Hartford, VT
Length: 1.40 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

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Want a hike with a great view from the top as you head down? This is it. Carved out by glacial melts 13,000 years ago, this is Vermont’s deepest gorge. What’s great about it for parents, though, is when you get to the viewpoint, there’s a huge fence that you can see through to the bottom of the gorge, but your toddler won’t run off the ledge. This allows little ones to run and explore and you can feel safe. This is exactly what Hike it Baby means when we say “family friendly.” Keep on hiking, and at the bottom you’ll be rewarded with little pools to splash in and a gorgeous river running through. Take a moment to look back up to the top of the gorge and you’ll feel so small.

Dewey Pond gets its name from A.G. Dewey, who owned a wool mill in the area from 1869 until the 1960s. The mill used the pond water for manufacturing, and if you look for it, you can see remnants of the old mill on the trail.

This is a great place to visit all year-round, but local Hike it Baby ambassador Natalie Kendrach suggests summer and fall for the most dramatic scenery. This hike is good for little walkers, but remember as you go down, you might need to help on the 0.2 mile uphill, where it gets a little rough. There are great nursing benches for new parents as well as tired little kids to stop and rest.

Expect to see many birds around Quechee State Park, including the yellow-rumped warbler, Canada goose, mallard, Northern goshawk, bald eagle, golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, Northern harrier, veery, red-shouldered hawk, osprey, black- throated warbler, scarlet tanager, white-throated sparrow, blue jay, and mourning dove. There is a bird rescue at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, so your toddler can meet the local resident raptors.

No need for heavy-duty hiking shoes; runners will do just fine. Want to spend the weekend? There is a campground if you plan ahead and make reservations. There are 45 tent/RV spots and 2 bathrooms with showers.


“The gorge is an impressive sight from the top. The trail is an easy walk down to the bottom. We loved that the trail was wide and had a fence to keep our toddler safe. If it is warm out, you can swim in the river at the bottom of the gorge. The view from the bottom is beautiful too.” —NATALIE KENDRACH


Down the road is a place to get free cheese tastings at Cabot Creamery. Also consider visiting Woodstock, a super- cute little town nearby.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 154 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains Yes
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Camping Nearby, Creek / River, Viewpoint, Visitor Center, and Wildlife Viewing

Trail Contributor

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Im Rachel, a Branch Ambassador with the Charleston/Low Country branch in South Carolina. I have been volunteering with Hike it Baby since shortly after our branch formed in 2016. I love how Hike it Baby has enabled me to connect with others in my community and being able to instill a love and enthusiasm for the outdoors in my children.


Trail Map

Getting There

Quechee Gorge, Hartford, VT, White River Junction, VT 05001