The Town Forest is a beautiful and historic 370 acres of reclaimed land lovingly maintained by the Millstone Trails Association. This land provides the town with scenic vistas, recreational opportunities including 20 miles of hiking trails, timber production, wildlife habitat and water protection. Protection of the land as a conserved Town Forest also ensures public access, safeguards drinking water resources, supports the local timber, recreation, and tourism economies, and provides occasional timber revenue to the Town.
Obtained in 2013 with assistance from The Trust for Public Land (TPL) , the Barre Town Forest is comprised of 5 forested properties totaling 355 acres, combined with 25.7 acres already owned by the Town. This project was completed as part of the TPL's Community Forest Program and the Vermont Town Forest Project. Funding was provided by the Town of Barre, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont Recreation Trails Grant Program, the Open Space Institute, the Federal Community Forest Program, the Millstone Trails Association, and many other foundations and private individual donors.
The Town Forest has fascinating history. The quarry area of Millstone Hill was once home to some of the first granite quarries in Barre, established in 1790. The mining of these quarries created a boomtown economy for Barre at the time, but they have not been quarried for over a hundred years and since been reclaimed by nature. Unlike most industrial work, the mining of the quarries has produced beautiful bodies of water and views within the Forest. Evidence of the quarry mines themselves can still be found scattered in the Town Forest.
Come visit the Town Forest for cross country skiing, fishing, hiking, hunting, snowshoeing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, bird watching, disc golf and more. But please respect the Leave No Trace guidelines, and practice Carry In, Carry Out. There are two parking areas for the Town Forest, one at 44 Brook Street and one at 111 Barclay Quarry Road.
Information about other events not organized by Barre Town can be found on the Barre Town Forest Friends Facebook Page.