animal tracks
old-growth yellow birch
squirrel corn

Special Plant Communities

Within this forest are outcrops and openings that provide special community structure. Three of these, Deer Knoll, Table Rock, and Cook’s Hollow, are of particular note. The Temperate Calcareous Outcrop Communities and Boreal Calcareous Cliff Communities found at these sites support a number of rare or uncommon plants. These sites are extremely sensitive to human use; general foot traffic in these areas is strongly discouraged.

Above 2,500 feet, the forest changes to one where red spruce and yellow birch are the dominant trees, the soils are less rich, and club mosses and ferns are common on the forest floor. Some parts of this forest are very mature, approaching old growth conditions already. One of these very mature areas can be seen along the Blue Summit Trail around 3000 feet.

At the highest elevations one finds stunted spruce and fir mixed with yellow and white birch and mountain ash. This forest provides habitat for the rare Bicknell’s thrush.

What is particularly noteworthy about the Mount Equinox lands is that it includes a variety of connected habitats that range from low elevation hardwoods to sub-alpine fir. The continuum of habitats across this elevation gradient is unusual and enormously valuable in providing opportunities for organisms to move and evolve over time. This feature is much more important ecologically than having the same types of habitats existing in discontinuous patches which cannot accommodate much variation.

Specific, up-to-date information on the significant natural communities and rare species can be obtained by contacting the Vermont Non-Game and Natural Heritage Program, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department website.

All trails are open for pedestrian use. The Equinox Preservation Trust may close some trails temporarily for repairs or to protect them from damage during muddy conditions. 

An enlarged trail map is on display along with copies of the handy pocket guide & trail map, updated program information and special notices.

Informational kiosks greet visitors at both entrances to the Preserve. A third kiosk is located near the trail connector at the rear of the Equinox Hotel parking area.

Naturalists have long held Mt. Equinox in high esteem for its beauty and natural diversity, a valued source of study by botanists and ecologists since the late 1800s.

A variety of mammals populate the slopes of Mt. Equinox, protected by the thick natural cover and food sources that the forest provides.

animal tracks