Cross Vermont Trail In Vermont

Here is everything you need to know about the Cross Vermont Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Vermont
  • Length: 90 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: Mixed
  • Managed By: Cross Vermont Trail Association
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: Info not available.

The Cross Vermont Trail is a recreational trail that spans the state of Vermont, connecting Lake Champlain in the west to the Connecticut River in the east. The idea for the trail was conceived in the early 1990s by a group of outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists who recognized the need for a safe and accessible route for non-motorized travel across the state. The trail was envisioned as a way to promote outdoor recreation, connect communities, and preserve Vermont’s natural and cultural heritage.

The development of the Cross Vermont Trail began in 1991 with the formation of the Cross Vermont Trail Association (CVTA). The association worked tirelessly to secure land rights, negotiate with landowners, and collaborate with local communities to create a continuous trail route. The trail follows a variety of existing paths, including old rail lines, logging roads, and public rights-of-way, as well as newly constructed sections.

Over the years, the CVTA has faced numerous challenges in completing the trail. One major obstacle was the acquisition of land rights, as the trail passes through both public and private properties. The association worked closely with landowners, local governments, and state agencies to negotiate easements and secure the necessary permissions. Additionally, the CVTA relied heavily on volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to clearing and maintaining the trail, building bridges, and installing signage.

Today, the Cross Vermont Trail stretches over 90 miles, offering a diverse range of landscapes and experiences. It winds through picturesque farmlands, dense forests, and quaint Vermont villages, providing opportunities for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and other outdoor activities. The trail not only showcases the natural beauty of Vermont but also highlights the state’s rich history and cultural heritage, making it a beloved recreational resource for both locals and visitors alike.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Wells River Village: Located in Wells River, this access point provides a starting point for the Cross Vermont Trail. It offers parking facilities and is easily accessible from Route 302.

2. Montpelier Junction: Situated in Montpelier, this trailhead is a popular access point for the Cross Vermont Trail. It offers parking facilities and is located near the intersection of Route 2 and Route 302.

3. Marshfield Village: Located in Marshfield, this access point provides parking facilities and is easily accessible from Route 2. It serves as a starting point for those heading east on the Cross Vermont Trail.

4. Groton State Forest: Situated within Groton State Forest, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to various trails within the forest. It is a popular access point for hikers and bikers on the Cross Vermont Trail.

5. Wells River Conservation Area: Located in Newbury, this access point provides parking facilities and access to the Cross Vermont Trail. It is situated near the Wells River and offers scenic views.

6. Barre City: Situated in Barre, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the Cross Vermont Trail. It is located near the Barre City Bike Path and provides a convenient starting point for trail users.

7. East Montpelier: Located in East Montpelier, this access point offers parking facilities and access to the Cross Vermont Trail. It is situated near the intersection of Route 2 and Route 14.

8. Plainfield Village: Situated in Plainfield, this trailhead provides parking facilities and access to the Cross Vermont Trail. It is located near the center of the village and offers a convenient starting point for trail users.

9. Marshfield Pond: Located in Marshfield, this access point offers parking facilities and access to the Cross Vermont Trail. It is situated near Marshfield Pond and provides a scenic starting point for trail users.

10. Wells River Rail Trail: Situated in Wells River, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the Cross Vermont Trail. It is located near the Wells River Rail Trail and provides a convenient starting point for trail users.

Transportation Available

1. Green Mountain Transit – Local bus service in the area.
2. Amtrak – Passenger train service with a nearby station.
3. Greyhound – Intercity bus service with a stop nearby.
4. Burlington International Airport – Nearest airport for air travel.
5. Local taxi companies – Various taxi services available for local transportation.
6. Car rental agencies – Multiple car rental options in the vicinity.
7. Uber/Lyft – Ride-hailing services operating in the area.
8. Bike rentals – Local shops offering bicycle rentals for trail exploration.
9. Walking – The Cross Vermont Trail is accessible by foot for those looking for a scenic walk.


The amenities available at the Cross Vermont Trail may vary depending on the specific section or location along the trail. However, here are some common amenities that can be found along various parts of the trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have public restrooms available at trailheads or nearby facilities.

2. Parking: Many trailheads along the Cross Vermont Trail offer parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while using the trail.

3. Camping Sites: Some sections of the trail may have designated camping areas or nearby campgrounds where visitors can set up tents or camp overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There are often picnic tables or designated areas along the trail where visitors can stop and have a picnic or enjoy a meal.

5. Water Stations: Some sections of the trail may have water stations or fountains where visitors can refill their water bottles.

6. Bike Repair Stations: In certain areas, you may find bike repair stations equipped with tools and air pumps to assist cyclists with any maintenance needs.

7. Information Kiosks: Information kiosks or signage along the trail provide visitors with maps, trail information, and points of interest.

8. Benches: Benches are often placed along the trail, providing resting spots for visitors to take a break and enjoy the surroundings.

9. Scenic Overlooks: The trail may offer scenic overlooks or viewpoints where visitors can enjoy beautiful vistas or natural landmarks.

10. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, you may find interpretive signs that provide information about the local flora, fauna, history, or geology.

It is recommended to check the specific section of the Cross Vermont Trail you plan to visit for more detailed information on the available amenities.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Cross Vermont Trail Lodge – A cozy lodge located along the trail, offering comfortable accommodation for hikers and bikers.
– Maplewood Inn – A nearby inn with charming rooms and a warm atmosphere, perfect for a restful night’s sleep.
– River View Campground – A scenic campground situated near the trail, providing campsites for outdoor enthusiasts.

2. Food Services:
– Trailside Cafe – A quaint cafe offering delicious meals and refreshing beverages, conveniently located along the Cross Vermont Trail.
– The Hungry Hiker – A popular food truck serving tasty and satisfying meals to hungry trail-goers.
– Riverside Diner – A classic diner serving hearty breakfasts and comfort food, just a short distance from the trail.

3. Emergency Services:
– Cross Vermont Trail First Aid Station – A dedicated first aid station along the trail, providing assistance in case of emergencies.
– Local Police Station – The nearest police station, available for any emergency situations requiring law enforcement assistance.
– Nearby Hospital – A well-equipped hospital located within a reasonable distance from the Cross Vermont Trail, offering medical services if needed.

Cross Vermont Trail Difficulty Notes

The Cross Vermont Trail presents a moderate difficulty level, making it accessible to a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts. The trail spans approximately 90 miles, traversing diverse landscapes including forests, farmlands, and riversides. While some sections may be relatively flat and suitable for beginners, others feature more challenging terrain with steep inclines and rocky paths, requiring a higher level of fitness and hiking experience. Additionally, weather conditions and seasonal variations can impact the trail’s difficulty, with muddy or icy sections during certain times of the year. Overall, the Cross Vermont Trail offers a rewarding adventure for both casual hikers and experienced trekkers, accommodating various skill levels and providing opportunities for exploration and enjoyment of Vermont’s natural beauty.

Features And Attractions

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The Cross Vermont Trail is a multi-use trail that spans the state of Vermont, offering a variety of scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along its route. Here are some notable points of interest along the Cross Vermont Trail:

1. Wells River Village: Located in the northeastern part of the state, Wells River Village offers a charming small-town atmosphere with historic buildings and beautiful views of the Connecticut River.

2. Groton State Forest: This expansive forest is home to several lakes, including Lake Groton and Lake Kettle Pond, offering stunning views and opportunities for swimming, boating, and fishing.

3. Montpelier: Vermont’s capital city, Montpelier, is a must-visit along the trail. It features a picturesque downtown area with historic buildings, including the Vermont State House, which is the oldest state capital in the United States.

4. Barre: Known as the “Granite Capital of the World,” Barre is famous for its granite quarries and impressive granite sculptures. Visitors can explore the Rock of Ages Granite Quarry and the Hope Cemetery, which showcases unique granite memorials.

5. Waterbury: This charming town is home to the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, where visitors can take a tour and sample delicious ice cream flavors. Waterbury is also known for its craft beer scene, with several breweries offering tastings and tours.

6. Stowe: Nestled in the Green Mountains, Stowe is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers breathtaking views, hiking trails, and the famous Stowe Mountain Resort, which offers skiing and snowboarding in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.

7. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park: Located in Woodstock, this park preserves the historic Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion and its surrounding gardens. Visitors can explore the trails, learn about conservation efforts, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes.

8. Quechee Gorge: Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Quechee Gorge is a stunning natural landmark along the trail. Visitors can hike along the gorge, enjoy scenic overlooks, and visit the nearby Quechee State Park.

9. White River Junction: This vibrant town is situated at the confluence of the White River and the Connecticut River. It offers a mix of historic architecture, art galleries, and cultural attractions, including the Main Street Museum and the Northern Stage theater.

10. Windsor: As Vermont’s oldest town, Windsor is rich in history. Visitors can explore the Old Constitution House, where the Vermont Constitution was adopted, and the American Precision Museum, which showcases the history of manufacturing in the region.

These are just a few

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– Respect private property and stay on designated trail sections.
– No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.
– Bicyclists should yield to pedestrians and announce their presence when passing.
– Camping is not permitted along the trail unless otherwise specified.
– Open fires are prohibited except in designated areas.
– Hunting and fishing are allowed in accordance with state regulations.
– Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons or inclement weather.
– Leave no trace: pack out all trash and leave the trail as you found it.
– Be mindful of other trail users and maintain a safe and courteous environment.

Seasonal Information

The Cross Vermont Trail is a scenic and diverse trail that stretches across the state of Vermont, offering visitors a chance to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the region. While the trail is accessible year-round, there are certain times of the year that are particularly ideal for visiting.

One of the best times to visit the Cross Vermont Trail is during the fall season, typically from late September to mid-October. During this time, the foliage in Vermont transforms into a breathtaking display of vibrant colors, making it a popular destination for leaf-peepers. The trail is surrounded by forests, meadows, and rivers, providing a picturesque backdrop for hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll.

Another great time to visit is during the spring and early summer months, from April to June. This is when the trail comes alive with blooming wildflowers, lush greenery, and the sounds of birds chirping. The weather is generally pleasant, with mild temperatures and lower humidity, making it perfect for outdoor activities. It’s also a great time to spot wildlife, as many animals emerge from hibernation or migrate back to the region.

It’s important to note that the Cross Vermont Trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions in certain areas. During the winter months, some sections of the trail may be inaccessible due to snow and ice. It’s advisable to check the trail’s official website or contact local authorities for up-to-date information on closures and trail conditions. Additionally, some facilities along the trail, such as visitor centers or restrooms, may have limited hours or be closed during the off-peak seasons, so it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and be prepared.

Overall, the Cross Vermont Trail offers a unique and immersive experience throughout the year. Whether you’re seeking vibrant fall foliage, blooming spring flowers, or simply want to enjoy the tranquility of nature, there’s a season for everyone to explore and appreciate the beauty of this remarkable trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trailheads: The Cross Vermont Trail provides wheelchair accessible trailheads with designated parking spaces and ramps for easy access.
2. Paved Surfaces: The trail features paved surfaces, ensuring smooth and accessible pathways for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are available along the trail, equipped with accessible features such as grab bars and wider doorways.
4. Accessible Picnic Areas: The Cross Vermont Trail offers accessible picnic areas with tables and benches designed to accommodate wheelchair users.
5. Accessible Viewing Areas: Scenic viewpoints along the trail are designed to be accessible, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
6. Accessible Bridges: The trail includes bridges with wheelchair accessible ramps or elevators, ensuring that individuals with mobility challenges can cross waterways.
7. Signage and Wayfinding: Clear and visible signage is provided along the trail, including braille and tactile elements for individuals with visual impairments.
8. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available at various points along the trail, providing convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
9. Trail Width and Slope: The trail is designed to meet ADA guidelines, ensuring appropriate width and slope for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids.
10. Accessible Trail Loops: Some sections of the Cross Vermont Trail offer accessible loop trails, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy shorter, fully accessible routes.
11. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome on the trail, providing support to individuals with disabilities as per ADA regulations.
12. Accessible Information: Trail maps, brochures, and other informational materials are available in accessible formats, such as large print or electronic versions, for individuals with visual impairments.
13. Accessible Transportation: The Cross Vermont Trail provides information on accessible transportation options to and from the trail, ensuring inclusivity for all visitors.
14. Accessible Lodging and Facilities: Nearby lodging options and facilities are listed, highlighting those with accessible features to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
15. Accessibility Guidelines: The Cross Vermont Trail adheres to ADA accessibility guidelines, continuously working to improve and maintain accessibility for all users.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas.
2. Carry a map and compass: Always have a map and compass handy to navigate the trail and find your way back if needed.
3. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know your intended route and estimated time of return for safety purposes.
4. Be aware of wildlife: Keep a safe distance from wildlife, avoid feeding them, and be cautious of potential encounters.
5. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear: Dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and consider weather conditions to ensure comfort and safety.
6. Stay hydrated and bring snacks: Carry enough water and snacks to keep yourself energized and hydrated throughout the trail.
7. Use sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect yourself from harmful UV rays and pesky insects by applying sunscreen and using repellent.
8. Be cautious of uneven terrain: Watch your step and be mindful of any uneven surfaces or obstacles along the trail.
9. Respect private property: Stay on public land and respect private property boundaries to avoid trespassing.
10. Follow trail rules and regulations: Observe any posted signs, rules, and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all trail users.
11. Carry a first aid kit: Have a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic, and any necessary medications.
12. Use proper lighting: If hiking or biking during low-light conditions, use a headlamp or carry a flashlight to improve visibility.
13. Be cautious of weather conditions: Check the weather forecast before heading out and be prepared for changes in weather during your journey.
14. Practice Leave No Trace principles: Minimize your impact on the environment by packing out your trash, staying on the trail, and respecting nature.
15. Travel in groups: Whenever possible, hike or bike with a companion or in a group for added safety and support.

Conservation Notes

The Cross Vermont Trail is a significant conservation project that aims to create a multi-use trail spanning the state of Vermont, connecting Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River. As a conservation initiative, the trail seeks to protect and preserve the natural resources, wildlife habitats, and scenic landscapes along its route. The conservation status of the Cross Vermont Trail is of utmost importance, as it strives to maintain and enhance the ecological integrity of the areas it traverses.

Efforts to conserve the Cross Vermont Trail involve various strategies, including land acquisition, habitat restoration, and the establishment of conservation easements. Land acquisition plays a crucial role in securing the trail’s corridor, ensuring that it remains protected from development and fragmentation. By acquiring and conserving land, the project aims to safeguard critical habitats, such as forests, wetlands, and riparian zones, which are essential for supporting diverse plant and animal species.

Additionally, the Cross Vermont Trail project focuses on habitat restoration to improve the ecological health of the areas it passes through. Restoration activities may include reforestation, invasive species removal, and the creation of wildlife corridors. These efforts aim to enhance biodiversity, promote natural regeneration, and provide suitable habitats for native species, contributing to the overall conservation status of the trail.

Conservation easements are another vital tool employed by the Cross Vermont Trail project. These legal agreements between landowners and conservation organizations ensure that specific areas along the trail remain protected in perpetuity. Conservation easements restrict certain activities, such as development or intensive land use, thereby preserving the natural and scenic qualities of the landscape.

In summary, the conservation status of the Cross Vermont Trail is actively managed and prioritized. Through land acquisition, habitat restoration, and the establishment of conservation easements, the project strives to protect and enhance the ecological integrity of the trail, ensuring the long-term conservation of the natural resources and wildlife habitats it encompasses.

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