Did you know that Dorset offers some of the best hiking in Southern Vermont ?
In 2016, the Town of Dorset acquired 260 acres to expand Owls Head Town Forest. The Town has partnered with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, the Vermont Land Trust, and the Dorset Historical Society to develop a trail network that illustrates the historic, cultural, ecological and recreational values of the Town Forest. The main trail follows an old road up to Gettysburg Quarry and beyond to Owls Head and Gilbert Lookout.
In future years, the Owls Head summit trail will be rebuilt. A long term goal is to connect public lands at Dorset Peak and Emerald Lake State Park to the Town Forest.
Owls Head Town Forest - Dorset, Vermont
Directions: The Town Forest Trail Head is located off Black Rock Lane/ Ken’s Camp Rd (both private roads) off Vermont Route 30 in Dorset. Please respect the neighbors on the these roads. Leave only your footprints.
In 2016 the Town of Dorset and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. (VYCC) began a partnership to conduct trail improvements to Owls Head Town Forest. Some of the work accomplished in the first summer:
Trail stabilization, clearing & maintenance
Construction of a 1,500 lb stone bench
Clearing brush and ground cover at the Quarry
Gettysburg Quarry Hike: Distance: 0.45 miles Elevation Change: 800' Hiking Time: 40 min./25 min. return From the Trailhead take the blue trail on the left. A hike of 0.45 miles ascending steadily will bring you to the Quarry. Just before the Quarry is a side trail leading to the Quarry Lookout. Be sure to take a seat on Art's Bench and enjoy the view of Dorset Valley.
Gilbert Lookout Hike: Distance: 1.6 miles Elevation Change: 1,260' Hiking Time: 1.75 hrs./1.25 hrs. return From the Trailhead take the blue trail on the left. Follow the blue trail beyond the Gettysburg Quarry a total of 1.5 miles. Continue on the blue trail as it reaches a flat hilltop with a view of Owls Head; the trail continues through the saddle to a 15 foot high boulder on the right. At this point the trail turns left, with a steep zig zag climb up the ledges another .10 miles. Arrive at Gilbert Lookout, an outcropping of rock with views as far as the Adirondacks. Be sure to see the Gilbert Lookout plaque that has called the lookout home since 1945. Lookout Trail Description as laid out in the Green Mountain Club's Day Hiker's Guide to Vermont (circa 1978).
VYCC crew at Gettysburg Quarry
Cutler Memorial Forest:
Cutler Memorial Forest, located off Peace Street near the Dorset Village, is a great outdoor location for the public to explore. The property was given to the town in 1976 by Mrs. Isabella Cutler. In the early years walking trails were forged and a bridge was built over the Mettawee River.
In recent years the Dorset Conservation Commission has made great improvements to the property: marking trials, creating a parking area, and building a new bridge over the river.
A hike around the entire property takes from 35-45 minutes and the trails cover both flat ground and hills. Parking for Cutler Forest is provided at the 393 Peace Street area, and the entire property is easily accessed from this entrance point.
We hope shedding light on the property will encourage residents to visit Cutler Forest and enjoy the tranquil experience it offers.
The Pinnacle Tower: In 1910, Miss Cecelia deNottbeck (great grand daughter of John Jacob Astor) had a stone tower built at the top of the hill to replicate a "ruin" from the English landscape. 2010 marked the 100th year that the tower has stood on the hill above Dorset Village.
The Pinnacle property consists of a 35 acre forested parcel and an adjacent seven acres situated on a small hill (named The Pinnacle) east of Route 30, north of Dorset Hollow Road and south of Peace Street. Dorset acquired the property in 2005 through the generosity of the late Robert & Margaret Keeler.
Northshire Area Trail Systems is a local non-profit group dedicated to creating and improving trail opporuntities in our area. In recent years NATS has focused on building single track mountain bike trail in Dorset. Perhaps the best kept secret in the Northshire is the Humphreys trail off Church Street in Dorset (info below). Please visit the NATS website and considers becoming a member to support their efforts!
The Dorset Trails - This is NATS trail network - See trail map below. Park at the Dorset Green on Church Street just off of Rt. 30 in Dorset Vt. Head west along Church Street for 3/10th of a mile to the intersection of the Dorset West Road. Go left (south) for about 150' and look right and see our trail head. The Dorset Trails include two trails - the entry trail Humphreys, which winds up the hill about 2.5 miles and then branches off onto the Bunker loop, which adds another 7/10th of a mile, and reconnects to to Humphreys trail. ALL TRAILS ARE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY - STAY ON MARKED TRAIL. Enjoy!