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NorthWoods Stewardship Center Walking Trails

These two nature trails offer hikers a wealth of information about the Northeast Kingdom's ecology and history, with interpretive signs and views of historic building foundations. 
Trail Activity
1.4 miles, Network
Easy, Moderate
Charleston (VT)
Packed Earth/Dirt, Grass/Meadow, Boardwalk/Bog Bridging, Snow, Groomed, Snow, Ungroomed, River/Stream, Wetland, Woodchips


Lang Brook Trail: (0.5 miles) This trail contains a number of signs that inform users of the landscape's ecology and ecological history, making it a great interpretive nature trail. From the signed trailhead, this blue-blazed trail follows Lang Brook for much of its length up to a small beaver pond. As the trail winds through the wood, it crosses a number of bog bridges over wet sections of trail. (NOTE: The bog bridges are slick when wet.) As the trail continues on, it passes a number of large granite boulders and through a number of junctions with ski trails. The trail is well-signed through all these junctions so it is easy to continue on. Toward the end, the trail widens as it moves along an old woods road. Finally, it reaches a small opening with an intermittent beaver pond. From here, hikers can walk the rough game loop around the pond, turn left to the spur trail that leads to the Echo Lake Ski Trail, or turn around and return the way they came. 

Gardner Path: (0.7 miles) The Gardner Path is a history trail that highlights the remains of the Lang family homestead, and with a number of informational signs, the trail explores the evolution of the landscape. The path begins by the NorthWoods ropes course and follows a yellow-blazed trail down a wide ski trail before turning into the plantation forest. The trail passes wide rows of Norway spruce and red pine planted in the 1900s, before reaching the foundations of the Lang barn. The round barn measured 100-feet in diameter and its foundation is made of large granite blocks. Nearby the barn foundation stands the foundation of the Lang house and the granite doorstep. Both buildings burned down in a fire only 10 years after they were constructed, so the stone foundations are all that remain.

From the house, the trail follows the old stone wall that lines the edge of the road, and passes a clump of sugar maples. The trail then turns right up the hill, away from the road and climbs gently up to the edge of the pine plantation. The trail continues to loop around the pine plantation, passing by the ropes course and bringing walkers back to the trailhead. 

In the winter both of these trails are commonly used for snowshoeing, but they are not groomed.

Other Information

Please respect the historic nature of the foundations on the Gardner Path and for your safety, do not climb on the granite walls. 

The NorthWoods trails are available free of charge, however a $5 per day donation is suggested to support trail management.

Trail Manager

For more information about the trails and the land, visit the NorthWoods Stewardship Center online, or contact:

NorthWoods Stewardship Center

NorthWoods Stewardship Center
154 Leadership Drive/PO Box 220
East Charleston, Vermont 05833
Phone: (802) 723-6551
View website

Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be prepared for emergencies. Pack extra clothing, food, and water and also a flashlight, first aid and repair kit, matches/fire starters, whistle, signaling mirror, and pocket knife.
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Trailhead Information

From Island Pond, drive west on VT-114/Railroad Street and continue for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto 5 Mile Square Road, then immediately right onto 10 Mile Square Road and continue for 1.4 miles. Turn left to stay on 10 Mile Square Road when it meets with T-44, and continue for 1.2 miles. Turn right onto Leadership Drive and continue straight for 350 feet where the Welcome Center is located. 

Lang Brook Trail: To access the Lang Brook Trail, take the trail immediately across the road from the Welcome Center and information kiosk. The Lang Brook trailhead is just ahead on the right. 

Gardner Path: From the welcome center, walk down the road in the direction of the pond for a short distance, then turn right onto the first road available. Continue a short distance to an opening on the left side of the road, where the trailhead is located. 

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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