Trails Overview

South of Beaver Meadow Road

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Appalachian Trail [Map]

Overview: Runs east and west through a federally protected corridor, managed by the Green Mountain National Forest (US Park Service) and maintained by the Green Mountain Club. The eastern terminus in Norwich is at the Ledyard Bridge, crossing the Connecticut River. The western terminus in Norwich is on Podunk Road, where it continues to West Hartford to cross the White River via roads.

Connections: Mileages from the Ledyard Bridge to the bottom of Elm Street (0.9 miles), left to the top of Elm Street (1.9 miles to the entrance to the corridor), to the VELCO power line (2.7 miles), Cossingham Trail (3.7 miles), Tucker Trail (4.9 miles), Town Highway 51 (6 miles), Podunk Road (7 miles), where one crosses into Hartford.

Length: 7 miles

Directions to trailheads

  1. Elm Street leaves Main Street opposite the bandstand at the Marion Cross School playground. Proceed 0.9 mi. to the end and turn around to parking.
  2. Cossingham Road is reached via Beaver Meadow Road, 0.4 mi from the Norwich Inn to Bragg Hill Road on left, 1.3 miles to Cossingham Road on left. 100 yds to parking.
  3. Happy Hill Road is reached just beyond Cossingham Road on the left. Drive 0.7 miles to the turnaround and park.

Parking

  1. Elm Street parking is on the shoulder of the road. In wintertime, be sure to park out of the traveled lanes, especially to allow passage of emergency vehicles.
  2. Cossingham Road parking is front or back in to allow for efficient accommodation of multiple vehicles. Please be considerate to nearby neighbors by keeping voices low and dogs on leash between the parking area and the AT intersection. Also, there are electric fences and farm animals along this stretch of the trail.
  3. Happy Hill Road parking accommodates four to five vehicles, backed in. Be sure to keep all gates and driveways unblocked. In winter allow room for the snowplow to turn around.

MarkingsWhite blazes

Hikes using this trail

  1. Heyl-AT from Elm, a 1.2-mile out-and-back
  2. Cossingham-Tucker, a 3.1-mile loop
  3. Heyl-AT from Pizza oven, a 3.7-mile loop
  4. Burton-Tucker, a 6.0-mile loop
  5. Cossingham-Burton, a 6.7-mile loop

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Heyl Trail [Map]

Overview: Connects the top of Elm Street to the VELCO power line easement via the power line road to Bragg Hill.

Connections: From the top of Elm to the power line is 0.4 miles. From Bragg Hill Road to the same point is 1.1 miles.

Length: 1.5 miles

Directions to trailheads

  1. Elm Street leaves Main Street opposite the bandstand at the Marion Cross School playground. Proceed 0.9 mi. to the end and turn around to park.
  2. Bragg Hill Road is reached via Beaver Meadow Road, 0.4 mi from the Norwich Inn to Bragg Hill Road on left, 0.9 miles to where the power line crosses overhead.

Parking

  1. Elm Street parking is on the shoulder of the road. In wintertime, be sure to park out of the traveled lanes, especially to allow passage of emergency vehicles.
  2. Bragg Hill Road parking is roadside under the power lines, across from the trail. Keep the power line access road gate clear.
  3. Additional parking is at the Barrett Park area with the pizza oven at the bottom of Bragg Hill Road—a 0.9-mile walk to the trail.

MarkingsSigns at Elm Street, VELCO power line, and Bragg Hill Road

Hikes using this trail

  1. Heyl-AT from Elm, a 1.2-mile loop
  2. Heyl from Pizza oven, a 3.5-mile loop
  3. Heyl-AT from Pizza oven, a 3.7-mile loop

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Tucker Trail [Map]

Overview: Offers a high-elevation access to the Appalachian Trail. Trailhead parking is adjacent a privately maintained driveway at the end of the town-maintained Happy Hill Road. The trail branches left off the driveway and then passes a gate along a forest road on its way to a junction with the Appalachian Trail, coming from the left.

Connections: Connects Happy Hill Road to the Appalachian Trail after 0.6 miles.

Length: 0.6 miles

Directions to trailheadsHappy Hill Road is reached via Beaver Meadow Road, 0.4 mi from the Norwich Inn to Bragg Hill Road on left, 1.3 miles to Happy Hill Road on the left. Drive 0.7 miles to the turnaround and parking.

Parking: Happy Hill Road parking accommodates four vehicles, backed in. Be sure to keep all gates and driveways unblocked. In winter, allow room for the snowplow to turn around.

MarkingsSign upon departure from the Happy Hill driveway and a sign at the intersection with Appalachian Trail. The trail is obvious and marked with blue blazes.

Hikes using this trail

  1. Cossingham-Tucker, a 3.1-mile loop
  2. Burton-Tucker, a 6.0-mile loop

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Cossingham Trail [Map]

Overview: The north side leads uphill through pastureland with a beautiful view into New Hampshire past the Appalachian Trail to a network of woods roads. The fence is electrified and there may be farm animals present.

Read about the history of the Cossingham Farm area in this Norwich Historical Society article.

Connections: Connects Cossingham Road parking on the north to the crossing of the Appalachian Trail (0.3 mi.), to the intersection of Joshua Road (westbound to the Jericho District) and Newton Lane (southbound to the Dothan District) on the southern end (0.6 mi 

Length: 0.6 miles

Directions to trailheadCossingham Road is reached via Beaver Meadow Road, 0.4 mi from the Norwich Inn to Bragg Hill Road on left, 1.3 miles to Cossingham Road on left. 100 yds to parking.

ParkingCossingham Road parking is front or back in to allow for efficient accommodation of multiple vehicles. Please be considerate to nearby neighbors by keeping voices low and dogs on leash between the parking area and the AT intersection. Also, there are electric fences and farm animals along this stretch of the trail.

MarkingsNone, but the trail is obvious.

Hikes using this trail

  1. Cossingham-Tucker, a 3.1-mile loop
  2. Cossingham from Elm, a 3.6-mile out-and-back
  3. Cossingham-Burton, a 6.7-mile loop

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Burton Woods Road [Map]

OverviewThe Class 4 Burton Woods Road runs from Bragg Hill Road over a saddle then down into the Podunk Brook drainage, a tributary of the White River. On the Bragg Hill side the road is wet and rough until it reaches its high point, where it descends and passes a hunting cabin, before intersecting with Sue Spaulding Road from the right and Town Highway 51 (TH-51) to the left, shortly afterwards.

ConnectionsMileages from Bragg Hill Road from the trailhead, Sue Spaulding Road (1.2 mi), TH 51 (1.7 mi.), downhill to an intersection with the Appalachian Trail (2.3 mi.), ending at Podunk Road (2.9 mi.).

Length2.9 miles

Directions to trailheadFrom the Norwich Inn, follow Beaver Meadow Road 0.4 miles to turn left onto Bragg Hill Road. Drive 3.4 miles to trailhead on the left, marked “Burton Woods Road”.

ParkingParking is on the shoulder of the road. Avoid blocking the two nearby gateways on either side.

Markings: None

Hikes using this trail

  1. Burton-Tucker, a 6.0-mile loop
  2. Cossingham-Burton, a 6.7-mile loop

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Town Highway 51 [Map]

OverviewTH 51 is a short, but significant connector between Burton Woods Road and the Appalachian Trail. It features the 19th century Parkhurst Cemetery and a cellar hole on its way to the Appalachian Trail via a scenic woods road.

ConnectionsBurton Woods Road to Appalachian Trail “Five Points” clearing (0.2 mi.)

Length0.2 miles

Directions to trailheadsN/A

ParkingN/A

MarkingsNone, the trail is an obvious woods road.

Hikes using this trail

  1. Burton-Tucker, a 6.0-mile loop
  2. Cossingham-Burton, a 6.7-mile loop

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Bill Ballard Trail [Map] [Legacy Map] [Trail Finder]

OverviewNamed after Professor William (Bill) Ballard, who taught biology at Dartmouth College and fostered a strong community interest in Norwich’s natural environment. The trail runs along the Charles Brown Brook from Ballard Park at the former site of the Norwich town pool to a mid-way crossing point at Brown Schoolhouse Road to Parcel 5 via a footbridge, continuing to Norwich’s “Grand Canyon”, a cascade named with tongue in cheek by Ballard, to a side trail—the Converse Loop Trail—and arriving at the top near Tucker Hill Road. 

Read about the Ballard and the origins of the trail in this Norwich Historical Society article.

From Ballard Park to the Brown Schoolhouse Road crossing is called Lower Ballard Trail. From there to the top is called Upper Ballard Trail

Connections: Mileage from Ballard Park to Brown Schoolhouse Road (1.5 mi.), to “Grand Canyon” (2.8 mi.), to the Converse Loop Trail (lower end, 3.0 mi.), to the Converse Loop Trail (upper end, 3.3 mi.), and to Bragg Hill Road (3.6 mi.).

Length3.6 miles

Directions to trailheads

  1. Ballard Park is 1.1 miles up Beaver Meadow Road from the Norwich Inn. Look for a driveway on the left, just before a bridge.
  2. Parcel 5 is 2.5 miles up Beaver Meadow Road from the Norwich Inn. Look for a driveway with a small sign that says, “5” on the right.
  3. Upper Ballard trailhead is 3.9 miles up Beaver Meadow Road from the Norwich Inn. Look for a widened area on the left, just before Tucker Hill Road.

Parking

  1. Ballard Park parking has ample space for multiple vehicles.
  2. Parcel 5 parking has ample space for multiple vehicles.
  3. Upper Ballard parking has sufficient space for multiple vehicles, parked face in.

MarkingsBlue blazes

Hikes using this trail

  1. Lower Ballard Trail, a 3.1-mile out-and back
  2. Upper Ballard Trail, a 1.9-mile loop

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Converse Loop Trail [Map]

OverviewNear the west end of the Upper Ballard Trail, the Converse Loop Trail provides an optional loop which traces the edge of a meadow, before leading back to the main trail. This trail is named after Professor Alvin O. Converse, a former Norwich resident and conservation leader.

Connections: Joins the Ballard Trail at both ends. 0.4 miles on the Converse Loop bypasses 0.3 miles on the Ballard Trail.

Length0.4 miles

Directions to trailheadUpper Ballard trailhead is 3.9 miles up Beaver Meadow Road from the Norwich Inn. Look for a widened area on the left, just before Tucker Hill Road.

ParkingUpper Ballard trailhead parking has sufficient space for multiple vehicles, parked face in.

Markings: Blue blazes

Hikes using this trailUpper Ballard Trail, a 1.9-mile loop

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Brown Schoolhouse Trail [Map]

OverviewA Class 4 road running from Beaver Meadow Rd. (across from Parcel 5 trailhead parking) to Bragg Hill Road, passing the Brown Schoolhouse site. Length: 0.7 m

Read about finding the site of the historical school house, here.

ConnectionsFrom Parcel 5, connects via Ballard Trail crossing (300 ft) with Bragg Hill Road (0.8 miles).

Length0.8 miles

Directions to trailheadParcel 5 is 2.5 miles up Beaver Meadow Road from the Norwich Inn. Look for a driveway with a small sign that says, “5” on the right.

ParkingParcel 5 parking has ample space for multiple vehicles.

MarkingsNone

Hikes using this trailNone

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Feedback: If you want to discuss a problem with our trails or with our website, please contact norwichtrails@gmail.com.

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