Come and explore the great outdoors of Barr Hill. View All
Barr Hill is the highest point in Greensboro. From the open field at the trailhead there is a stunning, nearly panoramic view that sweeps from Spruce and Signal Mountains at Groton State Park to the southern Green Mountains, Woodbury Mountain, Camel’s Hump, Elmore Mountain and Mount Mansfield.
Barr Hill Preserve is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy of Vermont. The Philip Gray family donated this land, which was immortalized in Wallace Stegner’s book Crossing to Safety, to the Conservancy in 1972. Every spring, volunteers maintain the trail.
There is a self-guided, 1/3-mile or 4/5-mile trail loop on the preserve. Both are easy hikes, ideal for children.
From a spur trail, there is a magnificent view of Caspian Lake, which appears suspended in mid-air. Further along the loop there are views to the northwest of Belvidere Mountain and Jay Peak.
The trail traverses fern glades and a ledge outcropping once ground down by glaciers and passes through dark, coniferous woods where you’ll find beds of sphagnum moss so thick it’s tempting to stretch out and take a nap. Barr Hill is also an excellent place for bird watching. If you have binoculars you may see hawks and northern ravens from the trail lookouts.
Stone fire rings are available for picnickers. In winter, ski trails from the Highland Lodge in Greensboro cross the preserve. A nature trail brochure is available at the trail sign-in box.
A forest of northern white cedars, white spruce, red spruce and balsam fir covers the summit. There are also deciduous trees here—sugar maples, red maples, yellow birch and American beech. Along the trail you’ll find six species of Lycopodium or club moss.
Cape May warblers nest here in the spring and summer. Boreal chickadees live in the conifers year round. Some of the mammals you’re most likely to see are the eastern chipmunk, red squirrel, and snowshoe hare. If you're lucky, you may also happen upon the pygmy shrew, one of the world’s smallest mammals.
Drive north out of Greensboro and turn right at the Greensboro Town Hall. The Greensboro Elementary School is on your left. Just 0.6 miles from the town hall turn left at the first fork and follow the sign for the Barr Hill Nature Preserve. You’ll pass a dairy farm and then a red barn just before the preserve entrance. Continue straight ahead. (The road is closed to vehicles during mud season.) Continue uphill through the preserve for 0.6 mile to the parking area on the left. The nature trail begins here.