Welcome to Molly Stark State Park, named for the famous wife of General John Stark of the Revolutionary War. The park is located along the Molly Stark Trail Scenic Byway (State Route 9), the main east-west route in Southern Vermont that connects Brattleboro, Wilmington and Bennington. The Starks hailed from New Hampshire, where John Stark was a respected and successful road builder. Stark was moved to join the cause of American Independence, and received a commission in the First New Hampshire Regiment. Stark was influential and persuasive enough to recruit many men to fight for the Continental Army. He attained the rank of General by early 1777. Stark inspired his New Hampshire Volunteers the eve before the Battle of Bennington, fought on August 16, 1777, by proclaiming Now, my men, yonder are the Hessians! Tonight, the American flag flies over yonder hill or Molly Stark sleeps a widow! Elizabeth Molly Paige Stark was an accomplished and independent woman by her own right; she raised 11 children, teaching them to read and write. She was strong willed and social, and didnt bow to her husbands demands. She was instrumental to the American success at the Battle of Bennington; after the General departed west from New Hampshire, Molly recruited more men for the New Hampshire Militia. She even converted her homestead barn into a hospital to care for wounded from both sides. The approximate westward route that Stark and his Volunteers followed is commemorated by the Molly Stark Trail Scenic Byway. The area that now makes up Molly Stark State Park was cleared for agriculture and sheep farming by settlers in the 19th century. In 1932 a Civilian Conservation Corps crew built a roadside picnic area here on land owned by the Towns of Wilmington and Brattleboro. In 1939, the towns gave the 100 acre property to the State; later in the same year, Olga Haslund, a Wilmington resident, gave 48 acres. The result was the creation of Molly Stark State Park. In 1955, the steel fire tower was moved from Townshend State Park to the summit of Mt Olga at Molly Stark State Park. Hogback Ski Area operated partially on park property under lease agreement from 1955 until 1987. Campground development started in the late 1950s with the park officially opening on July 2, 1960. Two camping loops consist of 23 tent/trailer sites and 11 lean-to sites. One rest room with showers ($) is located in each loop. There is a play area and a picnic pavilion for large groups. A hiking trail starts from the park and goes up to the Mt. Olga fire tower.

hiking
19 days ago

For the investment, this hike has a high payout. The hike is so short, and while it does climb up a bit, you're already at the top before you know. I'd still say it's an easy hike. You have to climb the fire tower! Very clearly marked and there is even another map at the fire tower. I went up late afternoon which was great.

The first half of the trail is straight up the mountain only using rocks and roots for footing.. moderate to difficult for some. 2nd half was easy and a beautiful hike. Totally worth the hard work first half.

hiking
1 month ago

The easy raring was misleading, short, moderate trail. Breathtaking views from the tower.

Easy but pretty trail. Spectacular views from firetower.

It should be noted, there is a park fee payable to access this hike (parking at Molly Stark State Park). We arrived late day to hike, unfortunately with no cash . Will try again another time.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Very well maintained loop and the views from the firetower were great! 75 minutes round trip not including a stop at the tower.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Goes through dense woods but the view from the firetower is nice (unless you have a fear of heights.) Missed the other half of the loop after reaching the firetower, and accidentally took the Tower Trail to Hogback Mountain.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great, short hike. View from fire tower is stunning! A little steep at some points, but nothing too hard!!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

We've hiked this trail in both winter and summer. In winter it was pretty icy which added to the challenge and the fun but we both slipped on our bums once so snowshoes and/or ski poles aren't a bad idea. The old abandoned ski buildings and lifts are really cool and make this relatively easy hike unique, offering a chance to walk though modern ruins. In the late summer we climbed the tower and watched the sun set...which I strongly suggest! From the tower the 360 views are great and photo-worthy. Bring headlamps if you're thinking of a sunset hike, they will be quite useful on the way down.