High Pond Natural Area
From Rutland take Route 4 west to Exit 4. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto Route 30 north. Go 7.5 miles north to Hubbardton and turn right on Monument Hill Road (just past the northern end of Lake Bomoseen). Stay on Monument Road for about 4.0 miles, then turn left on Ganson Hill Road. In 0.4 miles, park at an unsigned pull off on the left (room for 4 or 5 cars). Walk up the road about 100 feet to the trailhead that enters the woods on right.
The 3-mile round trip Conservancy trail follows a series of woods roads (watch white turn blazes closely). It leads north along a low ridge above Mud Pond. The path then descends eastward into the dark shade of a hemlock ravine. It climbs very gently to the head of the ravine, ending at the south end of High Pond. The return hike is back along the same trail and is a steady gradual climb.
At the far northern tip of the Taconic Mountains, this unfragmented forest could serve as a stepping-stone for large mammals and other species moving between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains. It is theorized that such natural stepping-stones offer connectivity between large forested areas that are key to migrating species during an era of rapid climate change. The High Pond preserve includes open fields, pasture in various stages of re-growth, much forested land with a virgin hemlock stand, old mixed hardwoods, numerous wetlands, and a pristine 22.9-acre glacial pond inhabited by smallmouth bass. A number of mammals such as bobcat, fisher, and bear can be found at High Pond Preserve, as well as birds like the pileated woodpecker and the black-backed woodpecker. There is also an abundance of amphibians in the vernal pools and the ponds of the preserve. The 1.5 mile visitor's trail was created with the help of a Vermont Youth Conservation Corps team.
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 High Pond Natural Area.
Leave No Trace Principle
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Avoid hypothermia, even in warm weather, by limiting your sweat and exposure to cold water. Bring warm and dry clothes in case the shivers set in.