Windmill Ridge

Windmill Ridge Hiking Trails

Map of Windmill Ridge Hiking Trails
Click on the map to download a pdf.

Trail Descriptions

Putney Mountain to Five Corners 2.7 miles – White trail markers: Climbs to peak of Putney Mountain, then continues rolling along ridge through northern hardwoods with patches of oak and savannah of sedges and hop hornbeam. Parking area at trailhead. Physical address of trailhead: 422 Putney Mountain Rd., Putney, Vermont.

Ridgeline Trail: Five Corners to the Pinnacle shelter 2.5 miles – White trail markers: Follows the spine of the Windmill Ridge. 0.8 mile north of Five Corners, wonderful views to the east and west during winter months when trees are leafless, Holden Knob view to the east of Sunapee and Monadnock mountains.  Near the Pinnacle, savanna ecosystem of red oaks, hop hornbeams, and sedges.

Headwaters Trail 0.8 mile – Blue trail markers: Downhill from the ridge steeply for 0.25 mile to Sacketts Brook, then uphill 0.45 mile. Features stone walls, signposts with information of interest, catchment and Headwaters of Sacketts Brook.

Cascade Trail 1.3 miles – Yellow trail markers: Steep ascent from Brookline, crosses seasonal water cascade. Stone barn foundation, nearby cellar hole (easy to spot in leafless seasons). Passes through hemlocks, nice mixed hardwoods with some massive oaks and ash towards top. Unsuitable for biking or horses. Trail closed in winter months to protect deer wintering yard. No parking available on Grassy Brook Rd.

Radford-Smith Trail 1.2 miles – Orange trail markers:  Starting at the parking area/kiosk at Grassy Road, this 1.2-mile trail crosses beautiful Grassy Brook on an iron bridge, then climbs steeply through ledges on a rough, narrow track, and continues as a gently rising trail to pass through a stone wall at 0.6 mile.  The trail then follows relatively level terrain for an additional 0.6 mile to terminate at junction with Cascade trail.  Physical address of trailhead: 1200 Grassy Brook Rd., Brookline, Vermont.

Holden Trail 1.4 miles – Red trail markers: Rolling uphill climb to the Pinnacle shelter (broad westward view from highest point in Westminster at +/- 1683 ft.), along old road, past historic cellar holes and stone walls featuring signposts with landmarks information. Parking area at trailhead and is plowed during winter. Physical address of trailhead: 1026 Windmill Hill Rd. North, Westminster, Vermont.

Jamie Latham Trail 2.0 miles – White trail markers: Rolling ridgeline hike from Pinnacle through mixed northern hardwood forest, near vernal pool and old beaver area, a favorite of mountain bikers. Parking area at trailhead, not plowed during winter. Physical address of trailhead: 132 Old County Rd., Athens, Vermont.

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Townline Trail 2.0 miles – Blue trail markers: Traverses west face of Windmill Ridge through mixed hardwoods, ledges, stone walls, and hemlock grove, rising 700 ft. in 1.6 miles. Crosses Grassy Brook via footbridge at west trail entry in Athens. No parking available on Brookline Rd.

Hemlock Trail 0.8 mile to Ledges, Ledges to Athens Access Trail 1.2 miles, Athens Access to Sugar Grove Trail 0.8, 3.1 miles total – White trail markers: Roughly follows the ridge through hemlock and northern hardwoods to panoramic westward view at Paul’s Ledges. Trail continues northward to junction with Athens Access Trail, then to Sugar Grove Trail.

Athens Access Trail 0.8 mile – Red trail markers: Steep climb through dense hemlock forest. Upon approaching the height of the ridge, trail levels out into hardwoods. Parking area at trailhead, not plowed in the winter. Physical address of trailhead: 37 Valley Cemetery Rd., Athens, Vermont.

Sugar Grove Trail  0.8 mile - White trail markers: Passes through commercial sugarbush along woods road. Follows, then passes through stone wall, and along level terrain at edge of wetland to Bemis Hill Rd. No parking available on Bemis Hill Rd.

Sugar Grove Trail to Bemis Hill Trail – 0.9 mile – White trail markers: Follow Bemis Hill Rd. northward past Dunn Nature Trail trailhead, kiosk, and parking area to Bemis Hill Trail entrance on west side of Bemis Hill Rd.

Bemis Hill Trail – 2 miles – White trail markers: Continues northward through mixed hardwoods and softwoods through towns of Westminster, Rockingham, and Athens, along stone walls to waterfall and remarkable stone retaining wall at junction of Class 4 Ober Hill Rd. Trail crosses Ober Hill Rd. Continues through mixed woodland, slowly descending to Bull Creek. Parking available at Dunn Nature Trail area and Route 35 Athens Dome trailhead/kiosk.

Dunn Nature Trail (Stephen Martin Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary) 1.1 miles – Blue trail markers: Moderate with a couple of steep sections, majestic northern hardwood forest relatively undisturbed for more than half a century. Fourteen signposts for features with two brochures (oriented to adult or child) at the trailhead. Parking is available at trailhead, not plowed in the winter. The physical address of the trailhead is 1522 Bemis Hill Rd., Westminster, Vermont.

Soapstone Quarry
Hikers on Windmill Ridge

Athens Dome Area Map

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Athens Dome Area Map

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