Overlook Park and Woodside Natural Area
Take Route 15 east past St. Michael's College. Opposite the West Dalton Drive entrance to Fort Ethan Allen, turn off Route 15 onto Woodside Drive. Overlook Park is just off Woodside Drive on the left. The trailhead and parking for Woodside Natural Area is 0.25 miles down Woodside Drive on the right.
Overlook Park and the Woodside Natural Area, also known as 68 Acres, are part of the Winooski Valley Park District and cover 58 acres south of Route 15 across from Fort Ethan Allen bordering the Winooski River. A small picnic area is available just off Woodside Drive at Overlook Park.
A loop trail circles Woodside Natural Area, passing near the river at several points. The trail is open to the public for non-motorized recreational uses such as hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and running. Towering cottonwoods and a dense cover of ostrich fern are abundant along the floodplain containing the park. The forest at the east end of the park has a closed canopy of large diameter cottonwood and green ash. A sub canopy of box elder completes the structure of this classic floodplain forest. A marshy backwater swamp active with beaver and bird life adds diversity to the landscape.
Features of this trail include:
- Short walk to river from gate
- Riverside picnic table
- Many signs of wildlife
- One moderate to steep section of trail
- Parks are free and open from dawn to dusk
- The park welcomes hikers, anglers, paddlers, skaters, ice fishermen, birders, and naturalists
- Dogs on leashes only
- Not a staffed facility, enjoy at your own risk
- Carry in, Carry out
- Take only pictures and leave only footprints
- No mountain bikes
- No motor vehicles
- No discharge of firearms
- No hunting or trapping
- No open fires of glass bottles
- No motorized boats (including electric motors)
Essex Parks & Recreation
81 Main Street
Essex Junction, VT 05452
Phone: (802) 878-1342
Winooski Valley Park District
Ethan Allen Homestead
Burlington, VT 05408
Phone: (802) 863-5744
Check for nearby geocaches to Overlook Park and Woodside Natural Area.
Leave No Trace Principle
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Use common sense. If it seems like a bad idea, it probably is.