historic stone walls, and hidden water features. Walkers can also visit the farm animals on pasture and view gardens and row crops. Families can enjoy a storybook walk through the Forest Playground that changes every few weeks. The folks at Retreat Farm believe that a connection to the land creates healthier people and communities and they invite you to safely enjoy walking the trails and grounds. With interpretive trails, beautiful gardens, stately barns, animals on pasture, Retreat Farm is there for you to recreate, relax, and recharge.

Scott Farm Orchard and Market, Dummerston

The trail at Scott Farm loops around a wetland that hosts a rich diversity of fauna and flora. Scott Farm is on the National Register of Historic Places. Beyond its historic significance and remarkable beauty, Scott Farm is a little piece of paradise where one can enjoy and discover a bounty of different heirloom apple varieties and fruits. Maintaining a hiking trail is another way for them to share their farm with visitors.

Shelburne Farms, Shelburne

The trails wind through meadows, pastures, forests, and lakeside with beautiful views east to Camel's Hump and the Green Mountains (from Sheep's Knoll spur off of the Farm Trail), and stunning views to the Inn, Lake Champlain, and Adirondack Mountains from the top of Lone Tree Hill (a moderate climb, totally worth the effort.) You'll often see cows and sheep grazing. There is no interpretive signage, but several benches along the trails allow you to sit and take in the beauty of this historic agricultural landscape.

Silloway Maple, Randolph

Silloway's trails are used for working in the sugarwoods. There are many majestic maples and other species, varieties of ferns and wildflowers, and the amazing network of saplines that carry the sap from each tree to a large tank at the foot of the woods. You are welcome to picnic, and to bring your dog. There are many birds, and signs of wildlife, from the occasional wild turkey feather to tracks from moose and raccoon, to sightings of deer.

Sugarbush Maple & Cheese Farm, Woodstock

The trail is about 20 minutes of up and down into the maple woods. You will see how trees are tapped with plastic tubing and along the way will see signs with maple syrup information. As they are a sugaring farm, pick up a Junior Sugarmaker Quiz in the farm store, and as you walk the trail, find the questions & answers along the way. There are lots of picnic tables, farm animals to pat, and a sugar house self tour with video.

Trillium Hill Farm, Hinesburg

The two mile loop around the farm property will give you a good idea of a working farm. You'll pass the two main growing areas that contain the hoop houses and gardens, as well as a sugarhouse, and likely you'll spot the herd of grass-fed beef cows. You may even spot a few dairy goats! The folks at Trillium Hill have mowed paths and foot bridges connecting various parts of the farm. Walks are not long and take guests to the top of the property with spectacular views and into the woods, through fields and into stream areas, as well.

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