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Chaffee Falls-Ridge Trail►
The town of Pittsford in Vermont maintains a network of year-round public trails. Visitors can hike them in warmer months and ski cross country in the snowy season.
Our B&B owner recommended we try the Chaffee Falls loop. He recommended it because there aren’t many people using it and because it’s a fairly easy hike for the dogs. This loop is about two miles if you take the Ridge Trail arm.
We had a little trouble finding the small parking lot off Hitchcock Road. Look for a rough gravel road on the right with a small sign for Chaffee Falls Trail. Actually, since we drove past it and had to retrace our steps, it was on the left for us.
Once in the lot (with only one other car), we took the loop entrance on the left/north side of the lot. This way, we hit most of the steep climbs uphill at the beginning.
As we trudged up the buggy, yet scenic, Ridge Trail, we noticed paintings hanging randomly on some of the trees. I couldn’t find any information on the artist or why these canvases were on display in the woods. Odd, yet interesting.
As we came down from the ridge, the trail began to follow Furnace Brook. It was cooler on this side, with fewer mosquitoes.
We wondered if some of the smooth large rocks we saw along the way were marble. The patterns in some of them reminded me of a marble coffee table my grandmother owned. The Vermont Marble Museum is nearby.
But internet searches didn’t yield any geological information for this particular trail, other than to say that some of the large formations were likely deposited by glaciers 12000 years ago.
An interesting factoid turned up in my internet search. These Falls were likely named for a family of businessmen prominent in central Vermont since the 1800s. One of the modern descendants of that family is Suzie Chaffee, an Olympian, aka Suzie Chapstick for her appearance in Chapstick ads.
By the time we reached the Falls, there were more people in the park. Some were swimming in the river, enjoying the cool water. The dogs were not interested in getting wet, so we took a few photos and continued back on our way.
Overall, this is a lovely and moderate to easy hike. If my elderly little cockapoo can do it, anyone can.
Location: Hitchcock Rd, Pittsford, VT 05763
Designation: Town Trail
Date of my visit: 7/31/2020