Equinox Highlands Natural Area
To reach the Conservancy’s 1.5-mile Pew Forest Trail loop, drive 2.3 miles from downtown Manchester Center on Rte. 30 north (Bonnet St.). Turn slightly left on Cross Rd. (Please don’t confuse this Cross Rd. with a second Cross Rd. farther north on Rte. 30). From Cross Rd., turn left onto West Rd. and make an immediate right onto Wideawake Rd. At the T-intersection with Three Maple Drive, look for parking area and trailhead across the road and just to the left. There are four other Equinox Preserve trailheads and parking areas in Manchester Village, located on Equinox Pond Rd., on West Union St., and on Rte. 7A at the Equinox Hotel. The Equinox Skyline Drive toll rd. entrance is on Rte. 7A, several miles south of Manchester.
This is a gentle 1.5 mile loop trail meandering through rich northern hardwood forests. Along the way you may see remnants of an old sugaring operation. Pew Forest Trail provides a new access point on the mountain that could one day be linked to ten miles of existing trails within the 850 acre Equinox Preserve (owned by Equinox Resort and protected by a Nature Conservancy and Vermont Land Trust conservation easement).
The Equinox Highlands, namely Mount Equinox (3,816 feet) and Mother Myrick Mountain (3,361 feet), are part of the northernmost sweep of the Taconic Mountains, and are considered one of the most important natural areas in the state. The largest rich northern hardwood forest in New England—over 2,000 acres—is located on Mount Equinox, and there is a smaller stand of this natural community type on Mother Myrick Mountain.
The deep humus soil that slowly slips down steep slopes into coves and pockets on these mountains provides a perfect environment for fast-growing hardwood trees and a wide array of spring ephemerals and other wildflowers—bloodroot, hepatica, Dutchman’s breeches, trillium, wild leek, wild ginger, squirrel corn and toothwort.
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
348 Bentley Ave
Poultney, VT 05764
Check for nearby geocaches to Equinox Highlands Natural Area.
Leave No Trace Principle
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be prepared for extreme weather. Bring rain/wind gear, warm clothing, and matches/fire starters.