The Carriage Trail is suitable for all who enjoy walking. Along the trail you will find 11 numbered wooden posts or waypoints. These numbers correspond to descriptions in an excellent trail guide, which covers various natural and historical features, available at the beginning of the trail.
The Trail was once a carriage road that took visitors out to the old mineral springs located near the end of the trail. Although the springs dried up long ago, the trail contains the historic remains of this once lively tourist destination and thriving industry in Guilford. The trail also contains some splendid examples of Guilford’s natural resources -- mature woodlands, streams and wetlands, wildflowers and wildlife, rock outcroppings, and agricultural land.
It is designated as an easy trail because it is relatively smooth, level, easy to follow, and marked with signage. There are three stone benches along the trail for resting and enjoying the scenery.
The trail was named and improved by the Guilford Conservation Commission in 2016, and is the result of a true community collaboration between the Conservation Commission, neighboring landowners, Guilford’s Historical Society, Guilford Road Crew, Guilford Central School, and several local businesses. The Guilford School 6th graders and their teacher, Jennifer Kramer, helped the Conservation Commission choose the waypoints, write the descriptions, and map the trail.
The Andrew G. Weeks Memorial Forest is a remarkable 175-acre parcel of land in the center of Guilford. The land was donated to the New England Forestry Foundation and the Vermont Land Trust in 1993 by the Anthony family, longtime Guilford residents and descendants of Andrew Weeks, one of the original investors in the Guilford Mineral Springs Company, which operated on this property in the years 1869-1875.
The location and curative properties of the mineral springs water had long been common knowledge in Guilford, but it wasn’t until 1868 that “a company of gentlemen of a scientific and business character purchased the estate within which the Spring is situated, for the purpose of bringing the water, with all its health-imparting influences, more directly before the public” (from Guilford Mineral Springs Farm, a pamphlet written by Ann and Doug Bonneville and published by the Guilford Historical Society in 1997).
The trail was improved and is managed by the Guilford Conservation Commission. For more information, contact:Guilford Conservation Commission
From Exit 1 of I-91 in Brattleboro, follow US-5 south 1.4 miles and turn right onto Guilford Center Road. This turn is in the village of Algiers (Guilford) just past the Guilford Country Store. Follow Guilford Center Road 4.0 miles and turn right onto Carpenter Hill Road. This turn is in Guilford Center, 0.1 miles past the Broad Brook Grange and right before the Guilford Library. The trailhead is identified by a sign and gate on the left, 0.15 mile down Carpenter Hill Road.
(Of historic interest is the old brick schoolhouse, built in the 1797 and directly across from the trailhead, and also the Guilford Historical Society and an historic marker commemorating playwright Royal Tyler, both just past the library on the left.)
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