Activities

Welcome to Ascutney Trails, Vermont’s premier recreational trail network featuring more than 30 miles of hand-crafted, biker-built, mountain bike trails and miles of quality hiking trails. Located in and around the Village of Brownsville, Vermont, Ascutney Trails are just minutes from Exits 8 and 9 off of Interstate 91. Easy access from everywhere, Connecticut to Canada and beyond.

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Photo: Aaron Rohde

Ascutney Trails has a network of about 30 miles of trails for non-motorized recreational use, located at the base and western flank of Mt. Ascutney, mostly on the land of the Ascutney Mountain Resort and the town forest of West Windsor Vermont.  Although the double-track trails date back 30 years or more, starting in August of 2006, members of Sport Trails of the Ascutney Basin (STAB), began building trails more amenable to mountain biking, trail running and back-country skiing.  The trails are open to the public at no cost, with an extensive sign system, and maps are sold at Brownsville General Store, Holiday Inn Club Vacations Mount Ascutney Resort, and local bike shops.

There are two trailheads with parking available:

The Ski Tow Road trailhead – Enter Ascutney Mountain Resort from Route 44, stay to the left, to the far end of the large parking lot on the right.  This is the main entrance to the trails, and has an information kiosk with changing room and porta-john.

For direct access to the more challenging trails, West Windsor Town Forest Trailhead is found by travelling west on route 44, about one mile from the town hall and turning left onto Coaching Lane.  In one mile bear left at the “To Town Forest” sign, pass one house, then bear right.  You will pass a sign for Ascutney Trails, bear left at a gate and climb to the trailhead parking lot and kiosk.

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Photo: C. Michael Bell

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Photo: Cathy Boedtker

Mount Ascutney is a monadnock with a summit elevation of about 3130 feet (954 m.).  Monadnock is an originally Native American term for an isolated hill or a lone mountain that has risen above the surrounding area, typically by surviving erosion. Geologists took the name from Mount Monadnock in southwestern New Hampshire.  There are 5 established hiking trails to the summit, as well as an auto road. For those who prefer hiking on gentler terrain, or shorter round trips, the mountain bicycling trails are very popular, and the contours are ideal for trail running.

The mountain features five principal, summit-bound hiking trails, three of which are named for the town from which that trail originates:

  • The Weathersfield Trail 2.9 miles — The one trail on the south face of the mountain, the base of this trail is located in a parking lot at the end of Cascade Falls Rd, off of Vermont Route 131 in Weathersfield, VT. Highlights of this trail include Cascade Falls, the largest waterfall on the mountain, and the mountain’s one launch platform for hang gliders.

  • The Windsor Trail 2.7 miles — This trail originates from a small parking area off Vermont Route 44-A just east of the junction with Vermont Route 44. About 1/3 of the way up, the trail comes to a small waterfall, approximately 2/3 of the way up the trail comes to a small log lean-to shelter. Near the top, it merges with the Brownsville Trail.

  • The Brownsville Trail 3.2 miles — This trail begins at a parking area along Vermont Route 44, a little over a mile west of junction with Vermont Route 44-A. The lower end of the trail follows an abandoned logging road for some distance — the road terminating at the location of an old granite quarry. The trail offers many good viewing opportunities to the north and west.

  • For more information/map availability on the above trails, go to
  • Ascutney Trails Association.
  • The Futures Trail 4.6 miles — This trail begins in the campground at Mt. Ascutney State Park on Route 44A, one mile west of the junction with U.S. Route 5 in Ascutney, a village of Weathersfield. This is the longest trail on Mt. Ascutney — 4.6 miles, covering a wide variety of forest and geography before it connects to the Windsor Trail near the summit. Highlights of this trail include Bare Rock Vista (1.0 mile) and the Steam Donkey — a steam powered machine used for cable logging in the early 1900s (3.5 miles). This trail can also be accessed at two points along the State Park Mountain Road for a shorter hike to summit.

  • The Bicentennial Trail – This trail begins in the West Windsor Town Forest at the end of Coaching Lane off of RT 44 in West Windsor just under a mile west of the Brownsville Post Office.  The trail starts at the parking lot of the Town Forest and starts with a gentle climb through the heart of the Ascutney Trails single track trail network.  Then it starts to climb steadily up until it eventually connects to the weathers field trail near the summit.

At the top, a relatively level trail follows the ridgeline and crosses the summit. The top of the mountain is well below the tree line and is therefore covered in forest, however a number of rocky cliffs allow good viewing, and there is an observation tower, as well. There are also two large communications towers

The summit can also be reached via a short trail from the parking lot at the end of the only road up the mountain, the Mt. Ascutney State Park Mountain Road.

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The park has 39 wooded tent/trailer sites and 10 lean-to sites that are arranged within two camp loops. Each loop has a rest room providing modern plumbing and hot showers ($). There is a sanitary dump station for RV’s, but no hookups. There is a small picnic area at the foot of the summit, and a picnic area part way up the summit road.

Overnight camping and campfires are allowed only at designated sites in the developed campground. Inquire at the park office for more information.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Mt Ascutney State Park
1826 Back Mtn Rd
Windsor, VT 05089

(802)674-2060 (May-Oct)

http://www.vtstateparks.com/htm/ascutney.htm

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Photo: Cathy Boedtker

Ascutney Trails provides a portal to winter back-country adventure. Rugged snowshoers will embrace the challenge and vistas of the summit-bound trails. The mountainside trails welcome snowshoers, XC skiers, fat-bikers and even ambitious hikers and trail runners who want to experience the beauty, variety and wonder of the winter wild on a manageable scale. No trails are groomed for touring or skating. A detailed map, signed and numbered intersections, blue blazes and the tracks of those who’ve gone before will help guide you through forests, over fields, under falls, around rock formations, through the backcountry and back to civilization.