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Brown Schoolhouse Road Bridge OUT –
The bridge across the brook is washed out, so if accessing Ballard Trail from the old road, plan to ford the stream.

Trailhead

Three parking areas provide access to the trail off Beaver Meadow Road in Norwich (the first left turn immediately after Dan & Whits and the Norwich Inn): the Norwich Pool (on the left just over 1 mile from the Inn, immediately before Brigham Hill Road); Parcel 5 (1.4 miles from the Pool, and directly across Beaver Meadow Road from Brown Schoolhouse Road), and roadside parking (2.7 miles from the Pool, just before Tucker Hill Road).

Description

The mostly level wooded trail includes many ups and downs to cross numerous seasonal creeks that flow to Charles Brown Brook - the most spectacular creek creating the "Grand Canyon" in the upper half of the trail. The trail is limited to foot travel; dogs are permitted. Bicycles and horses are not allowed.

From the upper (west-most) end, the trail leaves the road just beyond the roadside parking area. It passes an old stone foundation before crossing a foot bridge to climb gently up into a stand of old pines. The short Converse Loop trail goes off to the right and rejoins after a short distance. The main trail crosses several foot bridges before coming to the Grand Canyon of Norwich. You then follow down the rim of the canyon before crossing on stepping stones at the bottom and continuing with a flatter walk along Charles Brown Brook.  The trail eventually climbs up higher in the woods again, crossing under a power line and passing an old stone wall before meeting the junction with the closed road, Brown Schoolhouse Road. Three benches here provide a good spot for a snack. The second half of the trail is much like the first, with numerous foot bridges and stream crossings. The last segment follows close to the brook after descending stone steps above an old concrete dam. The trail ends at the Norwich Pool, which is currently drained due to the brook's dam structure being heavily impacted  during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.

Other Information

Although the Norwich Pool is closed while the Town of Norwich seeks permitting to rebuild, the area includes a bike rack, picnic tables, grills, and portable toilets in season (mid-June to Labor Day). There are three benches at the junction of the trail with Brown Schoolhouse Road, approximately halfway along the trail.

Trail Manager

For more information contact:

Norwich Trails Committee
1396 New Boston Road
Norwich, VT 05055
Phone: (802) 649-1048
Nick.Krembs@gmail.com

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