July 22, 2015 Update: The trails at Eagle Mountain are in great shape and open to the public. Fortunately, the May 22nd brush fire was not widespread and vegetation is returning to the burned areas. Many thanks to the volunteers, including an enthusiastic crew from Ben and Jerry’s Burlington Scoop Shop, who came out to help improve the habitat by removing invasive shrubs. Click here to see recent images of the burned areas and shots of the volunteers in action!
For more about the volunteer workday, click here for a great article published July 29th in the Milton Independent.
We would also like to thank the Town of Milton Public Works Department for keeping the field portion of the Hoyt Lookout Trail mowed and in excellent shape (pictured above). Now is a great time to get out and enjoy Eagle Mountain. When you visit please stay on trails and away from fire-impacted ground.
For a good summary of the May 22, 2015 brush fire, emergency response and post-fire conditions, click here to read the Milton Independent’s May 27th article.
Our sincere thanks to Milton Fire Chief Don Turner and the many firefighters who battled a brush fire on Eagle Mountain on Friday (May 22). It is believed that the fire was caused by a lightning strike — neighbors reported the fire at 4:30 am. According to John Hoyt, who grew up next to Eagle Mountain and donated half of Eagle Mountain Natural Area to the Lake Champlain Land Trust, the last time fire hit the state-significant forest was 1922. (Thanks to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation for fire area map boundary.)
Although Eagle Mountain is one of the highest points along the Lake Champlain shoreline, the easy family-friendly trails reward the hiker with incredible views from the Hoyt Overlook. This Milton, Vermont community treasure permanently protects 226 acres of hiking trails, fields, and overlooks of the islands of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. The areas away from the trails contain forests of statewide significance including rare plants and animals.
From the South: Take Exit 17 off of I-89 onto US Route 2 W toward the Islands for about 2.4 miles. Take a right on Bear Trap Road. Continue for about 1.8 miles, the road forks. Bear left toward the barn. At the stop sign, turn left onto Cadreact Road and follow this for 2 miles to another stop sign. Go straight through the Everest Road stop sign as it turns to Beebe Hill Rd. After about one mile, take a left onto Henry Road and follow it to the end of the road, which is the new Eagle Mountain parking lot.
From the North: Take US Route 2 E and turn left onto Bear Trap Road. Take a sharp left onto Cadreact Road and follow this for 2 miles. Go straight through the Everest Road stop sign as it turns to Beebe Hill Rd. After about one mile, take a left onto Henry Road and follow it to the end of the road, which is the new Eagle Mountain parking lot.
Click here for a printable guide to Eagle Mountain, including driving directions.
Click here for a printable hiking trail map.
Click here to see a series of Nature Snapshots for the Eagle Mountain landscape.
John and Peggy Hoyt donated almost half of this incredible treasure for the benefit of future generations to the Lake Champlain Land Trust in 1998. (The trails still follow forestry roads the Hoyts used for sugaring during the Great Depression.) The Land Trust then worked with the community to purchase the adjacent land. The Lake Champlain Land Trust and Vermont Housing and Conservation Board retained a conservation agreement (also known as a conservation easement) and donated the entire property to the Town of Milton.
The Eagle Mountain Natural Area project was made possible thanks to the partnership of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Town of Milton, and the Lake Champlain Land Trust. We are also indebted to John and Peggy Hoyt for their vision and generosity.
The Lake Champlain Land Trust, Milton Conservation Commission, and Town of Milton continue to work together to maintain the trails, remove invasive species, and adjust the trails to connect to the new parking lot at Henry Road.