The trail starts at the kiosk, and the trail will be fairly steep for a short section, but leads to a more gentle series of trails. Follow signs for the Summit Trail and make your way up to a grassy overlook. The bench at the overlook offers a wonderful place from which to enjoy the view of the Ottauquechee River Valley, the Billings Farm and Museum, and Mount Tom.
A half mile trail on easy terrain starts 100 yards from the Forest Center and leads to the Artistree Studio on Route 12. To reach the Forest Center cross the street from the Billings Park parking area and turn right onto Mountain Road. (need more directions…) or add in another section
Through fields and woods follow the Poet’s Trail to a bench at an overlook of the Ottaquechee River Valley below. At the farm you can see flocks of Guinea hens, an alpaca, pigs and goats. King Farm can also be accessed by the trails that connect it to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.
King Farm, Woodstock – park at the barns next to the white farm house. Trail starts behind the barns.
An easy walk that switchbacks up to the South Peak of Mount Tom where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Woodstock village and surrounding mountains. Near the top of South Peak the switchbacks stop and there is a lovely overlook and some benches. The last 100 yards of trail is more challenging, with rock outcrops and uneven footing. At the top, take in the breathtaking view of Woodstock village and the surrounding mountains.
Faulkner Park, Mountain Road, Woodstock; the Faulkner Trail starts at the rear of the Park
Mountain Road to the Pogue
The Pogue is a man-made 14-acre pond tucked into the hills of the Park's Mount Tom Forest. You can reach the Pogue by way of Mountain Road, one of the park’s historic carriage roads. Near the start of the hike you will encounter two unique structures, the Woodshed and the Forest Center. The Woodshed loft opens directly onto the Mountain Road and houses an exhibition of old carriages. The Walk Woodstock map shows you some alternate trails for your return trip.
Route 12, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park at the Forest Center
Head up Mountain Road, and after 1.1 miles take a left on Mount Tom Road. Follow the carriage road past several open pastures and over a beautiful stonework bridge to the South Peak summit. At the top take in a panoramic view of Woodstock, and rest a bit. You can retrace your steps to return to the Visitor Center, or take the One Less Traveled Trail, or North Peak Trail back to Mountain Road in order to see more of the forest.
Route 12, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
This route to the Pogue and South Peak offer a more gradual hike, and a chance to explore the west side of the National Park. From the parking area take Prosper Trail, at the beginning of which you will cross a long bridge. Stay on Prosper Trail until you reach McKenzie Road; turn left to McKenzie Road, then right on North Ridge Loop, then right again at the bottom of the hill to the Pogue. Take a left and walk about a third of the way around the Pogue and picking up Mountain Road on the left; take that downhill to a right on Mount Tom Road, and follow that all the way to South Peak. Retrace your steps to return to the parking area, or alternatively take McKenzie Road instead of Prosper Trail.
This trail can be taken as an alternate route to or from South Peak or the Pogue. It is a narrower woods trail that is parallel with Mountain Road until it takes a sharp turn to the southeast and leads to North Peak. The grade is not steep, but the footing is difficult at times. Beautiful views into the old-growth hemlock-hardwood forest.
For those seeking a more adventurous outing the Precipice trail is a rugged hike on the rocky southwestern side of Mount Tom. Much of the trail is only a small ledge on the side of a steep rock face. Do not attempt this hike in the rain or without sturdy footwear. To take another route back use your Walk Woodstock map.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, off of The Mountain Road
Cross the bridge then climb south through a cow pasture and field. After entering the woods continue on a moderate incline to a view of Mount Ascutney to the south. You may choose to hike further; however there is no road access for several miles. Note: For hikers who seek a short experience on the AT with a nice view: Walk just the first .25 mile up the cow pasture to a beautiful view looking north.
Cross the small bridge to the right of the parking space. Note: Watch out for a very muddy section on this trail. You will cross two dirt roads before reaching Pomfret Road. (one of the smaller roads does not appear on the map). Be careful when crossing Pomfret Brook at the end of this section since there is no bridge.
Brooks and stonewalls present. Less elevation gain than Pomfret Road to Cloudland Road.
Pomfret Road. Parking area 0.25 miles after Bartlett Brook Road on the left
Route 12 to Stage Road (AT North)
Facing the display side of the kiosk, take the trail to the right from the parking lot. Cross Route 12 and climb up Dana Hill. There is about ½ mile of strenuous climbing to the top of Dana Hill. There’s a beautiful view! You may choose to come back to the Route 12 trailhead or to continue to Stage Road.
Route 12. Parking area 0.5 miles past North Bridgewater Road on the left