We were very happy to see the improvements being made by the state in the Atherton Meadows Wildlife Management Area. Know to us as the Deerfield Trail which starts at WM 5. This has always been a fun trail winding through the trees and up and down the mountains it runs through. Last year at the end of the season this area was being logged and during the off season the logging project has left us with what will surely be an amazing section of trails. For more information on the area which can be enjoyed year round by all please see the information below.
Atherton Meadows Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is comprised of two blocks on either side of Route 100. Most of the WMA is located within one mile of Route 100 and accessible on foot from two parking areas. The majority of the parcel is remote hardwood stands and is a frequent habitat for moose and black bear. Extensive wetlands at the heart of both blocks are also a magnet for wildlife and visitors.
Woods roads throughout the parcel allow foot travelers and snowmobilers to quickly access a remote forest area. Several maintained wildlife fruit production areas are used heavily by wildlife. There are five wetland communities mapped on Atherton Meadows WMA that comprise approximately 48 acres. These range in size from the smallest, a vernal pool less than 1/10th of an acre, to the largest, a 16-acre beaver pond in the center of the Atherton Lot. Many miles of stone walls are a testament to the early agricultural days of Vermont when sheep pasture was common. There are four old rock foundation complexes of presumably 19th century residential and agricultural remains. In addition, one mill/dam/bridge site has been located and one 1800s Schoolhouse is reported to be located on the WMA along Route 100.
Recreational opportunities on this WMA occur in a natural appearing setting with obvious modifications including constructed roads and trails, a wide power line corridor, and evidence of timber cutting. Most recreational use occurs during the fall hunting seasons and the winter snowmobile season on a popular Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) trail that passes through the parcel. The WMA has approximately 0.75 mile of frontage on Route 100, one of Vermont’s most scenic and popular foliage viewing roads.