Hazen's Notch Association Trails

Hiking Trails

Here is information about Trail access & Parking, Suggested Hikes, Rules of Use and the Trail Maps for High Ponds Farm, Moosewood Ponds, High Meadow, Burnt Mountain and Bear Paw Pond Conservation Area..


TRAIL RE-OPENING: At the High Ponds Farm, from the junction of the Notch Trail and the Sunset Ridge Trail, the Notch Trail is open over a new bridge that was completed August 10, 2021  East of the new bridge, the Notch Trail has been mowed to the junction with the Lower Window Rock Trail.  The Lower Window Rock Trail descends through beautiful woods to a refurbished bridge over Flood Brook and connects to the Beaver Ponds Trail near the lowest beaver pond at the entrance to the High Ponds Farm. This 1.5-mile loop is described in the one-page "Suggested Hikes".  See the Trail Conditions page.

Summer + Fall

High Meadow Trail - Photograph by Rolf Anderson

The Hazen's Notch Association maintains a network of 15 miles of trails and woods roads for hiking in Summer and Fall. These are part of a larger network of 24 miles of trails that are maintained in Winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the Hazen's Notch/Jay Peak area of northern Vermont.

Hazen's Notch Association Trails

Hiking + Walking
May 15 - Nov 15

Hunting
Nov 15 - Dec 15 (Trails Closed)

Cross Country Skiing + Snowshoeing
Dec 15 - March 30

Mud Season
April 1 - May 15 (Trails Closed)

The trails pass through a variety of interesting habitats that include meadows, forests, orchards, and beaver ponds. Trails range from restored woods roads that have gentle to moderate grades to narrow footpaths with steep climbs. There are numerous splendid views of the Jay Mountains in addition to the incredible beauty of the wildlfowers and wildlife that one sees along the trails. Pack a lunch and water as you will find several picnic tables at popular destinations such as the Moosewood Ponds, the High Meadow, Little Rock Pond and Bear Paw Pond. Bring a camera and/or binoculars. Most of the photographs on this website were taken while walking, skiing and snowshoeing on the Hazen's Notch Association trails.

Suggested Hikes

High Ponds Farm, Moosewood Ponds, High Meadow, Burnt Mountain

There is a new brochure with trail map and suggested hikes for people visiting the High Ponds Farm. The brochure has a map and directions to hike Burnt Mountain. The link to the 2-page pdf is here: High Ponds Farm Area Map 08.13.21.pdf .


Bear Paw Pond Conservation Area

There is a new brochure with trail map and suggested hikes for people visiting the Bear Paw Pond Conservation Area. The brochure has a map and directions to some short walks through ferny woods and to an old sugar house. The link to the 2-page pdf is here: Bear Paw Pond Area Map.pdf .


Reviews

Great XC skiing trails and wonderful hike up Burnt Mountain with views of Hazens Notch on top.
Hannah Halbreich (06/07/2020)



"One of my favorite places on the planet"
"High Ponds Farm at Burnt Mountain on Hazen's Notch is a beautifully (and minimally) managed cross-country ski and hiking area in Montgomery Center, Vermont. I'm not a skier, but spending countless hours hiking (or leisurely walking) on the trails in the summer, late spring and fall is a highlight of any day. Hanging out in the High Meadow in the Fall looking at the foliage or munching on an apple from the orchard, or in the summertime amidst the wildflowers, or sitting on a rock watching beavers swimming around in a beaver pond, or walking on a trail deep in the lush green forest, is akin to a religious experience in my book. I can't say enough about the beauty and peacefulness of this lovely place.

Janis Hess, Feb 2015

The trails of the Hazen's Notch Association are on privately-owned land. Landowners have given permission for limited public access for hiking from mid-May to mid November and for cross country skiing and snowshoeing from mid December to the end of March. In Winter access all trails from the HNA Welcome Center on Route 58.  For a map of the trails, go to the website: hazensnotch.org and follow the link to "Trail Map". You can print the map before leaving home or see the map on your portable device as you hike.

The High Meadow

One mile round-trip

The distance from the entrance to the High Ponds Farm to the Moosewood Ponds is only 0.25 mile, to the High Meadow only 0.5 mile. There is a very fine panorama of Jay Peak, Big Jay and Little Jay from the High Meadow. The upper or back of the meadow has a mowed "lawn" against a backdrop of tall spruce and fir trees. In the foreground and on Sugar Hill to the west are many sugar maples.

Lower Window Rock Trail to Notch Trail to the High Meadow

A 1.5-mile Loop

One can make a loop with the Notch Trail to the east and back to the parking lot via the Lower Window Rock Trail. That loop is 1.5 miles and takes not more 90 minutes, longer if enjoying the views from the meadow where there is also a picnic table. From the entrance to the High Ponds Farm, follow the Beaver Ponds Trail past the first beaver pond on your right. The next left is the Lower Window Rock Trail. Cross Flood Brook on a wooden bridge and ascend to the Notch Trail. Turn right and follow to the High Meadow. Return via the High Meadow Trail and the Beaver Ponds Trail.

High Ponds Farm to Bear Paw Pond

A 3-mile Loop

From the Welcome Center walk east on Route 58 for 1 km (.6 mile). Turn right and walk up the Rossier Road to the High Ponds Farm following the Beaver Ponds Trail. At the junction with the High Meadow Trail, stay right on the Beaver Ponds Trail, passing a picnic shelter that overlooks the Moosewood Ponds with the fine view of Burnt Mountain. Continue on the Beaver Ponds Trail over gentle switchbacks to the saddle between Sugar Hill and Rossier Hill. From there it is a moderate descent to the Old Sugar House at the junction of Beaver Ponds Trail, Sugar House Trail and Dark Entry Trail to the beautiful Coyote Meadow with views of the Jay Mountains. The adjacent Bear Paw Pond Conservation Area next to the meadow has picnic shelters and the pretty Bear Paw Pond. Continue 5 minutes further diagonally across the meadow and you will descend to Route 58, the Hazen's Notch Road. Turn right and walk a short distance to the Welcome Center. That loop is 3 miles.

Burnt Mountain

A moderately strenuous half-day hike
2.4 miles each way; 1,400' vertical climb

Webpage: Burnt Mountain, High Ponds Farm, Montgomery, Vermont

From the entrance to the High Ponds Farm, follow the Beaver Ponds Trail to the junction with the High Meadow Trail. Turn left on the High Meadow Trail and continue to just past the wood sheds. Turn left and walk along the stonewall to the Notch Trail. Turn left on the Notch Trail and then right at the junction with the Sunset Ridge Trail. This trail is a woods road until it reaches the west-running ridge. It becomes a footpath to the main ridge where the trail turns right and continues through a stand of Mountain paper birch (Betula cordifolia) on its way to the wooded summit and to the panoramic view beyond. The view was discovered in 1989 by Rolf Anderson who created the original route and the current route.

HNA Conservation Land Management Information

Killdeer on eggs - Photograph by Tony Florio

All of the trails, parking areas and lands described in the text and depicted on the maps on the pages of this website are on private land. Your ability to access these areas is at the discretion of the Hazen's Notch Association and the respective landowners. These private lands are being managed first and foremost as nature preserves. Conservation land management goals prioritize the protection of all natural resources including soils, water, animal and plant life.  Recreation is limited to hiking in summer and fall and to skiing and snowshoeing in winter. The HNA will restrict recreation access if necessary to minimize threats to natural resources and other human impacts on these lands.

Rules for Use of Area / Trails

Visitor Information Board at High Ponds Farm - Photograph by Rolf Anderson

Please observe all trail and area use rules. They are posted at the trail access parking areas and on signs along the trails. Fires, camping, motorized vehicles, swimming and fishing are not allowed.

Dogs must be on a short leash at all times. In addition to minimizing conflicts between other people and their dogs, the leash rule is intended to prevent dogs from harassing wildlife which use the trails and adjoining areas as travel and feeding corridors as well as sites for raising their young.

Note that retractable "flexi-leads" are inadequate for controlling your dog. With 12 to 15 feet of lead, a dog can catch and kill a small animal before the owner even realizes that their dog is doing more than sniffing in the vegetation along the trails. Hermit thrush, for example, will regularly nest as few as 12" above the ground and within a few feet of the edge of a well-travelled trail. Fledgling grouse, as yet unable to fly more than 3 feet high or more than a distance of 12 feet, can be easy prey for a dog. Hikers who do not observe the HNA dog leash rule will be asked to leave.

For a complete list of rules, please see Visitor Information


Important Information about Access to Trails

 

Please be aware that all HNA trails, parking areas, access roads, and all adjacent lands are private property. Access is at the discretion of the Hazen's Notch Association and the respective landowners. The trails and parking areas are open during daylight hours only. Do not drive past any gates even if left open. Gates that are open are open for the convenience of the private landowner and are not an invitation to drive beyond the gate.

Group Visits:

Please note that while the HNA Trails are open to the public at no charge, a fee is charged for groups. This includes school, home school, church or other community groups. This includes both non-profit and for-profit groups and whether your visit is self-directed or facilitated by HNA staff. There are many costs associated with the management of trails that are open to the public. Group use fees and membership contributions help the HNA to meet these expenses. Please contact the HNA to arrange your group visit.   Thank you.

Visitor Information: 

For Travel Directions, a Locator Map of trail access parking areas, & complete area use rules, see Visitor Information

.

Hazen's Notch Association Trails: Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing

Skiers + Snowshoers

See below for information about Winter Trail access & Winter Parking, Suggested Trails, Rules of Use and the Trail Map.
Winter Trails 2021: Trails will be roller-packed and combed smooth this winter for skiing and/or snowshoeing. Grooming will generally occur after fresh snow of 4 or more inches. When snow depth is insufficient for skiing or snowshoeing, winter hiking will be allowed. Trails are open from December 15, 2020 to March 30, 2021. Practice physical distancing. Thank you.

Winter

 

Winter Trails Information

Winter Trail Conditions

Date: 01.18.21       Snow Depth: 10-14"
Skiing/Snowshoeing: Yes       Hiking: No
Groomed Trails: 0
Trail Condition: Ungroomed
Open Trails
Hayfield Loop, Woodfern Loop, Dogtooth, Northstar, Dark Entry, Little Dipper, Sugar House, Sap Run, Beaver Ponds, High Meadow, Lower Window Rock to Notch Trail to High Meadow, Sunset Ridge.

Closed Trails:
East Meadow, Birch Meadow, West Meadow and West Side Trails

There is no charge to use the HNA trails. Donations are welcome. Winter access to HNA trails is limited to the Welcome Center parking area and the Bear Paw Pond area parking. The High Ponds Farm access is closed to parking during snow storms. In Winter dogs are prohibited from all areas within the trail network.

Sharon Powers skiing on Coyote Meadow

Cross country skiing and snowshoeing at the Hazen's Notch Association in northern Vermont is all about plentiful snow, spectacular scenery, uncrowded trails and friendly people.  The cross country ski touring center at Hazen's Notch is blessed with a topography that is ideally suited to nordic skiing - rolling meadows, soft hills, and views of mountains in all directions.

20 Miles of groomed and marked trails pass through 1,500 acres of mixed maple, birch and evergreen forest and across gentle, open meadows. There are spectacular views of Hazen's Notch and numerous peaks over 3,000' in elevation in the Jay Range and Cold Hollow Range of the Green Mountains which completely encircle the trail system. The Hazen's Notch Association trails are considered to be some of the most scenic trails in all of Vermont.

Woodfern Trail  Along the Beaver Ponds Trail.

25 trails for all abilities provide loops of different lengths for classical cross-country skiing and/or snowshoeing. Trail difficulty is evenly divided between easy, moderate and difficult. Numerous ski trails are groomed and trackset for classical nordic skiing.  Our carefully designed trails provide maximum enjoyment for trail users with minimal impact to the surrounding natural resources. We design and manage our x-c ski trails to be in harmony with the landscape. Visitors often comment about the varied forest types, numerous animal tracks and careful land stewardship practices that they observe when skiing the Hazen's Notch Trails.

Glide across gentle hayfields on the Hayfield and the Birch Meadow Trails with scenic views of the Jay Range. Moose and bobcat frequent the trails. On sunny days in March you can pause for a trailside lunch at picnic tables along the trail - at Bear Paw Pond, Moosewood Ponds and the High Meadow with its incredible panorama of the Jay Mountains: Little Jay, Big Jay, Jay Peak, North Jay, Gilpin Mountain, Domey's Dome & Buchanan Mountain.

Snowshoeing Trails offer an ungroomed, pristine winter experience. 10 miles of specially designated trails provide a variety of beautiful routes for people who wish to see nature up close on snowshoes. The Bear Paw Pond Area is just across the road and uphill from the Welcome Center. There are panoramic views from Coyote Meadow and the old sugar house. The summit of Sugar Hill (elevation 1,700') makes a good destination for people who want a pleaseant 2-mile roundtrip hike from the Welcome Center. The views of the Trout River valley with the villages of Montgomery and Montgomery Center can be enjoyed from the natural open bald summit.






Today was another spectacular day at Hazen's Notch. The sun coming through the trees creating an enchantment in the forest. It's cold - but with the exertion of the skiing it's refreshingly so. Over the years we've seen many things - rabbits, hawks, deer, foxes, squirrels, ruffed grouse. It's one of the reasons I ski alone - I love the quiet. My favorite trail - Dark Entry, over to the Beaver Ponds and then up to the High Meadow gives me a spiritual feeling of being at peace with the world. Your trails are special. They are cut in a way which respects nature, respects the environment and creates a special place for us all to enjoy. Thank you.

Bob Bonnell