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U.S. Forest Service

Eastern Region Viewing Area


Aralia nudicaulis. The inflorescence of wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis) blooms beneath its leaves in late spring and early summer. Photo by Deb Le Blanc. Photo by Gudrun B. Keszocze.

Geranium robertianum. Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) shows pink blossoms later in the summer. Photo by Gudrun B. Keszocze.

Monotropa uniflora. The ghostly Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora) flowers in summer. Photo by Gudrun B. Keszocze.

Broad Brook Trail

Forest: Green Mountain National Forest

District: Manchester Ranger District

Description: Tall stately hemlocks and large old white pines grow in this steep-sided ravine, where the trail follows along a beautiful brook. A variety of hardwood trees also grow there, including sugar maple, red maple, yellow birch, sweet birch, red oak, white ash, basswood, striped maple, mountain maple, black cherry, and American elm. Many seeps can be found along the trail, and some extend up the slope to the south.

Wildflower viewing: Among the many flowering plants in the understory are large-leaved aster, wild ginger, red baneberry, doll's eyes, sweet cicely, partridgeberry, hog peanut, sanicle, blue cohosh, round-lobed hepatica, Canada mayflower, Indian cucumber, violets, rose twisted stalk, false Solomon's seal, golden Alexanders, herb Robert, wild sarsaparilla, Indian pipe, and a variety of goldenrods; attractive nonflowering plants include maidenhair fern, rattlesnake fern, and scouring rush. The ravine has been a desired location for botanizing for well over 100 years, including for Williams College students in the late 1800s.

Safety First: This trail parallels Broad Brook and crosses it several times. These crossings can be challenging in the spring. Watch your footing, and turn back if the water looks to high, or the footing is too slippery.

Directions: The west end of Broad Brook Trail begins on White Oaks Road in Pownal, Vermont, near the Vermont and Massachusetts state line. From the junction of Route 2 and Route 7 in Williamstown, Massachusetts, follow Route 2 east 0.6 miles to Cole Avenue. Turn left and follow Cole Avenue 0.8 miles to its end at North Hoosac Road. From there, continue 0.8 miles west on North Hoosac and Bridges Road to White Oaks Road. Continue 1.2 miles on White Oaks Road north to the Vermont border and the crossing of Broad Brook. Parking lot is on the east side of the road just beyond the state border. From White Oaks Road, this trail ascends 3.7 miles to the northeast, ending at Risky Ranch Road. For more information, contact MaryBeth Deller, Botanist for the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest.

Closest Towns: Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Pownal, Vermont.