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
10 days ago

Was looking for a hike for me and my dog as the family was skiing Mt. Snow. This is about a 20 minute drive from Mt. Snow and it has off road parking and allows dogs. Both big pluses. I would say it's a moderate hike in the winter as there is a mixture of snow/ice. Make sure to bring your spikes and/or hiking poles. It was a beautiful/peaceful hike. The trek up definitely raised my heart rate. There is a fire tower at the top and the folks up top said it had great views but unfortunately my dog wasn't up for the climb. Otherwise, the views were okay since the foliage was off the trees but nothing spectacular. The loop took about 1 1/2 hours.

hiking
10 days ago

Killer view from the top of the fire tower. We entered the trail behind Vermont Distillers Inc for a moderately inclined hike that could be completed by anyone in decent shape. The hike up probably took 35 minutes. Absolutely worth the trip.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Easy to follow the trail and markings. The view from the fire tower is spectacular but it was very windy and cold the day we went. Would definitely do this again.

Easy beautiful hike! Very friendly state park staff.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail was fun and easy to follow, view from fire tower was superb better than expected

hiking
3 months ago

easy-moderate hike with a beautiful view from the fire tower,

hiking
4 months ago

definitely a moderate hike but well maintained

hiking
4 months ago

Trail was easy to locate. Paid $4 per person, and went with 2 dogs and 4 people. Trail was somewhat narrow but perfect to walk in a single file with the dogs. The trail was marked and made it easy to know which way you were going. If you have an 1.5 hours to spend, would highly recommend this trail.

Great family trail. Enjoyed fire tower and views

Went with family - 2 yrs old to 71 years old. great views from fire tower.

Fun hike great for kids. Trails in good shape. Pretty good climb on the way up. Views are spectacular from the tower.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike - took lots of pictures! A few wet/muddy spots, but the whole family enjoyed this trail.

A nice short hike. Grade was a little steeper than I thought it would be but a decent challenge. It was very foggy and there was no view from the fire tower but a good way to spend the morning.

did on a 90 degree day, shade most of the way. easy going, fire tower at the top offers great views.

hiking
5 months ago

We love this hike! We keep coming back! Not too hard with a few steeper spots. We went to the fire tower and back. We did not do the loop. The trail is easy to follow and the views are beautiful. Only suggestion I have is to not go on a windy day.

Great views from fire lookout. Pretty trail. Not difficult but steep parts at the beginning. Good in winter but park across road as entrance to park isn’t cleared of snow.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice easy hicke, did it with a 3 years kid with no difficulties. View from the tower is very rewarding. Other trail around that connect to that trail doesn’t worth the walk (bishop trail, hogback, rim...)

great short hike. definetely not easy. the trail quality was great with good views along the way and from the fire tower.

Great hike short but beautiful views!

hiking
10 months ago

The first half is all up hill, more than I anticipated. At the summit you can’t see anything, unless you climb up the fire tower. I was expecting some sort of clearing at the top. The overall hike was very muddy and slippery. Decent and well marked, but wouldn’t do it again.

Monday, September 18, 2017

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.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

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
Sunday, September 10, 2017

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

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Easy but pretty trail. Spectacular views from firetower.

hiking
Sunday, August 27, 2017

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
Friday, August 04, 2017

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

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

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
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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

hiking
Monday, October 24, 2016

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.

nature trips
Friday, October 14, 2016

Trail was nice lots of fall colors. The description given was very accurate in both elevation and length. However, the view from the fire tower makes the hike.

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