Open to the Public
Come see the ample amount of plants and animals residing in this area. View All
This preserve is one of the largest low-elevation, mature forest stands in the Champlain Valley. The soils here are deep and rich, and the mesic red oak-northern hardwood forest is one of the finest in western Vermont. Willmarth Woods flanks the 1,215-acre Snake Mountain Wildlife Management Area where there are eight rare plants and two known uncommon species, in addition to views of the Champlain Valley and the Adirondacks from the 1,287-foot Snake Mountain summit.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Conservancy selected this site because of its unusually fine, mature mesic red oak-northern hardwood forest.
What The Nature Conservancy is Doing
The Conservancy protected Willmarth Woods in 1992 and has since protected nearby habitat. Staff and volunteers are working to keep invasive species from threatening the natural communities at this natural area.
One of the trails leading to the summit of Snake Mountain begins at Willmarth Woods. Please read our Preserve Visitation Guidelines.
What to See: Plants
Beeches dominate the forest although sugar maples are nearly as abundant. Other trees here include white ash, hophornbeam, yellow birch, white pine, hemlock, American elm, and shagbark hickory. The understory is dominated almost exclusively by young beeches.
Dry limy cliffs and an oak forest dominate the upper reaches of the mountain, and there is a dwarf shrub bog on the summit. Common herbaceous species in the understory include sweet cicely, beech-drops, early meadow-rue, toothwort, red baneberry, large-flowered bellwort, bishop’s cap, hepatica, shinleaf, Canada violet, downy yellow violet, dwarf ginseng, Christmas fern and rattlesnake fern. Colonies of spring wildflowers, especially white trillium, dog-tooth violet and bloodroot are prolific.
What to See: Animals
Many common species of animals live on the mountain. It’s not unusual to see signs of white-tailed deer, coyote, bobcat, woodcock, turkey and ruffed grouse. In the fall, migrating hawks are attracted to the wind currents that provide uplift near the summit of Snake Mountain.
To get there by car, travel south from Vergennes on Route 22A past the town of Addison. Turn left onto Willmarth Road and left again onto Mountain Road. There is a parking lot on the left. The trail is across from Willmarth Road.