Williston, Vermont 05495Mud Pond Country Park brochure and map
From Williston, go south on Oak Hill Road. Just after crossing Interstate 89, turn left on South Road, go to Mud Pond Road, turn right and park at the trailhead for the Mud Pond Country Park. Take the half-mile trail through the hemlock and white pine forest where the predominant species is the Black-capped Chickadee. Listen carefully for Barred Owl, the drumming of the Ruffed Grouse, and the sweet harmonics of the Wood Thrush. The trail ends at Mud Pond, a unique six-acre glacial kettle hole filled with peat. On the pond, you may see Mallards, Pied-billed Grebes, and Canada Geese nesting there. Look for beaver swimming by and many redwings and Chipping Sparrows nesting along the shore. On your way back follow the spur trail to the south end of the pond. You will meet the remnants of an old road which is now covered by a beaver wetland. Look here for Wood Duck, Great Blue Heron, beaver, and muskrat.
Mud Pond Country Park is 79 acres of pine forest on the opposite side of South Road from the Mud Pond Conservation Area. In 1992 the Nature Conservancy conveyed this area to the Town of Williston.
White pine, typically a pioneer species in abandoned agricultural fields, forms dense stands throughout much of the Country Park. Northern hardwoods mix with pine along the eastern boundary and the southern slope of the Country Park and hemlock forms dark groves along South Road.
Remnants of stone walls, barbed wire fences, cut stumps, and dense old-field stands of white pine, which are found throughout the Park, are evidence of human activity over the last two hundred years.
By 1820, most of the forests of Vermont had been logged and cleared for agriculture, including most, if not all, of the Country Park area. Certain areas within the Park remained as fields until they were abandoned in the 1950s. The forests have been returning slowly, but are far from their natural condition.
The TrailFinder website has a description and map of a hike at Mud Pond Country Park.
Restrooms on site
Wheelchair accessible trail
Content from Mud Pond Country Park brochure and map and Carl Runge, Green Mountain Audubon Society
Last updated August 22, 2023