Parks & Recreation Areas of Guilford

Guilford Fair Grounds

Best known for the annual Guilford Fair, the fair grounds are owned by the Guilford Fair Association, All Guilford citizens are members of the Fair Association. The grounds and buildings can be rented for special occasions. Contact David Franklin at 802-254-2228 to make arrangements.

Whittemore Park

Adjacent to the Guilford Fair Grounds, this park is owned and maintained by the Guilford Recreation Club. All Guilford residents are members of the Club. The park includes the following recreational resources which are available for use by members:

  • Tennis court (walk up around locked gate for access)

  • Baseball field

  • Picnic shelter and table

  • Log cabin with bunk beds for 8, wood heat, gas stove and lights.

The Boy Scouts hold the key for the cabin and use it for meetings. Contact Bevan Quinn, troop leader, at 254-6171 for reservations and access to the cabin.

Weeks Memorial Forest

The Andrew Q. Weeks Memorial Forest consists of 171 acres given in his memory to the New England Forest Foundation and the Vermont Land Trust in 1992 for demonstration harvests. A lovely trail lined with sugar maples follows the brook and is suitable for all ages and hiking abilities.  Another trail located across the brook is suitable for experienced hikers.  This trail, traversing a sizeable area that has been logged, offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing. A map is available at www.newenglandforestry.org.

 

Fort Dummer State Park

The 217-acre park is located in the towns of Guilford, Vernon, and Brattleboro. The park has a campground with 50 tent/trailer sites and 10 lean-to sites, a picnic area, hiking trails, and a large open field. It is open for camping from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend and for hiking and other activities from dawn to dusk throughout the year. A park map and guide are available at

www.vtstateparks.com and at the entrance on Old Guilford Road in Brattleboro.  An entrance fee is charged from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Note: A free day pass for Fort Dummer State Park is available to Guilford residents at the Town Clerk's office.

The park is named for Fort Dummer, the first permanent European settlement in Vermont. Built on the frontier in 1724, and named after William Dummer, then lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, it was the gateway to the early settlements along the banks of the Connecticut River. Forty-three English soldiers and 12 Mohawk Indians manned the fort in 1724 and 1725. Later, the fort protected what was then a Massachusetts colony from invasion during the French and Indian War. Housing 12 guns, and made from sturdy white pine timber stacked like a log cabin, Fort Dummer served its purpose well. Established in 1962, Fort Dummer State Park overlooks the former site of Fort Dummer which was flooded when the Vernon Dam was built on the Connecticut River in 1908. A monument to Fort Dummer stands one mile south of the Brattleboro railway station, near the former site of the fort. The land comprising the park was acquired by the Vermont Agency of Transportation in the 1950s when construction of Interstate 91 cut the property off from the rest of the town of Guilford. In the early 1960s the land was transferred to the Department of Forests and Parks. The park encompasses of 217 acres of forest. It consists of a campground, three short hiking trails and a picnic area. Located in the southern foothills of the Green Mountains, the forest is more like those of southern New England than like a typical Vermont forest. Southern tree species such as white, red and chestnut oak are dominant hardwoods.

Fort Dummer State Park Amenities:

  • 50 campsites for tents or RVs

  • 10 lean-to shelters

  • Hiking/walking trails

  • Firewood and ice sales

 

Sweet Pond State Park

This 100-acre state park in Guilford offers a quiet 1.3-mile woodland trail around Sweet Pond, paddling, and swimming from the dam. A park map and guide are available at www.vtstateparks.com.

Sweet Pond State Park was established in 1976 when the State of Vermont purchased a 100-acre tract of land with funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The park is named after Dr. Charles and Susan Sweet, who maintained a summer home on the property for much of the 20th century.

Located in the southeastern Vermont town of Guilford, the park is less than 1 1⁄2 miles from the Massachusetts border, and is nine miles south- west of Brattleboro. The park includes all of the shoreline of 20-acre Sweet Pond. The pond is an artificial impoundment on Keats Brook; a dam was re-established here in the mid 19th century to power a mill. The land was originally settled by the Franklin family, who farmed the land for more than 150 years beginning in 1777. The Franklin Cemetery lies within the park.

The park is undeveloped, except for the Sweet family homestead, a public parking area and a foot trail. There are traces visible of historic farmsteads and roads on the property. The 1.3 mile Sweet Pond Trail circumnavigates the pond. The park is managed for dispersed recreation, wildlife habitat and timber production. The park is open for day activities; camping or overnight use is not permitted. Hiking and paddling are the most common activities here.

 

Weatherhead Hollow Pond

This 33-acre pond, completed in 1965, is maintained by the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife. It includes a fishing and boating access area.

 

Roaring Brook Wildlife Area

This 1401-acre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in the towns of Guilford and Vernon is managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.  It is open to regulated hunting, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing. The WMA is accessible only from Vernon.  A map and guide are available online at www.vtfishandwildlife.com (type "Roaring Brook' in the search box).

Roaring Brook WMA is open to regulated hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing. Bounded by Interstate 91 on the west and by the Massachusetts border on the south, Roaring Brook Wildlife Management Area (WMA) consists of 1,401 acres in the towns of Guilford and Vernon. The WMA is broken up into 11 separate parcels ranging in size from 10 to 995 acres. The largest parcel borders the Vernon Town Forest (465 acres) thereby creating a 1,460-acre contiguous piece of public land. The majority of the WMA is owned by the State of Vermont in fee simple, and managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. However, timber rights were retained by the previous owners on 370 acres, and the Department owns only hunting rights on 37 acres. Access is limited due to the presence of I-91 and a lack of rights-of-way through the private lands on the remaining borders. Access is further complicated by the fragmented nature of the WMA. Several of the smaller disjointed parcels have no developed accesses. The larger parcel can be entered on foot through the Vernon Town Forest. The Town Forest provides parking at the end of Basin Road. This parcel may also be accessed via an unmaintained right of-way located off West Road. History Little is known of past land use except that a significant percentage of the area was open land and pasture. The bulk of the WMA was acquired in the early 1960’s when Interstate 91 was being constructed. Habitat Features Roaring Brook is situated in the southernmost portion of the Southern Vermont Piedmont biophysical region. Due to its location, many of the natural communities on the property are unique to Vermont and are more like those found in Massachusetts. Plant and tree species such as rhododendron, mountain laurel, scarlet and white oak, and American chestnut can found on the property. There are several wetlands within the WMA, and Roaring Brook flows through the center of the main parcel. The WMA is mostly forested with a mixture of hemlock and hardwood trees. A significant percentage of the hardwoods are white and red oak which provide an important food source for many wildlife species. Five hundred sixty-five (565) acres of the WMA function as deer wintering area. Jefferson’s salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonium) is a rare species that occurs here. Significant natural communities found on Roaring Brook WMA are vernal pools, wetlands, red maple-black gum swamp, and sugar maple–ostrich fern riverine floodplain forest.

 

Common Fish and Wildlife

Mammals

Beaver, muskrat and mink can be found in and near the wetlands. Bear, moose, white-tailed deer, gray squirrel, snowshoe hare and fisher inhabit the upland sections of the WMA. Bear frequent seeps and wetlands in the spring to find early herbaceous growth for food.

Birds

Turkey and ruffed grouse are present on the WMA and can be hunted in season. Wood ducks are another game species that may be found. Over 25 species of songbirds have been identified on the WMA. Visitors may also hear the loud call of the pileated woodpecker.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Frog species include green and wood frog and spring peeper. Salamander species that have been found on the WMA include red spotted newt, Jefferson’s and spotted salamander.

Fish

There are wild brook trout in the waters of Roaring Brook WMA



 

Recreational Activities in Guilford

Baseball

A baseball field is located at Whittemore Park. oho

Biking

Although many roads in GuilfOrd offer pleasant cycling; the following roads are relatively level and have little or moderate traffic:

  • Ashworth Road (unimproved)

  • Green River Road (unpaved)

  • River Road (unpaved)

Weatherhead Hollow Road (paved)

Camping

Camping facilities are found at:

  • Fort Dummer State Park (tent/trailer sites and lean-tos)

  • Whittemore Park (log Cabin)

Fishing

A fishing license is required for those over 14 years old. Licenses are available at the Guilford Town Clerks office and online.

For more information go to www.vtfishandwildlife.com or call Vermont Fish & Wildlife at 802-241-3700.

Guilford's favorite fishing spots are:

  • Green River and its tributaries

  • Weatherhead Hollow Pond

  • Sweet Pond

  • Broad Brook

 

Hiking

The following trails in Guilford are Marked:

  • Guilford School Nature Trail, built by Guilford Central School students, is located on private land. Guilford citizens are permitted to walk the trail during school hours and when accompanied by a student.

  • Sweet Pond State Park trail 

  • Fort Dummer State Park trails

  • Weeks Memorial Forest

Guilford's trails and old roads also offer pleasant hiking.  The following old roads, although not marked with trail signs, are easily followed:

  • Burrows Plain Road

  • Stark Road

  • Bullock Road to Guilford Center

  • Ashworth Road

Horseback Riding

Many of Guilford's unpaved roads, old roads, and hiking trails may be,used for horseback riding.

Hunting

A hunting license is required. More information is available at www.vtfishandwildlife.com or call Vermont Fish & Wildlife at 802-241-3700.

Ice Skating

Although Guilford does not maintain any skating areas, favorable conditions offer good skating at:

Sweet Pond

Weatherhead Hollow Pond

Green River Dam Mill Pond

Paddling

Non-motorized boating is permitted in:

  • Sweet Pond

  • Weatherhead Hollow Pond . ,

  • Green River (seasonal canoeing and kayaking)

Picnicking

Quiet picnic spots are abundant throughout town and include the following sites:

(Note: Only Fort Dummer and Whittemore Park have picnic facilities.)

  • Fort Dummer State Park

  • Sweet Pond State Park

  • Green River Dam

  • Weatherhead Hollow Pond

  • Whittemore Park

Snowmobiling

The Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) trails in Guilford are maintained by the Guilford Pitstoppers. Many trails cross private land with permission granted for use only during the snow season and only by VAST members. They are not open to ATVs, four-wheelers, motor or mountain bikes, hiking, horseback riding or other uses, unless authorized by landowners. A Guilford snowmobile trail map and contact information are available at www.pitstoppers.com. (Note: Because the trails some-times change, they are not Shown on this guide's map.)

 

Snowshoeing & Cross-country Skiing

Favorite sites include:

  • Guilford's hiking trails and old roads

  • 1-mile trail at Sweet Pond State Parka

Swimming

Favorite swimming spots include:

  • The Green River Dam is a National Historic Site maintained by the Green River Village Preservation Trust. Swimming is open to all Guilford residents in the millpond above and the pools below the dam.

  • Sweet Pond. The best access is at-the dam.

Tennis

A tennis court is located at Whittemore Park.

Wildlife Viewing

Two favorite sites are:

  • Roaring Brook Wildlife Management Area

  • Weeks Memorial Forest