Devils Hill
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:Devils Hill Road, Peacham VT
Hours:No posted hours
Fee: Free

Groton State Forest, 802-241-3655,; New Discovery State Park, 802-426-3042,

Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None

An easy climb brings you up to open ledges with excellent views over Peacham Bog and Groton State Forest.

This easy hike is perfect when the toddlers are ready to try some hiking on their own. You will be rewarded with a pleasant walk through the woods on wide trails to a fine lookout.

Devils Hill lies within the Groton State Forest, a Central Vermont treasure. There are three campgrounds managed as state parks within the State Forest boundary: New Discovery, Big Deer, and Stillwater. Chock-full of easy hikes, ponds and lakes for swimming and paddling, and even a multiuse recreational path that stretches across Vermont, you can spend a weekend or a week here exploring all of the nooks and crannies.

From the trailhead, head up Devils Hill Trail, an old road now used for hiking in summer and snowmobiling in winter. The trail is relatively well signed for the duration, but the equilateral triangles employed by Vermont State Parks as trail signs confuse some people. Just follow the pointy side. If a triangle is tilted on its side, follow the side with only one corner, rather than two. The trail soon reaches an intersection (0.25 mile) where you can choose in which direction you want to do the loop. We prefer the counterclockwise direction by far as it leads up the steeper sections and down the more gradual sections, so stay right at the intersection to follow the route as described here.

At 0.9 mile, the trail arrives on the summit of this small but impressive hill. Facing to the west, you can see the entire Groton State Forest with the lovely Peacham Bog sprawling beneath you. If you’re visiting in autumn, the colors of the bog are simply incredible. Directly across the valley is Big Deer Mountain (see Trip 65). The summit’s open ledges and rock crevices are great for exploration, and the kids will surely want to spend some time here—just keep an eye on the little ones as there are some steep drops in places.

To continue the loop, follow the trail across the crest of the hill and through a lush moss-covered forest. Eventually this old road loops around to the left and reconnects with the trail on which you ascended; turn right here and return to the parking lot.

Plan B:

Boulder Beach State Park in Groton has an excellent swimming beach perfect for a dip after a hike up Devils Hill. Along the way to Boulder Beach you will pass the Groton Nature Center (on Stillwater Road), which has indoor exhibits, trail information, and special events and concerts throughout summer. The Cross Vermont Bike Trail goes through the Groton State Forest near Devils Hill on a gradual railroad bed (see Trip 63).

Where to Eat Nearby:

Groton Village has some fine restaurants and delis for picnic supplies on US 302. Artesano Meadery and Ice Cream makes its signature desserts from local milk and cream, and there even is a see-through beehive in the shop that shows you how bees produce the honey used in Artesano’s mead and ice cream.


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