Named after Big Branch Stream, this area provides a home for wild turkeys, beavers, and moose. Hunters track the substantial populations of white-tailed deer and black bears, while trout lure anglers to Big Branch Stream and Lake Brook. Approximately 80 percent of the forest leafs out in northern hardwoods--maple, beech, and birch--and straddles the steep slopes and summits of the Green Mountains. Red spruce, balsam fir, and hemlock pretty much fill out the rest of the trees. Elbow Swamp, a large wetland, lies on the eastern edge of the Wilderness, and hikers who intend to wander there should wear rubber boots. The weather is cool from spring through fall, followed by long, snowy winters that attract cross-country skiers. The Appalachian Trail/Long Trail crosses the area for approximately five miles and, with side trails, allows you to explore Big Branch with numerous camping opportunities. Climbing up to Baker Peak is a rewarding view. Bring a map and compass and wander off-trail for a more vivid Vermont Wilderness experience.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Big Branch Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Vermont Wilderness Act of 1984 - Public law 98-322 (6/19/1984) To designate certain National Forest System lands in the state of Vermont for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System and to designate a National Recreation Area
New England Wilderness Act of 2006 - Public law 109-382 (12/1/2006) To designate certain land in New England as wilderness for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation system and certain land as a National Recreation Area, and for other purposes.