Date Of Visit: August 6, 2017
Location: 350 Linden St, Brattleboro, VT
Hours: Open Wed-Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed Mon & Tue)
Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for children and seniors, free admission for children under 2
Trail Size/Difficulty: roughly 1.5 miles, Easy
Fitbit Stats: 1.59 miles, 3,327 steps, 297 calories burned
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Parking: There is parking for about 20 vehicles in the parking lot
Website: Retreat Farm
Retreat Trail Map: Retreat Trail Map
Highlights: animals, educational, trail, family friendly
- Don’t forget to take the roughly 1.5 mile Nature Trail behind the farm
- you can get in the pens with some of the animals
- if you do go on the trail, try going up the “Skyline Spur” trail
- follow the signs to the Nature Trail or Lil’ Lamb Loop to access the shorter mile long trail behind the farm
- Located right next to Grafton Village Cheese Co
It’s easy to find Retreat Farm. Just follow the pinwheels. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to take one home.
The signs and some of the advertising for the Retreat Farm tout it as a “children’s farm” but it is fun for the entire family.
Retreat Farm has a variety of birds and animals in their barn. They also allow you to go into the animal pens of some of the animals and pat some of them.
There are also three piglets: Basil, Olive and Rosemary. They moved around a lot. So, it was hard to keep track of each one. But, I am pretty sure Rosemary is the first one pictured with the white and brown pattern.
Carlos, an 11 year old Brahma-Red Holstein bull, has been a resident for some time at the farm. Standing over 7 feet tall, Carlos is truly a gentle giant. In fact, he is so gentle visitors can feed him by hand.
Naturally, there are lots of toys and activities for children to partake in and places for adults or younger people to sit while their children or nieces or nephews play.
There is also a short trail (about 1.5 miles) behind the farm. The trail is actually part of a much longer 9 mile Retreat Trail. But, as long as you stay on the trail behind the farm you should not end up on this larger trail.
I found people of all ages and fitness levels on the trail. It’s pretty straight with a few inclines. But, I would rate it as being easy. There is one very shallow and narrow stream that you will have to cross. You can basically walk right through it. So, it’s not a big obstacle. The views are very nice on the trail. There are also various plants planted along the trail such as False Solomon Seal.
If you do decide to go on the shorter trail and avoid the 9 mile trail, follow the signs to the Nature Trail or the Lil Lamb Loop.
Along the main trail, there is a side trail wit a staircase called Skyline Spur.
The short flight of stairs take you up to an area where, during the winter, there is a ski jump. This ski jump will be used as one of the venues for the Olympic trials for the next Olympics.
Pets are allowed on the trails behind the Retreat Farm, which are open to hikers and snow shoers year round. I saw this cute dog on the trail. Avive, a friendly 2 and a half year old Irish Setter, greeted me when I got off the Skyline Spur trail.
One of the gems of the much longer Retreat Trail is the Retreat Tower. It’s not very far from the farm. Due to time constraints, I could not take the trail to the tower. However, Brandy Ellen and her companion were able to hike to it, take some photos and provide a good synopsis of their hike and a summary of the history of the tower. It has quite a storied and sad past.