Haystack Mountain via Colby M. Chester Memorial Trail

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North Pawlet Hills Natural Area

Haystack Mountain via Colby M. Chester Memorial Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pawlet, Vermont that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.1 miElevation gain1,167 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
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Getting There

Generations of Pawlet families – and visitors from around the world – have climbed the steep slopes to the top of Haystack Mountain to take in the spectacular 360-degree views of Bald and Middle Mountains, the north-south forested hills and the serene Mettowee Valley. This preserve features a series of rounded, forested peaks in the northern Taconic Mountains, clustered in an extensive landscape of unbroken forest. Locals call Haystack, Middle and Bald Mountains the Three Sisters. Warm southern aspect and shallow soils produce drought-like conditions on the hills and promote the growth of several unusual natural communities, including dry oak woodlands and dry oak-hickory-hophornbeam forests. Turkeys, grouse and bobcats roam the rocky landscape. Peregrine falcons sometimes nest on the cliffs of Haystack. These forested hills also provide nesting habitat for neotropical migrant songbirds that rely on unfragmented forest blocks.

Vermont Depart of Travel and Tourism, 134 State Street, P.O. Box 1471 , Montpelier, VT, 055601, Phone: 802-828-3236

Directions from Wilmington, VT: Travel west on SR 9 for 1 mile. Turn right (north) onto Haystack Road. Travel to Chimney Hill Road and turn left. The road winds through a neighborhood for a little less than .5 mile. Turn right onto Binney Brook Road. Stay on Binney Brook until the road T's. Turn right onto Upper Dam Road and then an almost immediate left and proceed to the trailhead located on the right side of the road.

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Reviews (189)
Photos (141)
Recordings (145)
Completed (340)
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Peter Braun
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Hiking

Snow but packed down and very enjoyable!!!! Great views for a short hike.

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Peter Braun
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HikingIcy

Snow was packed and easy to hike on. Rainy so no views but a good hike anyway.

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Daniel Boone
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Courtney Dennison
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Hiking

Barely muddy. No ice or snow. Great day for a quick trip!

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Sean Merges
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Hiking

great little trail with an incredible view at the top for its height

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Sharlene Coutu
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Hiking

Little muddy at the top. Leaf coverage made some spots difficult to determine trail. Maybe some better tree markers are due. But the view from top is beautiful!

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Liz Garvison
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Hiking

Great trail

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Michael Hilyard
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Hiking
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Patrice Fernandez
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Hiking

Nice moderate trail. Needs more markers.

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James Frankel
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Hiking

Awesome view. Needs more trail markers.

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Kaitlin Ashley
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Hiking

Awesome short hike. Gorgeous through and through, and really spectacular payoff at the end!

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Daniel Boone
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Nikki Seeley
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Hiking

Steeper than expected/remembered, great view!

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Kayla Zoppel
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Hiking

Fantastic hike. First mile is more of a walk last .5 is where you gain your elevation.

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David Brosig
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Sammi Leigh
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Hiking

Moderate for moderate hikers. Some say this trail is easy, mild decent at first. Definitely gets harder as the trail inclines up with almost no flat spots to rest. I’ve hiked the adks and some adk high peaks, but this one was tougher than expected. The summit gives you the biggest rewards though!

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Don L
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HikingRockyWashed out

First time back to this trail in about 16 months. It took a beating from a major rainstorm, probably last Halloween's big storm, and is in rougher shape than I remember, with lots of gravel and small rock on the trail. Still a short but steep hike with a great payoff at the end. Our GPS measured it at 3.5 miles round trip with 1,070 feet of elevation gain. The word is out about this hike, parking is limited, so get there early on weekends.

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John Nowicki
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Hiking

nice local hike.

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Kevin Petway
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HikingGreat!

Great trail! Relatively short but intense, especially the final 1/4 mile. Good for a quick early evening hike. I was the only person on the trail the whole time! From where you park, it’s about a 3/5ths of a mile walk/hike up Tunket Rd before you hit the formal trailhead.

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Kelli Calder
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Hiking

Moderate level hike. Definitely gets steep the last 1/4 of a mile. Hiking poles are helpful for the last 1/4. View is completely worth it.

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Jake Geer
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Hiking

Beautiful view

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Samantha Stone
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Hiking

Very steep and large slippery rocks at the top! Amazing view! I would rate this trail closer to hard than moderate! 1/2 mile walk before the start of the 1.5mile trail!

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Sonia Schweers
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Hiking

Surprising, almost 360 degrees views.., peregrine falcons around. Moderate climb at times but do-able, rocks very slippery. To get on the trail, walk past the house and look for the sign on the left. It’s all well marked from there.

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Nikki Crawford
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Hiking

Amazing view makes the hike soo worth it! It was exactly an hour up from the car. It got very steep I would say it was difficult but I would do it again!

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Keld Alstrup
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ed han
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Hiking

Nice well maintained trail. Definately worth the efforts.

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Meagan Keefe
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HikingRocky

Well maintained and marked trail. Steep uphill climb but the views are worth it. A little rocky and uneven, but saw hikers of all ages here, just wear good shoes. Not sure why All Trails says no dogs - my dog had a blast and almost everyone on the trail had a dog. Bugs weren’t too bad. Mostly shaded.

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James Lea
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Hiking

Cleaned up the Nature Conservancy trailhead sign. No longer covered with lichen and mildew. Also removed the resident mouse from the sign-in kiosk and left a note book for hikers.

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Emily Welch
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Hiking

Great trail, but definitely a steady incline. Luckily, it is only 25 mins from my house so it was a quick drive over. The view is worth the incline and sweat! :)

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