North Pawlet Hills Natural Area

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Rich with biodiversity and with a stunning view from the summit, this is a prime summer/fall day hike.
Trail Activity
1.60 miles, One Way
Pawlet (VT)
Packed Earth/Dirt
Not Permitted



This is a busy trail system, especially on weekends between 9AM-4PM. Consider visiting outside of peak periods. Use Trail Finder to identify other nearby trails. If the parking lot is full when you arrive, please choose another trail. Be considerate of your fellow trail enthusiasts - pass at safe distances, wear masks, and move on from viewpoints if others are waiting.

Learn more about high use trail systems.

From the parking area, this 1.5 mile trail begins with a moderate climb through dry oak woodlands and culminates with a steep but worthwhile final ascent. From this modest 1,919-foot summit, hikers on the Conservancy’s trail can see the sweep of the distant Adirondacks and Green Mountains; can look westward to Glens Falls, NY; and southward beyond the fields and villages of the Mettowee Valley, to Mount Equinox in Manchester.

Other Information

Generations of Pawlet families – and visitors from around the world – have climbed the steep slopes to the top of Haystack Mountain to take in the spectacular 360-degree views of Bald and Middle Mountains, the north-south forested hills and the serene Mettowee Valley. This preserve features a series of rounded, forested peaks in the northern Taconic Mountains, clustered in an extensive landscape of unbroken forest. Locals call Haystack, Middle and Bald Mountains the Three Sisters. Warm southern aspect and shallow soils produce drought-like conditions on the hills and promote the growth of several unusual natural communities, including dry oak woodlands and dry oak-hickory-hophornbeam forests. Turkeys, grouse and bobcats roam the rocky landscape. Peregrine falcons sometimes nest on the cliffs of Haystack. These forested hills also provide nesting habitat for neotropical migrant songbirds that rely on unfragmented forest blocks.

Trail Manager

Visit The Nature Conservancy in Vermont online for more information or contact Murray McHugh, Critical Lands Manager for Southern VT:

The Nature Conservancy: Southern Vermont Office
Critical Lands Manager, Southern Vermont
348 Bentley Ave
Poultney, VT 05764
View website

Trail Tips

Dispose of Waste Properly
Pack it in, pack it out. This goes for trash, leftover food, toilet paper, and hygiene products. If you brought it into nature, please bring it out.

Trailhead Information

780 Tunket Rd, North Pawlet, VT

From Pawlet Village follow Route 30 north for about 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Waite Road (Waite Hill Road on some maps). Go about a mile, looking on the left for a gravel road with green Tunket Road sign. Park on the shoulder of Waite Road and please take care not to block entrance to fields. Please do not drive up Tunket Road. Visitors should hike from here, up Tunket Road for about a 0.5 mile to the Conservancy’s Colby Chester trailhead (on left). From there the trail, named for a Conservancy donor, climbs steeply to Haystack’s summit.

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