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Trailhead

The trailhead is located on Upper Dam Road in the Chimney Hills development. From the traffic light at the center of the village of Wilmington, drive 1.1 miles west on VT-9 (West Main Street) and turn right onto Haystack Road. Drive 1.2 miles and turn left onto Chimney Hill Road.  Follow Chimney Hill Road through the Chimney Hill development, driving past the Clubhouse and Upper Dam Road (where the road becomes unpaved), to a T intersection.  Here, at the other end of the Upper Dam Road loop, turn left.  Parking for the trail is available 0.15 miles from this left turn along the right edge of Upper Dam Road. A small sign and kiosk mark the trail. 

A slightly shorter, though a bit more confusing route to the trailhead from Haystack Road is to turn left onto Chimney Hill Road and in less than 0.2 miles take your first right onto Binney Brook Road. This road makes a steep, winding climb with numerous side roads to end at a T intersection. Turn right onto Upper Dam Road and soon turn left, still on Upper Dam Road. Parking is available 0.15 miles from this left turn along the right edge of the road. A small sign and kiosk mark the trail.

Description

The Haystack Mountain Trail follows a narrow gated gravel road for about a half mile, gradually ascending to a left turn onto a wide footpath that doubles as a snowmobile trail. The trail soon begins a steeper climb before following a ridge through a wet section. Shortly after passing a large rock outcrop on your left, look for a narrower trail to your right. Turn here, and begin a twisting climb to the summit, 2.0 miles from the trailhead. 

The small rocky peak looks to the east, over the Deerfield Valley of Wilmington and Dover, with New Hampshire's distinctive Mount Monadnock on the horizon. Below are the waters of Haystack Pond, while to the left is Mount Snow. An informal path to the right, which crosses a small cleft in the rock, leads to a south-facing overlook of Harriman Reservoir, the windmills in Searsburg, and the highest peak in Massachusetts, Mount Greylock.

Other Information

The Haystack Mountain Trail is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Signs and trail markers are often lacking. Town of Wilmington officials assure that the signs on the Haystack Mountain Trail prohibiting trespassing in the town's drinking water supply area do not apply to hikers climbing Haystack Mountain.

The high-elevation forests (called montane spruce-fir) that cover much of Vermont's tallest mountains, including Haystack, are easily accessible on this hike because the trail starts at a relatively high 2400 feet above sea level.

Trail Manager

The trail is managed by the U.S. Forest Service: Green Mountain National Forest and the Town of Wilmington Trails Committee also does some maintenance on the trail.

Visit the U.S. Forest Service online for information about the Haystack Mountain Trail (go to "Recreation," then "Hiking," then "Day Hiking").

The Town of Wilmington Trails Map includes Haystack Mountain. The map can be obtained at the Chamber of Commerce office on West Main Street, or from the Town of Wilmington website (go to "About," then "Trails and Hiking").

Town of Wilmington Trails Committee
2 East Main Street
Post Office Box 217
Wilmington, VT 05363
wilmingtontrails@gmail.com

Forest Service Recreation Staff: Manchester Ranger District
2538 Depot Street (Rte 11/30)
Manchester Center, VT 05255
Phone: (802) 362-2307

Comments

amdub January 16, 2019, 11:21 pm EST

Thank you. This is the most beautifully written, relative, and understandable description of a trail I have ever come come across and precisely what I was looking for in planning a hike this weekend. I'm prepared for some ice and snow and inclines. Sounds fun.

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