Operator uses large equipment to move pile of logs in the forest.

The Washington Research Forest is comprised of two parcels. To the south is Washington Lot 7 Range 3, a 58-acre parcel UVM acquired in 1938 as leased land. UVM began managing the land in the 1970s. To the north lies the 50-acre Bales parcel, donated to UVM in 2018 by the Vermont Land Trust, which now holds a conservation easement on the land. The Washington Research Forest is primarily a second-growth, rich northern hardwood forest with a high proportion of sugar maple and ash.


In the early 1970s, UVM began a silviculture research program on the southern parcel focused on application of shelterwood harvests in northern hardwoods and planting of native hardwood species. This research ran through the 1990s but has not been carried forward since then. The Bales parcel experienced some timber harvesting in the 1950s and was otherwise used only for recreation prior to UVM’s 2018 acquisition.

Present Use

Due to its distance from campus, Washington Research Forest sees limited use. In 2017, the Rubenstein School initiated a research project focusing on growth and survival of planted seedlings representing species expected to be adapted to future climate conditions.

Driving Directions

Note that there is no dedicated parking or road access to Washington Research Forest. From Route 110 in Chelsea, Vermont, go north on Upper Village Road for approximately 1 mile, then turn left onto Washington Turnpike. After ½ mile, bear right onto Pepper Road. Washington Research Forest is located on Roberts Road, a Class 4 road accessed approximately 1 mile up Pepper Road.

Download a trail map of Washington Forest (PDF).

Map of trails at Washington Forest