hiking

walking

forest

nature trips

trail running

dogs on leash

views

wild flowers

With its location at the base of Killington and Pico peaks and close proximity to the Appalachian and Long trails, this park is a favorite of hikers. Many through-hikers pass the park on their Appalachian Trail journey from Georgia to Maine. The park is also a popular destination during the fall foliage season for its dramatic autumn colors. Established in 1931 when the state purchased 13 acres of land from Lee Pearsons, the park grew over the next two decades with a land donation from Walter K. Barrows and various land purchases. Mr. Barrows noticed that many passing motorists stopped at the spot to admire the large old trees growing on his property and decided that it should be protected by adding it to the newly established state park. Today, Gifford Woods contains one of the few old-growth hardwood tree stands remaining in Vermont. The stand has many grand-sized sugar maple, beech, yellow birch, white ash and hemlock. The understory is rich with native wildflowers. In 1978, seven acres of forest in this area was designated the Gifford Woods Natural Area. An additional 13 acres was designated as Gifford Woods National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1980 because of the exemplary quality of the old-growth forest. To preserve the natural state of the Natural Area, no trails or development of any kind is permitted. Development of Gifford Woods State Park began in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a nation-wide public works program created during the Great Depression of the 1930s to provide jobs and training for thousands of unemployed Americans. In 1933 and 1934, CCC crews constructed the park office and rangers quarters, picnic area, stone restroom building, trails, the park entrance and parking area. In 1939 the CCC constructed a camping area. A new section was added to the campground in 1959. The park continued to grow throughout the 20th Century, and reached its current size of 285 acres in 2003, when 171 non-contiguous acres were acquired from the Green Mountain Club to protect the Long Trail corridor. The town of Killington was chartered on July 7, 1761. Settlers to the Killington area were primarily subsistence farmers, raising crops and tending sheep in the valleys. Logging and milling were the prevalent industries in the area, with several saw and grist mills established. Tourism had its beginnings in Killington quite early. The first tourist resort at Killington was built in 1880, well before the region was developed as a ski resort. The original Summit House accommodated hikers and naturalists that came to Killington for the fantastic summit views. Most of the local families that remained in the area rented out boarding rooms to tourists, and a number of small inns and hotels were scattered around the town. There are 4 cabins, 22 tent/trailer sites and 20 lean-to sites situated in two camping loops. Each loop has a rest room with modern plumbing and hot showers ($). There is a trailer sanitary station, but no hookups. Fire and ice are available for sale. A wooded picnic area is located behind the ranger's quarters with a play area. Day hikes are available and there is an easy hook up with the Appalachian Trail.

Fun and challenging trail. Had no problem finishing with a large group of friends. A few of us never even hiked before so we had to take our time but the challenge was well worth it!

super fun! beautiful views & awesome scenery on the way up. we went while it was lightly snowing & 30 degrees, so it was a tad icy. we took our dog and he loved it! can’t wait to hike it in the spring or summer!

Lovely short hike. Beautiful place to get engaged!!! :)

Love it! Great for all experience levels!

mountain biking
2 months ago

Love it! Great for all experience levels!

real nice short hike.

Fun hike, well marked and the peak was beautiful,

A nice hike and at the top is was beautiful. I definitely wouldn't call this a hard hike compared to other hikes marked hard. I would give it a moderate. But all in all it was a good hike!

This was a nice hike through the woods with a few open areas as you crossed the ski trails. There was nice views from the summit but there’s construction going on up there. I would rate this as moderate and not hard, but overall it was a good hike.

Most of the trail is pretty easy as far as hiking mountains go. It does get steep in one section near the top. It also gets confusing as the trail isn't well marked in spots near the top. The best view I found was at the top of the lift.

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