Groomed trail
No
Elevation Gain
1,539.00 ft (469.09 m)
Distance
10.20 mi (16.42 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Cottonbrook Road in Waterbury, Vermont is an unpaved road that closes in the winter. In the summer this road serves mountain bikers and canoers and provides access to several other trails in the area and Little River. During the winter, Cottonbrook is used as a snowmobile route and an option for a wooded cross-country skiing when natural snow cover is sufficient.The road is very wide at all points and the terrain is gradual with relatively easy hills.

About 1.8 miles into the trail skiers pass the Fosters Trail, which closed in 2019 due to a landslide. Continuing on Cottonbrook Road, remnants of the landslide can be viewed at 2.5 miles. The landslide, which was estimated to contain 250,000 cubic meters of land, destroyed about 700 feet of the Fosters Trail. The sediment that reached Cotton Brook at the bottom of the valley has now contributed to the formation of a delta at the mouth of Cotton Brook where it meets the Little River. Due to the remaining instability of around 2 acres of land within the impacted area, the Fosters Trail remains closed as of 2021 despite most other areas having been deemed safe. Although Cottonbrook Road passes near the site of the initial landslide, it has been determined that a potential second landslide could not reach Cottonbrook Road and therefore the road has was reopened in October 2019.

For skiers looking for a 10-mile out-and-back, just past the landslide is a good place to turn around, while more adventurous skiers can continue until farther. At around 5.2 and 5.3 miles, skiers should reach two unmaintained and rarely traveled trails leading up the east side of Bolton Mountain and Ricker Mountain. Skiers can turn back at any point along the road. In years past, a loop could be completed via the Foster Trail, but the closure of that trail due to the landslide means this tour must be done as an out-and-back along the Cottonbrook Road only.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Solitude. Wide trail.

Cons

Variable snow conditions. Limited views.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

629.00 ft (191.72 m)

Highest point

1,617.00 ft (492.86 m)

Features

Family friendly
Near lake or river

Trail type

There-and-back

Typically multi-day

No

Snowmobiles allowed

Yes

Location

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Northern Green Mountains, Vermont
Northern Green Mountains, Vermont

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