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Arms Forest

A newly signed trail network that winds through a rich forest ecosystem with locally rare plants. 
Trail Activity
2.4 miles, Network
Easy, Moderate
Burlington (VT)
Packed Earth/Dirt, Gravel/Crushed Stone/Cinder, Boardwalk/Bog Bridging


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 to protect plants and animals that live in the forest
  • Stay on blazed trails: multi-use trails have blue blazes and hike-only trails have yellow blazes
  • No motorized vehicles

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

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Respect other trail users and be courteous when passing.
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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.
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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