ROXBURY STATE FOREST
The Roxbury State Forest is a captivating natural wonder encompassing 5,880 picturesque acres of breathtaking wilderness. This enchanting forest is characterized by its lush greenery, towering trees, and diverse range of flora and fauna, offering a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With a well-maintained network of trails meandering through the forest, visitors can embark on invigorating hikes, discover hidden streams, and witness the panoramic vistas from various viewpoints. Whether it's camping under the starlit sky, observing the vibrant wildlife, or simply immersing oneself in the serene ambiance, Roxbury State Forest provides an idyllic escape fostering a profound connection with nature and a rejuvenation of the soul.
1. Native American Presence: Prior to European settlement, the area now known as Roxbury State Forest was inhabited by the indigenous Abenaki people. They relied on hunting, fishing, and gathering in the forests and rivers of the region.
2. Colonial Settlement: Colonists began to settle in the area in the mid-18th century. The town of Roxbury (from which the forest gets its name) was chartered in 1781. The settlers primarily engaged in farming, utilizing the fertile land available in the region.
3. Logging and Agricultural Use: Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the forests of Roxbury were heavily logged for their timber resources. The logging industry contributed to the local economy and helped fuel the development of nearby towns. Many of the cleared areas were converted into farmland, particularly for the cultivation of hay.
4. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC): In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps established a camp in Roxbury. The CCC carried out various projects in the area, including reforestation, trail construction, and the development of recreational areas. Some of the hiking trails still in use today were originally built by the CCC.
5. State Forest Establishment: In 1950, Roxbury State Forest was officially established by the Vermont Department of Forests and Parks. The purpose behind the creation of the state forest was to provide public recreational opportunities and conserve the forested landscape. Today, the forest covers an area of approximately 2,395 acres.
6. Recreational Use: Roxbury State Forest offers a range of recreational activities throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy hiking, bird watching, camping, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and fishing in its various streams and ponds. The forest is also rich in wildlife, including deer, moose, and various bird species.