Williams Woods Natural Area

Williams Woods may be the best remaining mature valley clayplain forest in the Champlain Valley. This forest type is composed of white oak, red oak, red maple, white pine, shagbark hickory and white ash. Associated species include hemlock, sugar maple, beech and bur oak. Although this forest type once covered thousands of acres in the Champlain Valley, woodlands like these are now rare.

Recently we named the 1 mile trail at William Woods the "Hamilton Trail," after our long serving trustee, Dr. Lawrence S. Hamilton, who passed in the fall of 2016. His contributions to the conservation arena are too many to list but his impact as a professor, writer, nature advocate, community member and friend made an indelible impact both locally and globally. 

Size 63 acres

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site

Williams Woods is an excellent example of valley clayplain forest.

What the Conservancy is Doing

We hope to protect and restore other clayplain forests in the Lake Champlain region. The Conservancy’s stewardship team is controlling invasive plant species and maintaining the trail at Williams Woods.

There is a one-mile trail at this preserve and a short brochure is available for download. Williams Woods brochure (PDF, 720KB)  Please read our Preserve Visitation Guidelines.

What to See: Plants

There are five different natural community types within Williams Woods: a valley clayplain forest, a white pine and hemlock stand, mixed hardwoods, a marshy area along Thorp Brook, and a regenerating field.

What to See: Animals

Vernal pools associated with Thorp Brook are important breeding sites for amphibians. Williams Woods is home to a number of amphibians such as the blue-spotted salamander, the grey tree frog, and the red-spotted newt. Barred owls have been sighted in the forest as well.


5754 Greenbush Road, Charlotte, Vermont

From the north: Take Route 7 south and turn right at the stop light in Charlotte at Ferry Road, which is also called F-5. Drive 0.3 mile to the stop sign. Turn left onto Greenbush Road, also called CR 22K in the Vermont Gazetteer. Drive two miles then veer left. Be careful at this intersection. Stay left on Greenbush Road as it continues (paved) to the south. (If you come to a railroad crossing, you’ve mistakenly turned off onto Thomsons Point Road.) Travel approximately one mile further on Greenbush until you come to a green Williams Woods sign and the parking area on the right.

From the south: On Route 7, traveling north toward North Ferrisburg, turn left onto Greenbush Road Travel about 3.5 miles. Look for the green Williams Woods sign and the small parking area on the left.


Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

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Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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