Town: South Burlington
Length: 1 mile
Surface: Packed dirt, somewhat hilly. Not handicap accessible.
Trailhead: From Main Street in Burlington take Spear Street south for 1.1 miles. At the traffic light turn right onto Swift Street. Look for the East Woods sign 0.2 miles on the right, cars can be parked here at the small pull-off area on the right. The trail system begins just behind the sign with the interpretive trail heading to the left just after entering the woods.
Features: 40-acre mixed hardwood and conifer forest.
Description: East Woods was purchased in 1949 with the help of several private donors who recognized the potential educational value of these woods and its close proximity to the UVM campus. Students in forestry, botany, and zoology are able to study plants and animals of a mature northern forest in this relatively undisturbed, 40-acre, mixed hardwood and conifer forest. A self-guided interpretive trail and guide was designed by University students and is available to help visitors gain a better understanding of the natural and cultural history of East Woods.
From the entrance, the trail leads a few hundred feet to an informative bulletin board and ledger box, which is usually empty. The trail continues westerly and passes a junction on the left (0.1 mi) with the return trail. Bearing right at this junction to make a counterclockwise circuit, the trail descends steeply to approach Potash Brook, which meanders through the woods on its way to Lake Champlain. It crosses a slight depression (0.2 mi), a remnant of the railbed of the Burlington and Hinesburg Railroad, which was graded in 1898 but abandoned before any track was laid.
Adjacent to this railbed, the trail crosses the more conspicuous and parallel railbed of the Burlington and Lamoille Railroad, which was completed in 1877. The tracks here were used for only a few years before being removed. Directly across from the B&L railbed, the trail descends to an elbow of Potash Brook, then swings back to recross the two railbeds (0.4 mi). (Turning left on the B&L railbed is a shortcut.) After ascending a small shoulder, the trail descends to follow the south shore of Potash Brook downstream to the west. It then arcs 180 degrees, rising easterly on undulating terrain to reach the return end of the loop (0.9 mi). From here, the trail may be retracted back to the entrance (1.0 mi).
Descriptions courtesy of the University of Vermont, and Joe Frank, published in the Day Hiker's Guide to Vermont by the Green Mountain Club. Website: UVM Natural Areas
Volunteer Surveyors: Mary Ann Samuels, Joe Frank
Last updated on 6/30/10