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Arms Forest

A newly signed trail network that winds through a rich forest ecosystem with locally rare plants. 
Trail Activity
Hiking Walking Mountain biking Snowshoeing
2.40 miles, Network
Easy, Moderate
Burlington (VT)
Packed Earth/Dirt, Gravel/Crushed Stone/Cinder, Boardwalk/Bog Bridging
Permitted on leash


Arms Forest has over two miles of blazed trails that create connections between Burlington High School, Rock Point, and a church on North Avenue. The ecosystem here is one of the best examples of an upland forest in Burlington and is home to many rare plants. This Urban Wild provides critical habitat for mammal movement between Lake Champlain and the Intervale. To recreate in the forest sustainably, please stay only on multi-use blue blazed trails or hike-only yellow blazed trails. Always keep your pets on a leash to avoid them trampling rare plants, exhausting or killing wildlife, and respecting other trail users and their pets.

Once part of a tract containing a dairy farm, Arms Forest today has regrown to be an area of rich biodiversity. Highlights along the trails include a historic quarry from which stone may have been used to build the Ethan Allen Tower, wildflowers that bloom alongside the trails in spring, and a wide variety of trees that show off Vermont's four season. The forest is best suited for hikers, but also serves as a quiet and woodsy connector between the Burlington Greenway bike path and North Avenue.

Since early 2020, work has begun transitioning the forest management to a new master plan. The plan calls for new trailhead information, wayfinding signs and blazes, improving existing major trails, closing unsustainable minor trails, and creating several new trails. More info can be found on

Other Information

Please remember:

  • Pets must be on a leash for the safety of wildlife, plants, other pets, and other trail users
  • Stay on blazed trails: multi-use trails have blue blazes and hike-only trails have yellow blazes
  • No motorized vehicles
  • No camping
  • No fires

Trail Manager

Visit Burlington Department of Parks & Recreation online for more information or contact:

Burlington Department of Parks & Recreation

Burlington Department of Parks & Recreation
311 North Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: (802) 310-4675
View website

Trail Tips

Travel on Durable Surfaces
If you have to step off the trail, step onto a rock or soil. Avoid stepping on fragile vegetation.
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Trailhead Information

Access Arms Forest from behind Burlington High School or behind the North Avenue Alliance Church. Parking is available at limited times at the High School, or at North Beach or Leddy Park (requiring an additional walk to arrive at the natural area). From the bus turnaround at the school a marble chip path leads into the forest, from behind the Technical Center and other school buildings, several trails start in different directions, from the parking lot behind the church a trail heads southwest into the forest, and from a small parking lot on Rock Point Road by the Episcopal Diocese Office, a hiking-only bog board trail leads into the forest.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
July 05, 2021
This is an update to my previous comment.
Looks like things should be ready for us by September 2021
Thank you Burl. Parks & Rec. folks.

"Summer 2021 Trailwork Begins
Scope of work has been finalized. Details include: reroutes, construction of small boardwalks, and widening and formalization of the primary trail trough the park, all with the intent of creating a more sustainable trail network that keeps people on the trails and water off of them. Work will begin July 6 and is expected to be ongoing for 6-8 weeks. Some trails will be marked as closed throughout the project."
July 05, 2021
Trail map is no longer accurate.
The sign for Arms Forest near the back side of the school is no longer there.
It seems that the trail going from North Ave. to Rock Point is no longer available.
Junctions are not marked.
This would be a good project for Girl and or Boy Scouts.
trail finder
May 22, 2020
MLeelman - Thank you for your comment. We recommend visiting the Burlington Parks and Rec website and contacting them directly with your question. Happy Trails - The Trail Finder Team
May 22, 2020
Hello Burlington Parks and Rec, is there anywhere I can find a current / future planned trail map? There are so many nooks and crannies in the Arms forest and I often end up walking out of a trail with a "Closed for re-vegetation" sign when I went down a trail that wasn't blocked off. I really want to respect trail closures, please help.
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