Elevations in Coolidge range between 1,900 and 4,235 feet and include a "high peaks" area including Killington Peak (4235') Little Killington Peak (3939'), Shrewsbury Peak (3720), Mendon Peak (3840') and Smith Peak (3220'). Coolidge State Forest provides opportunities for low intensity, dispersed recreation including hiking, fishing, hunting, birding, primitive camping, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Shrewsbury Peak Trail - This trail links the CCC Road in Coolidge State Forest with the summit of Shrewsbury Peak and the Long Trail. Beginning at the Russell Hill/Pavilion parking area, it climbs Russell Hill, passes the shelter, dips into a gap, and then ascends first gradually and then steeply to the summit, 1.8 miles from the trailhead. Remnants of Civilian Conservation Corps-era construction are visible, including the pavilion chimney, wishing well and Russell Hill lean-to. At the summit, views to the south and east from the peak include Plymsbury wetlands and Saltash Mountain. From the summit the trail continues along the ridge before descending and then ascending to the Long Trail, 4 miles from the trailhead.
Black Swamp Trail - This trail begins at the Black Swamp parking area on the CCC Road in Coolidge State Forest and follows the gated road through hardwood forests to its end, after 0.8 miles. Black Swamp is to the northeast. From there the trail ascends through spruce-fir forests, passes a shelter at 1.8 miles, and reaches Shrewsbury Peak Trail at 2.1 miles. Taking a left at the junction, Shrewsbury Peak is 0.1 miles farther to the south.
Tinker Brook Trail - This trail begins at a sharp turn on the CCC Road in Coolidge State Forest. This moderate hike along an old woods road leads to the Tinker Brook lean-to and the Tinker Brook Natural Area.
Bessenyey Loop Trail - this is primarily a cross-country ski trail. However, this system of old woods roads can also be used as hiking trails in summer. Parking is available on the Old Plymouth Road. Remnant Norway spruce plantations , lowland spruce-fir forests and hardwood forests can all be seen along this trail.
Bucklin Trail - This popular side trail to the Appalachian Trail/Long Trail begins at Brewers Corners on the Wheelerville Road in the town of Mendon and ascends the western flank of Killington Peak. It ends 3.5 miles from the trailhead at its intersection with the Long Trail, 0.1 mile north of Cooper Lodge. Via the Long Trail and Killington Spur, Killington Peak is reached in 3.8 miles.
Visit VT Department of Forest, Parks & Recreation online for more information or contact:
From the center of North Shrewsbury, take the CCC Road into Coolidge State Forest 3 miles to the Shrewsbury Peak Trailhead, 4.5 miles to the Black Swamp Trailhead, and 5 miles to the Tinker Brook Trailhead.
The trailhead for the Besenyey Loop Trail is on the Old Plymouth Road, 0.8 miles east of North Shrewsbury.
To access the trailhead for the Bucklin Trail, head south on Wheelerville Road from US-4 in Mendon, and go 4 miles to the Brewers Corner parking lot.
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