Monday, August 3, 2009

Ascutney State Park: Windsor, VT

Directions to Mt. Ascutney: Click here for Google map

Mount Ascutney is a doggie heaven! It is a people heaven, too, (if you're the outdoorsy type) offering many different hiking trails (beginner to advanced), very friendly staff, restroom facilities, camp sites, an observation tower, a hang gliding launch, picnic areas, and a paved road to the summit. The 2,000 acre park was developed in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and stands at an elevation of 3,144 feet above sea level.

We hiked the Weathersfield Trail
, which was 2.9 miles to the summit. The intermediate trail offered plenty of shade and plenty of water for Cooper (thanks to many beautiful waterfalls!). In fact, this trail winds through several waterfalls, including Crystal Cascade Falls - an 84 foot high waterfall! With all the rushing water, we hardly noticed any bugs and benefited from cool breezes on a hot August day.

Information source: Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Here are the positive features:

  • Hiking trails range from short & easy to very challenging
  • The staff at the park are very friendly and helpful
  • A paved road will lead you to the summit where there are lots of easy trails
  • The amenities (bathrooms, campsites, etc.) are great for a state park
  • Hardly any bugs while we were there and I didn't find any ticks
  • Day use fees are low (free for young kids, $3 for adults)
  • Mt. Ascutney is a dormant volcano, which is really neat
  • Two great restaurants are nearby: The Common Man and Ramunto's
Negative features:
  • Apparently, porcupines abound - even during the day (although we didn't see any)
  • During hot summer months, the waterfalls tend to get smaller (and the small ones sometimes dry up completely).
For more info on Ascutney, visit their website!


  1. Hi Rebecca,
    Great information on this blog! We just got our first dog, a Sheltie puppy, and are looking for family/dog friendly places to hike, etc. near home. I especially appreciate the pros/cons lists for each post.

  2. Hi Cecilia,

    Good luck with your new puppy - that's so exciting! I hope you find many fun places to enjoy together.