The Glastenbury Wilderness is northeast of Bennington, beginning just north of Route 9. Seen from Route 7, the area possesses a massive and beautifully wild ridgeline that dominates the landscape to the east. Despite the area's proximity to Bennington, it is quiet and remote. The forestland and extensive stands of mature beech trees provide critical black bear habitat, and claw-marked beech trees are a common sight demonstrating the presence of bears throughout the area. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has identified Glastenbury as a region "supporting relatively high densities of cub-producing females, and an area containing critical habitats necessary to bear survival." The rich forest habitat of the Glastenbury area is home to a wide variety of birds. The presence of Bicknell's thrush (designated in Vermont as rare and of special concern) has been documented as well as Swainson's thrush, yellow-rumped warbler, Cape May warbler, winter wren, dark-eyed junco, and white-throated sparrow. Glastenbury offers extensive opportunities for backcountry recreation. The hilly terrain of the area includes several summits surpassing 2,000 feet and Mt. Glastenbury is over 3,700 feet in elevation. More than fifteen miles of trails offer access to hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers. The Long Trail/Appalachian Trail crosses the entire area from north to south by an old fire tower on the top of Glastenbury Mountain. Hell Hollow Brook, in the southern edge of the area, contributes to the public water supply of Bennington. The township of Glastenbury is almost entirely National Forest, but for much of the last one hundred years it was owned by one family. The timber magnate Trenor W. Park passed Glastenbury along to his grandson, Hall Park McCullough, whose grandson, Trenor Scott, sold most of his holdings to the Forest Service. A century ago, Glastenbury was completely clearcut to supply vast quantities of charcoal to the iron industry in nearby Shaftsbury and Troy, New York. Glastenbury is now a rich mosaic of balsam fir, red spruce, white and yellow birch, beech, and mountain ash. It is interspersed with patches of ferns, raspberries, blackberries, bluebead lily, and dwarf dogwood. It now supports mature forest.
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 Glastenbury 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.
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.