Haystack Mountain (Vermont)

Coordinates: 42°54′50″N 72°55′10″W / 42.9139691°N 72.9195441°W / 42.9139691; -72.9195441
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Haystack Mountain
Haystack Mountain as seen from Cold Brook
Highest point
Elevation3,445 ft (1,050 m)[1]
Prominence384 ft (117 m)
Coordinates42°54′50″N 72°55′10″W / 42.9139691°N 72.9195441°W / 42.9139691; -72.9195441[2]
LocationWilmington, Vermont, U.S.
Parent rangeGreen Mountains
Easiest routeHiking trail

Haystack Mountain is located in Wilmington, Vermont, and is part of the Green Mountains mountain range. It has a summit of 3,445 feet (1,049 m) and shares a ridgeline with neighboring Mt. Snow to the north. Haystack is “[a] mountain with a sharp summit cone and a broad, deep lake just under the precipitous peak. The view is a wide and complete panorama.”[3] According to the 2015 Wilmington Municipal Plan, “Haystack Mountain and the ridgeline which forms the spine of the Green Mountain National Forest are prominent landforms. They provide a dramatic scenic impact from many viewpoints in Wilmington. Haystack Mountain boasts numerous hiking trails to the summit, capturing a broad vista of the valley below.”[4] In his 1861 report, Edward Hitchcock described Haystack Mountain as, “one of the wildest, most rugged, and imposing peaks in Southern Vermont.”[5] 

"Just below the peak of Haystack Mountain, at an elevation of 2,984 feet, lies 36 acre Haystack Pond. Surrounded by wetlands, this pristine pond is accessible only by a hiking trail. Its mountainside location makes it a scenic treasure, whether viewed from the summit or the shore. Nearby is three acre Crystal Pond, now enclosed by woods and also surrounded by wetlands."[4] Binny Brook connects Haystack Pond to Crystal Pond, and then flows down Haystack Mountain, emptying to Harriman Reservoir.

Haystack Pond does not support aquatic life due to its acidity. Core samples taken from the pond suggest it had a pH of 5.2-5.3 from 1700-1925.[6] This correlates with several failed attempts to stock the pond with fish in the late 1800s.[7][8][9] The pond went through rapid acidification from 1925-1970 to ~pH of 4.9 due to acid rain from sulfur emissions.[6] It has since returned to previous levels.

Haystack Mountain Ski Area is on the northeast flank of Haystack Mountain, on 834 acres.[10] Chimney Hill, a housing development with several hundred homes, is on the lower southeast flank.[4] The foothills of the Chimney Hill development include the Haystack Golf Course, which is open to the public. The remaining, and majority of Haystack Mountain is part of the Green Mountain National Forest. Hiking trails are available to the public from the Chimney Hill development to the peak. Another trail skirts the west ridge of the summit, around Haystack pond, to the ridgeline trail which leads to the summit of Mt Snow.


  1. ^ "Haystack Mountain, Vermont". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  2. ^ "Haystack Mountain". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  3. ^ O'Kane, Walter (1926). Trails and Summits of the Green Mountains. Houghton Mifflin. p. 54.
  4. ^ a b c "Wilmington Town Plan" (PDF). Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development. July 7, 2015.
  5. ^ Hitchcock, Edward; Hager, Albert; Hitchcock, Charles (1861). Report on the Geology of Vermont: Descriptive, Theoretical, Economical, and Scenographical. p. 887.
  6. ^ a b "Alkalinity and pH of three lakes in northern New England, U. S. A., over the past 300 years". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences. 327 (1240): 413–421. 1990-03-12. doi:10.1098/rstb.1990.0083. ISSN 0080-4622.
  7. ^ "Special Notices". Deerfield Valley Times. September 25, 1891. They also talk of stocking the Haystack pond again. This pond has been stocked several times but no one has ever seen fish afterward. One more trial will be made.
  8. ^ "Special Notices". Deerfield Valley Times. Feb 5, 1892. Mr. J. H. Flagg of North Adams has been corresponding with The Forrest and stream of New York about the waters of Haystack pond. That authority says if there are no ti4h in the pond perhaps the trout and bass have starved.
  9. ^ "Vermont News". Bellows Falls Times. May 13, 1896. The Vermont fish and game league has established two pheasantries, one at St. Johnsbury and one at Sheldon and the birds hatched and reared at these stations will be put out in the forests of the state and protected till 1900. It is the purpose of the government to stock haystack pond in Wilmington, this season, first with shrimp and afterwards with trout. This beautiful pond, which is fed entirely by cold spring, has been stocked several times, but fish, for some unexplained reason, have never thrived there. Now the government proposes to experiment with trout, first putting in the shrimp as a food fish. The pond, which is in the heart of the green mountain range, fully 2000 feet above the sea level, covers hundreds of acres.
  10. ^ Lynn, Lisa (2020-03-11). "Who Gets The Hermitage Club?". VT SKI + RIDE. Retrieved 2021-03-26.

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