The Joseph Battell Wilderness is located in the northern half of the Green Mountain National Forest, just south of the Breadloaf Wilderness. There are five mountains in the area with altitudes exceeding 3,000 feet: Monastery Mountain, Worth Mountain, Romance Mountain, Mount Horrid, and Philadelphia Peak. The area is a rare ecological gem. It contains many patches of large, mature northern hardwoods, the longest section of roadless and trailless ridgeline on the Green Mountain National Forest, and the headwaters of Bingo Brook, one of the most pristine, high-quality trout streams in Vermont. Because of its remoteness, the area provides critical habitat for black bear. In addition, 17 rare, threatened, and endangered plant and animal species have been identified on Mount Horrid alone. Much of this wilderness was earmarked to be forever wild long before it was acquired by the Forest Service. The core of the area - Monastery Mountain to Worth Mountain to Romance Mountain - was bequeathed as a "park" to Middlebury College by Joseph Battell in 1915. In his will, Battell directed the trustees of these lands to "preserve as far as reasonably may be the forests of said park, and neither to cut nor permit to be cut thereon any trees whatsoever except such as are dead or down and such as it may be necessary to cut in making and repairing needful roads; it being a principal object of this [will] to preserve intact such wild lands as a specimen of the original Vermont forest." Middlebury sold nearly all of Battell's lands to the Forest Service in the 1930s and 1950s. Despite Battell's intentions, the college sold the lands without restrictions. It was the sale of these very lands that prompted the Federal government to create the northern unit of the Green Mountain National 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 Joseph Battell 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.