White Rocks: Green Mountain National Forest

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Green Mountain National Forest►

We visited the White Rocks Area of Green Mountain National Forest on our way home from Vermont. Green Mountain National Forest is one of only two national forests in New England. It encompasses over 800,000 acres.

Pinchot, the first chief of the US Forest Service, promoted ‘managed conservation.’ This is different than the National Park Service’s mission of preservation for our public lands. Conservation allows for responsible, partial commercial use of National Forests. Green Mountains receives funding from the ski areas on Forest lands.

White Rocks National Recreation Areaa►

The Vermont Wilderness Act of 1984 created the White Rocks National Recreation Area. It lies within the Green Mountain National Forest. White Rocks Mountain rises 2600 feet in the center of this park.

During the Ice Age, glaciers exposed the white cliffs on the mountainside. Over time erosion caused rockslides, resulting in large piles of Quartzite boulders in the valley. This valley of talus piles is Chaos Canyon.

These huge rock piles protect winter ice well into summer. The icy water that flows from under them lowers the temperature by 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit.

We parked at the Ice Beds trail head in Wallington. The 1.6 mile trail to the ice beds is moderate, with a steep ascent to two overlooks near the beginning of the trail. From the vista points, we could see the white rock cliffs and the valley to the South.

After the second overlook, the trail descends into the valley. We walked over a stream and then found ourselves at the base of a mountain of boulders. We could feel the cooler temperature rising from the ice beds underneath.

The dogs and I rested in the comfort of nature’s air conditioning while my husband attempted to climb to the top. But what we thought was the summit really wasn’t. When my husband got there, he couldn’t see an end to the rock pile.

As we made our way back to the car, it started to drizzle. We tried to pick up the pace, but the rocky trail became slippery. Fortunately, we made it back without injury.

Green Mountain Posts►

Location: Sugar Hill Rd, Wallingford, VT 05773
Designation: National Forest
Date Designated/Established: April 25, 1932
Date of my visit: 8/2/2020