Haystack Mountain

Wilmington, Vermont 05363

Haystack Mountain

Haystack Mountain Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A relaxing half-day family hike to a southern Green Mountain summit overlooking Haystack Pond. A simple jaunt to a modest summit, the Haystack Mountain Trail owes much to a
Nordic tradition.

Ensconced near a hub of winter recreation, this gradual route is designed to transport cross-country skiers from the open woods of a shallow ravine to a mountainous ridge that stretches to Mount Snow. In warmer months, the trail doubles as a great family hike, quickly trading its ski resort favor for the freshness of a hardwood forest and excellent summit views."

More Haystack Mountain Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Day Hikes in Vermont (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Jennifer Lamphere Roberts
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"This pleasant cruise up a mellow ridge leads to a rocky top with views of nearby Haystack Pond and distant peaks."
Best Hikes with Dogs: New Hampshire & Vermont (The Mountaineers Books)
Lisa Densmore
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"There are at least three Haystack Mountains in Vermont with trails on them: one to the far north near Jay Peak, one near Lake Willoughby (also north), and the other to the far south by Mount Snow. The trail described here is the southernmost one. From a skier’s point of view, Haystack Mountain, a satellite ski area to giant Mount Snow, is of little consequence. But from a hiker’s point of view, Haystack offers more dog-friendly hiking, particularly since Mount Snow’s trail system is a mecca for mountain bikers. The hike up the Haystack Mountain Trail is primarily wooded and relatively gradual the entire way, making it a perfect hike for pups and older dogs."
Best Hikes with Kids: Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine (The Mountaineers Books)
Cynthia Copeland, Thomas J. Lewis, & Emily Kerr
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"Attention nervous parents! We’ve found the perfect mountaintop for you! Haystack’s partially treed, conical summit rewards you with the great views you’ve earned after a 2-mile climb while giving the kids what they want for their efforts: a safe place to explore and roam, romp, and cavort. The climb is steady, but within the abilities of most kids, who will enjoy the walk through pretty forests and alongside babbling creeks. If you’ve been looking for a worry-free mountain to climb with your own “Dennis the Menace” or with a group of curious little tykes, read on!"
"A pleasant, gradual climb to a small rocky summit with excellent views, especially to the east into New Hampshire. The rocky perch at the summit over Haystack Pond is a perfect picnic spot. Haystack Mountain is a common name for peaks in the Northeast. The name comes from the mountain’s shape, which resembles a giant stack of hay. During the 1800s much of Vermont’s woodlands were cleared for farming. While most of those fields have grown back into forest, and the remaining farmers now make large bales instead view of Haystack Pond from the summit of Haystack Mountain."

Haystack Mountain Trip Reports

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We snowshoed this hike. It was like a winter wonderland especially the last climb to the top which is a small track overhung with fir trees. Beautiful!
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A really nice hike. The directions to get there are a little confusing though. Take the road towards Chimney Hill and then you'll see Chimney Hill Rd. The trail was covered in a light coating of snow when we went up which made keeping on it a little easier since we could just follow the footprints. Keep a sharp eye out for the blue diamond trail markers as they are few and far between and the turn off just before the top was hard to find so look carefully after you traverse the muddy stream area. Overall, a terrific hike and a beautiful view from the top.
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Hiked up Haystack Mountain on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I took my two year old Chocolate Lab for an enjoyable walk in the woods. I found the trail in very good condition. There were some icy spots toward the summit but in general just a nice hike. Great 180 degree view from the top...cold and windy.

I thought this was a great first mountain for my dog who can sometimes be a bit hyper when out in the woods.

From the car to the summit and back was just about 3 hours.
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Easy, peaceful hike. One section was flooded. Good views -- not quite 360. Would be good for kids.
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Moderate hike in November. Was a little muddy. When you get to the top of the mountain, it's a little hard to search out the vantage points where you have a view not blocked by trees.
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The climb was pretty tough, but when we reached the top it was snowy and beautiful. The view was breathtaking. Naturally, the way down was much easier.
It is important to remember to read about the trail's route. We didn't and ended up going to the ponds and had to come back for the rest of the climb.
Last, it seems like it will be impossible to walk this trail again before spring, as it was muddy and cold already in October.

Haystack Mountain Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
1,020 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Manchester Ranger District, 2538 Depot Street, Manchester Center, VT 05255; (802) 362-2307
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Snow quad
Local Maps

Trail Log