Description - With 350,000 acres and over 500 miles of trails stretching over two-thirds the length of Vermont, the Green Mountain National Forest offers endless opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to get into the great outdoors all year long. From rugged mountaintops to secluded streams, you'll discover the ideal place for every activity from birding, berry picking, canoeing to cross-country skiing, mountain biking and snowmobiling. The legendary Appalachian Trail and Long Trail run through the Forest with a network of well-maintained shelters spaced a day's hike apart.
The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park is named for George Perkins Marsh, one of the nation's first global environmental thinkers, who grew up on the property, and for Frederick Billings, an early conservationist who established a progressive dairy farm and professionally managed forest on the former Marsh farm. Frederick Billings' granddaughter, Mary French Rockefeller, and her husband, conservationist Laurance S. Rockefeller, sustained Billings's mindful practices in forestry and farming on the property over the latter half of the 20th century.
- The Green Mountain is Vermont's National Forest. Hills and mountains, ponds and brooks, it is a recreation jewel. With over 350,000 acres, it represents 50% of all public lands in Vermont. The Forest is among the region's leading attractions for outdoor enthusiasts, yet at the same time, a carefully supervised supplier of timber, wildlife habitat and clean water.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park was created in 1992, when the Rockefellers gifted the estate's residential and forest lands to the people of the United States. Today, the Park interprets the history of conservation with tours of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller mansion and the surrounding 550-acre forest. Working in partnership, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and the Billings Farm & Museum present historic and contemporary examples of conservation stewardship and explain the lives and contributions of George Perkins Marsh, Frederick Billings and his descendants, and Mary and Laurance S. Rockefeller.
Recreation - The Green Mountain National Forest is a four-season (some say six with mud and Black Fly season) recreation experience. The most popular season is autumn when the mountains are ablaze with color. Summer is popular for camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing and canoeing. Winter brings out skiers (both downhill and cross-country), snowboarders, snowmobilers, and snowshoe enthusiasts. In spring, the Forest bursts forth from the grip of winter with emerging leaves on the trees, migrating birds, and blooming wildflowers that are visible along many of the Forest trails.
Visitors to Marsh-Billing-Rockefeller National Historical Park can explore an extensive network of carriage roads and trails through one of the nation's oldest continuously managed forests, established by Frederick Billings in the 1880's on the deforested flanks of Mount Tom. Guided tours and public programs are offered on the history of the forest and larger estate landscape with a special focus on conservation history and the stewardship of working landscapes and countryside. Also, tours of the 19th century Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller mansion feature landscape paintings by Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and Asher B. Durand, as well as artists and photographers who in their day helped to shape popular perceptions of the environment. Hiking, nature study and cross-country skiing are recreational activities available to visitors.
Climate - Vermont's climate varies somewhat depending on region. Generally, the state experiences mild summers with temperatures rarely reaching 90 degrees F. Often summer lows will dip to 50 degrees and by late August temperatures begin to cool. The mountainous regions of the state have seen snow fall in every month, so be prepared for cooler temperatures if staying in those areas.
Winters can be harsh and long in this northern state. Snow is likely to fall anytime between September and April. Humidity makes winter weather seem bitter and usually a few weeks during the winter see night time temperature below zero. The average winter temperature is 20 degrees F with highs reaching into the forties on warm days.
The Green Mountain National Forest is divided into two separate sections. One section is in central Vermont and the other in southern Vermont. The Forest Headquarters is located in Rutland, with Forest offices also in Manchester, Rochester and Middlebury.
The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is located on Vermont Route 12, 1/2 mile north of the Woodstock Village Green. The park shares a parking lot and Visitor Center with the Billings Farm & Museum. From Boston and points East: take I-93 North to I-89 North. Follow I-89 through Lebanon, NH into Vermont; take Exit 1/Route 4 West through Quechee and Taftsville to Woodstock (10 miles from Exit 1). From Burlington and points North: take I-89 South to Exit 1/Route 4 West and continue through Quechee and Taftsville to Woodstock (10 miles from Exit 1).