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Stream in forestlandUnlock the potential of Scrag Town Forest in Waitsfield...

Many of us in the Valley have long enjoyed Waitsfield’s Scrag Town Forest for its natural beauty and many recreation opportunities, such as hiking, bird-watching, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, and hunting. As you may know, the Town of Waitsfield has a one-time opportunity to purchase an adjoining 110-acre property that is a critical gateway to the Town Forest. Town ownership make our treasured public land more accessible for community recreation, and protect headwater streams, wildlife habitat and undeveloped forestland along the Northfield Mountains.

Thanks to the generosity of some Valley residents, we have met our initial private fundraising goal of $125,000 to help Waitsfield acquire and permanently conserve this 110-acre Gateway Parcel! These private donations provided $75,000 to supplement federal, state and town grants for the acquisition, and $50,000 to support the town’s stewardship of the land and improvements to public access.

Let’s fulfill our community vision for the Scrag Town Forest!

With your help, we can reach our ultimate goal: to raise the final $80,000 needed to realize the full potential of the Scrag Forest for our community. This money will be used to develop new trails with good signage and public information, enhance wildlife habitat, and cover the Town’s plowing and sanding responsibilities on Bowen Road to provide public access to the town forest in the winter.  




Hiker on top of Scrag Mountain

Our Economy

The forest will...

  • enhance the attractiveness of Waitsfield to visitors and bolster our local economy, by providing opportunities for four-season outdoor recreation.
  • allow the town’s sustainable management for timber and wildlife habitat.
  • support the local forest economy and provide revenue for the Town through sustainable forest management, maple sugaring, and timber harvests.

Our Environment

The forest will…

  • protect sensitive headwater streams that are critical to water quality and flood resilience.
  • sustain intact habitat for wildlife and plants, and connectivity with adjoining forestlands.
  • provide a scenic forested backdrop to our town along the Northfield Mountain range.

Our Quality of Life

The forest will…

  • have an improved parking lot and trailhead, and a new pedestrian trail network.
  • offer an expanded area for four-season recreation, such as hiking, snowshoeing, and hunting.
  • provide educational and experiential opportunities for local schools. 

Tax deductible donations to the Scrag Forest Gateway Project will reduce the Town’s reliance on future grants to fulfill these goals for the stewardship and public enjoyment of the Scrag Forest!


How will this project be financed?

So far, we have raised $495,000 in federal, state, local and private funds to support the town’s purchase and conservation of the Gateway Parcel!

Additionally, we raised $50,000 in private donations to support the town’s stewardship of the land and investments in recreation. Additional funds raised will provide for:

  • Planning and construction of trail network accessing features such as beaver pond, waterfalls, scenic overlooks on ridge
  • Restoration of logging road
  • Trailhead kiosk, trail signage, and maps
  • Wildlife habitat improvements
  • Town share of a plowing and sanding contract for Bowen Road, extending to new public parking area.

All donations to the project will be granted to the Town of Waitsfield for these important improvements to access and stewardship costs.  

For more information, please check out Waitsfield town website.
Click here to make a gift online today.

Or call:
Liza Walker, Vermont Land Trust, Mad River Valley Director at (802) 496-3490
Elise Annes, Vermont Land Trust VP for Community Relations at (802) 262-1206
Phil Huffman, Waitsfield Conservation Commission at (802) 496-3490
Cindy Carr, Community Member at (802) 229-8495


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