White Rocks National Recreation Area

Activities Regional: 

White Rocks National Recreation Area is a United States National Recreation Area located in southern Vermont, United States, within the Green Mountain National Forest. The Peru Peak and Big Branch Wilderness areas are within White Rocks NRA. Rising about 2,600 feet above The Valley of Vermont.

During the last Ice Age, glaciers scoured and exposed the Cheshire quartzite that makes up White Rocks Cliffs. Since that time, the White Rocks area has had a long history of human use. Native Americans quarried stone from the site for tools, and in the 1850s white settlers cleared the land for grazing. As the abandoned fields reverted to forest during this century, logging came to the area. Today, the White Rocks Cliffs have been set-aside as part of a National Recreation Area for backcountry recreation and to insure a continuous wildlife habitat.

Points of interest:

  • Chaos Canyon, a giant quartzite rockslide formed more than 10,000 years ago when the west slope of White Rocks Peak, part of the Green Mountain range, gave way due glaciers. The wooded canyon can be viewed from the White Rocks vista overlook off the WRNRA Ice Beds Trail.
  • White Rocks Ice Bed Trail, leads to views of the northwestern side of the White Rocks Cliffs. From here the trail follows the stream around to the base of the talus pile of massive rocks. Deep within this pile lie the ice beds. In the winter, ice forms deep within the recesses of the rock pile. Protected, the ice lasts late into the summer and slowly melts. All summer long a draft of cool air and a stream of 40 degree F water flow down the ravine from the rock pile.
  • White Rocks Inn, http://www.whiterocksinn.com
  • 5 Star Map - Green Mountain National Forest South [White Rocks National Recreation Area, Manchester] (National Geographic Maps: Trails Illustrated)

Recreational activities include camping and hiking on a 30 mile (48k) section of the Appalachian Trail that traverses the recreation area. There are also 61 miles (97.6k) of maintained snowmobile trails within the recreation area. Chaos Canyon is a cleft in a giant quartzite rockslide in the Area.

White Rocks Cliffs offers several beautiful vistas of the Route 7 valley, the Taconic Mountains, and the Adirondack Mountains in the distance.

Please practice Leave No Trace ethics, such as carry out what you carry in.

Google Map Link

Offical Gov't website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/...?recid=65137&actid=50

Sugar Hill Rd, Wallingford, VT 05773
(802) 747-6700
United States Forest Service


White Rocks Cliffs Trail Guide (application/pdf)993.51 KB
White Rocks Cliffs Ice Bed Guide (application/pdf)679.89 KB
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