Take a Tour of Brewster Uplands

Explore the Trails

As you cross Vermont’s historic Grist Mill Covered Bridge from route 108 in Jeffersonville, you’ll find yourself on a gravel road surrounded by a haven of hardwoods. You’ve reached the western edge of Brewster Uplands, a property generously donated in 2006 by the Bryan family.

Covered bridge with trailhead signs near it

A few more steps will bring you to the Alden Bryan Brewster River trailhead, a gateway to over seven miles of public trails. The Bryans devoted years to developing a trail network for all to enjoy.

bryan trail head sign and path through woods

The Alden Bryan Trail (1.2 miles) meanders south along hemlock forest and the tranquil Brewster River, where there are opportunities to view the river and its cascades (and get in!).

brewster river cascade and pool in summer

Take note of the short spur trail that goes to the Brewster River Falls. Time for a picnic!

cascasing waterfall with hemlock trees on the edges

From here, you could also choose to continue on the Alden Bryan Trail, which connects with the Midlands Mountain Bike Trails of the Brewster River Mountain Bike Club. It also connects to trails managed by the Cambridge Trails Committee that run further south all the way along the river to Smugglers Notch Resort trails.

Or, just past the falls spur trail you have the option of heading east on the Brewster River Connector Trail (.1 miles) to the West Farm Trail (1 mile). This trail is striking in every season, occasionally emerging from the forest to open fields and stunning views of Mt. Mansfield.

mount mansfield in distance on a summer day

VLT’s nonprofit West Farm is one of two working farms located on the property. The farm produces vegetables and herbs for Deep Root Organic Co-Op and local institutions such as schools and hospitals. Please note that the farms are not open to public recreation. Learn more about the farms and meet the farmers here.

The West Farm Trail  will take you upland to the one-mile-long Pond Loop. There are a mix of water features here including an alder swamp and vernal pools. Plant species in this area include many ferns (royal, bracken, cinnamon, and senstive fern) creeping snowberry, bunchberry, lady’s slipper, and mad-dog skullcap.

moose in pond with mountain in background

From the Pond Loop, a short stretch on farm roads will connect you with the property’s northern trails: Junction Hill Trail (.9 miles), Loggers Loop (.8 miles) and an old carriage road loop (.4 miles). These trails are relatively flat and wide like other trails on the property; however they are a bit more isolated and a great way to explore some of the more undisturbed, “backwoods” areas at Brewster Uplands. 

Brewster Upland’s trails are broad and flat, attracting the occasional horseback rider in addition to hikers, dog walkers, mountain bikers, and cross-country skiers. The paths are well-maintained and undemanding. “It’s a place where you can really find peace,” says VLT’s Ben Waterman.

wooden trail bridge in forest

 

Video Tour of Brewster Uplands

In the fall of 2020, we offered an online talk and tour of the property, which you can watch here. Trails, farm activities, and recent developments are covered.