Eastern Region Viewing Area
LOCATION and PHOTOS
Forest: Green Mountain National Forest
District: Middlebury Ranger District
Description: Leicester Hollow, near Forest Dale, Vermont, is a narrow, steep-sided, forested valley, with an unusually rich flora due, in part, to the underlying Forestdale Marble bedrock. The southern end of the trail traverses the west side of the hollow, eventually leading down to a wide trail on gentle terrain at the bottom of the valley that follows Leicester Hollow Brook north to Silver Lake, an excellent spot to picnic or swim. This trail also intersects with the Chandler Ridge Trail to the west, which is more or less parallel to it, though higher in elevation. The
Chandler Ridge Trail offers the hiker a good opportunity to walk through a dry oak woodland, a community that is rare in Vermont.
Viewing Information: Simply by hiking the 2.5-mile trail north to Silver Lake, a wildflower enthusiast can see wild ginger (Asarum canadense), large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), walking fern (Asplenium rhizophyllum), and probably at least 70 other species of tree, shrub, wildflower, or fern. The best time for seeing the most blooming wildflowers is usually late spring to early summer.
Safety First: This hollow is known for its abundant mosquito and black fly populations; long pants, long-sleeve shirt, head net, and bug repellant are advised. In many seepy spots, stinging nettle is abundant along trail edges, but can be easily avoided by staying on the trail. The adjacent Chandler Ridge Trail is very steep at its southern end, and the trail is quite rocky in places, making it easy to trip and fall.
Directions: From Route 73 in Forest Dale, take Route 53 north 1.5 miles to the Minnie Baker Trail Head on the east side of the road. From there, hike the Minnie Baker Trail, which also has many beautiful wildflowers, east a little over a mile to its junction with the Leicester Hollow Trail.
Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Green Mountain National Forest, Middlebury District (802) 388-4362.
Closest Town: Forest Dale, Vermont