The 20,000-acre Moosalamoo National Recreation Area is located within the Green Mountain National Forest and generally extends from Ripton and Goshen to Brandon and Rochester. Here you’ll find dirt roads, rolling fields, scenic waterfalls and pristine lakes.

This area, named after an Abenaki word for “the trails of the moose,” offers more than 70 miles of well-maintained trails for hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, biking, snowmobiling and wildlife viewing.

Like most of Vermont, a large portion of Moosalamoo’s forested landscape was cleared in the 1800s for growing crops and grazing animals. The ill-fated plan to strip Vermont’s land of protective trees 200 years ago was relatively short-lived.

While exploring the wooded trails of Moosalamoo, you might come across old family cemeteries, stone foundations, cellar holes and miles of stone walls built in areas that had been deforested in the 19th century. These pieces of history, now surrounded by tall trees, remind me just how far Vermont has come.