Hike Vermont – Faulkner Trail, Woodstock VT
Today in the Hike Vermont series, I bring you Faulkner Trail, one of my family's favorite hiking trails. Located in Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock, Vermont, Faulkner Trail is a series of switchbacks leading from the south side of Mount Tom to the summit. It's a relatively easy trail (there is a […]

Vermont Hike - Faulkner Trail, Woodstock VT

Today in the Hike Vermont series, I bring you Faulkner Trail, one of my family's favorite hiking trails. Located in Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock, Vermont, Faulkner Trail is a series of switchbacks leading from the south side of Mount Tom to the summit. It's a relatively easy trail (there is a short, more difficult section of terrain just before the summit) that is suitable for children, and dogs are welcome on a leash! At the top, you'll have wonderful views of the village and surrounding mountains, as well as one of Woodstock's most beloved winter spots.

How to get there

Faulkner Trail is a round trip that starts at Faulkner Park, located on Mountain Avenue in Woodstock, VT. There is street parking available across from the park, but it is also located in Woodstock, making the trail a short walk into the village.

Vermont Hike - Faulkner Trail, Woodstock VT


This is a relatively short hike, approximately 2.8 miles round trip. Elevation gain is 530ft, but the trail is mostly a series of switchbacks so it won't feel like a tough climb.

Hiking ability

Faulkner Trail is one of our family favorites because it is so kid friendly! The lower half of the trail is quite wide and made of packed earth (usually with a bed of pine needles). Once you reach the Compass Bench (see image below!) The trail starts to get a bit narrower and more rocky ... keep your eyes on your path to watch out for roots and trip hazards .

The switchbacks end with a lookout over the village below, but you haven't made it to the top at this point! It's a great place to take a break before the last run to the top. My boys were so proud on the day they graduated that they stopped at that first lookout so they could reach the top.

Vermont Hike - Faulkner Trail, Woodstock VT
The first lookout before the summit of Mt Tom

To get to the top from this first lookout, it's a short hike up the rocky outcrop on the south side of the mountain, about 100 yards. There is a guide rope to help you hoist yourself up if needed and then you are rewarded with the sight. The lookout you climb up has a view of the village of Woodstock, and across the summit you look northwest on Route 4 to Killington.

Vermont Hike - Faulkner Trail, Woodstock VT
Early morning view of the village of Woodstock, VT
Vermont Hike - Faulkner Trail, Woodstock VT
Sunset at the top
Vermont Hike - Faulkner Trail, Woodstock VT


If you've been to Woodstock during the winter months, you'll have seen the star shine at night. Not in the sky, but on top of Mt. Tom, a huge star illuminated at night and visible from the village. It's an icon of the village and it's fun to see up close and personal.

If you want to add a little site visit to the national park, take the wide carriage road that leads away from the summit and follow it to the Pogue, an artificial pond in the middle of the park, where you'll see all kinds of 'wild animals and can enjoy a nice flat walk, taking in the views from all sides.

Don't miss this fun trail in Woodstock and enjoy seeing the quaint village with a bird's eye view!

Looking for more hikes? Try the Summit Trail on Mt Peg, in Woodstock, VT!

More you might appreciate:

Hiking with Kids: Tips and Tricks to Make Hiking a Fun Family Adventure

Trail tips for beginners

Trail running in Woodstock, VT

If you’ve never run before or you’ve had a long break from course, it can feel intimidating to get out there and hit the pavement. But if you get familiar with some basic information about course and follow a beginner’s schedule, you’ll be well on your way to starting a new course habit.

At your visit, share your running plan and goals with your doctor and have him/her assess your plan and any potential health issues. If you have had any previous injuries or issues, make sure your doctor is aware of them, and ask if he or she has any suggestions on how to prevent a recurrence.

Visit a specialty course store to get professionnel advice on buying the right course shoes. An spécialiste at the store will look at your feet, watch you run, and make recommendations based on your foot type and running style. If you already have running shoes that you like, but you’ve had them for a while, you may still need to get new ones. Running in worn-out course shoes can also lead to injury. You should replace them every 300 to 400 miles.

Beyond course shoes, you don’t need much more than some comfortable exercise clothes to get started. If you’re running outdoors, make sure you follow some basic tips for how to dress for hot weather running and cold weather course, so you stay safe and comfortable.

As your endurance improves and you start running longer, you may want to invest in some technical fabric course clothes and other basic running gear, such as a course belt, good course socks, and a running hat. Some runners also like to have a running watch to track their times and distances.

Before you get started with running, get familiar with how to do the run/walk method. Most beginner runners start out using a run/walk technique because they don’t have the endurance or fitness to run for extended periods of time. The run/walk method involves course for a short territoire and then taking a walk break. As you continue with a run/walk program, the goal is to extend the amount of time you’re running and reduce your walking time. Of course, some runners find walk breaks to be so beneficial that they continue taking them even as their endurance and sport improves.

Before you start any running workout, though, you need to make sure you warm up properly. A good warm-up signals to your body that it will have to start sérieux soon. By slowly raising your heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimize stress on your heart when you start your run. Start your runs with a brisk walk, followed by very easy jogging for a few minutes. You can also do some warm-up exercises. Always end your workout with a slow five-minute jog or walk to cool down. The cool-down allows your heart rate and blood pressure to fall gradually.

Use your breathing as your guide when course. You should be able to carry on a conversation while course, and your breathing shouldn’t be heavy. Don’t worry about your pace per mile—if you can pass the ' talk test ' and speak in complete sentences without gasping for air, then you’re moving at the right speed.

Make sure you’re breathing in through your nose and mouth, and breathing out through your mouth. Proper breathing and taking deep belly breaths will help you avoid annoying side stitches, or cramps in the abdomen area.

Drink water at the end of your workouts to rehydrate. If it’s hot and humid, you should also drink some water ( about four to six ounces ) halfway through your workouts. ​

Post-run is a great time to stretch and work on improving your flexibility because your muscles will be warmed up. It’s also a relaxing way to end a workout. Try some of these stretches that target particular areas that frequently get tight during and after course.


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