The Lost Mine Trail in Chester, Vermont is an easy 2.2-mile loop trail that features an old abandoned mine - Gould Mine.
Trail Name: Lost Mine Trail, Chester Vt.
Location: Chester Town Forest, 384 Water Farm Road, Chester Vt.
Allowed activities: hiking, birding, geocaching, picnicking, nature study, snowshoeing, cross country skiing
Forbidden activities: no atv’s are allowed on the trail
Hours: There are no posted hours for trail use
Parking and fees: We chose to access the Lost Mine Trail by parking at the Butternut Hill Trailhead on Lovers Lane Road, hiking on part of the Butternut Hill Trail to the Connector Trail and then on to the Lost Mine trail. An easier access point, to just do the Lost Mine trail, is the trailhead located on Water Farm Road. There is no fee to park or use the trail.
Pets: There are no posted prohibitions for dogs being allowed on the trail. The Lost Mine Trail is part of the Chester Town Forest: public land and dog owners are subject to local leash laws which state: “No person shall permit a dog owned or kept by him to run at large within the Town. A dog, while on any public way or place, shall be kept under restraint. A dog is under restraint within the meaning of this ordinance if it is controlled by a leash not more than eight (8) feet long, or is at "heel" beside a competent person and obedient to that person's commands, or is on or within a vehicle.”
Accessibility: This trail is not wheelchair or stroller friendly. There are sections of the trail that are very narrow and run along a steep hillside. There are the typical trip hazards to watch out for along the trail including roots, rocks, slippery moss covered rocks, muddy stream beds and leaf litter.
Sanitation: There is no restroom or trash bin at the trail head or along the trail. Please carry out all waste.
Trail information: There is a small trailhead kiosk at the parking area on 384 Water Farm Road. The Kiosk has a map posted, but no maps to borrow. There is information posted about the abandoned mine site that hikers can see along the trail as well as information about the Cheshire Conservation Commission (CCC) whose members are the volunteer stewards for the Town forest where the Lost Mine Trail is located. The parking area on Water Farm road is small and can accommodate about 3 or 4 vehicles. We took a photo of the trail map or. Hikers can print a map before heading out by going to the link below:
The trail blaze markers for the Lost Mine Trail are Red rectangles that are numerous and well placed, making the trail very easy for hikers to follow. In addition to the well placed trail blaze markers, there are also several brown painted wooden signs with engraved yellow painted arrows, and wooden markers painted yellow and pointing the hiker safely along the trail.
Length and features: This hike was an easy 2.2 mile long, done as a loop. Hikers will travel along a ravine and wind their way through first a Hemlock forest and then a Pine forest passing through interesting old stone walls from days gone by.
Along this trail is a posted lookout point where, on a clear day, visitors can enjoy a grand view of Mount Ascutney off in the distance. The vista is near the highest point on the trail and is well marked. This is a forest and trail that is very well cared for. All along the trail hikers will notice tags on several different trees. These tags were placed to identify the many different tree species that populate this lush forest.
The site of the Gould mine has no official sign posted, but hikers will know they have arrived at the site when they begin to notice the remains of rusty metal machinery along with thick metal cables strung around a water/tree filled quarry-like depression. There is not much of the mine left to explore here, but it is of interest to those who study rare geological sites, as this area is one of only three where “Chesterite” was once found. Passing the mine site and off to the right of the trail, hikers will notice signs posted for “Big Tree Loop”. The Big Tree Loop trail is not currently listed on any Chester Town Forest map, so we are not sure of its length or terrain. We hope that it will soon be officially added to the Chester Town Forest trail roster.View more trails near Chester, VT