Located in Braintree, Vermont, 1,547 acres pristine hiking trails, backcountry skiing opportunities, and scenic overlooks from the top of 3,000 foot peaks are just a few of the reasons why Braintree Mountain Forest is the Featured Forest of the month. Donated by Paul Kendall and Sharon Rives in 2013, the forest brings together a community of outdoor enthusiasts from around New England.
Paul Kendall grew up spending summers on his family’s property in Braintree, Vermont. His family would spend the morning working on the house or in the woods, and the afternoon exploring the surrounding woods, creeks, and mountains. Now retired, Paul lives on the family property with his wife, Sharon Rives. Paul and Sharon gradually purchased the surrounding forestland with the goal of conserving the working forest forever. After considering many land trusts and conservation organizations, New England Forestry Foundation stood out as the best fit to meet Paul’s and Sharon’s conservation goals. In 2013, Paul and Sharon donated 1,547 acres to NEFF, ensuring that the land will remain a working forest while also providing recreational opportunities to the public.
Today, Paul and Sharon continue to enjoy the trails in Braintree Mountain Forest. Every fall, Paul, Sharon, and a handful of friends and volunteers hike the trails with handsaws and loppers, maintaining and improving the pristine trails on the property.
The parking lot, trailhead, and kiosk are located at the intersection of Riford Brook Road and Laroque Road in Braintree, VT. Multiple trail loops offer varying degrees of difficulty and length, and Braintree Mountain Forest trails connect to surrounding trail systems for extended hiking opportunities. There is a 1,000-foot gain in elevation from the trailhead to the ridgeline, and the forest includes four peaks in the Braintree Mountain Range. In the winter, glades on Braintree Mountain offer excellent backcountry skiing opportunities.