Location: Between Stowe Village and the Worcester Range in Stowe Hollow, Stowe
Date Protected: September 1995; easement purchased by SLT with funding from The Town of Stowe, The Freeman Foundation, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and Stowe Land Trust members
Current Landowners: Privately owned; SLT co-holds a conservation easement with the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board
Conservation Purposes: The primary purpose of the easement is to conserve productive agricultural and forestry lands in order to facilitate active and economically viable farm use of the property now and in the future. Secondary objectives include conserving scenic, recreational and natural resources associated with the property; to improve the quality of life for Vermonters, and to maintain for the benefit of future generations the essential characteristics of the Vermont countryside.
Project Background: Hill farms like the H. D. Burnham Farm used to be common in Stowe Hollow, but now this part of Stowe is primarily residential. At the time it was conserved, the Burnham Farm with its rustic barn was one of the last active hill farms in the Hollow. Harry Burnham was a lover of the land, along with poetry and classic literature. The walls of his cabin were lined with Shakespeare, his favorite. Kathleen H. Fitzgerald, former Executive Director of Stowe Land Trust, recalls the first time she walked the property with Harry, “Harry dug his walking stick into the ground told me that the land cares for him, nourishes him and will bury him.”
Property Description: The Burnham Farm’s 107 acres consists of two managed forests (Raven Hill Forest and the White Pine Forest), a productive apple orchard, and hill pastures where Harry’s sheep herd used to graze. The land reaches to the top of Raven Hill, where the views of Stowe Village, the Green Mountains and the Worcester Range are simply amazing. Of the 107 acres of conserved land, 30.8 acres lays on the north side of Stowe Hollow Road and 76.5 acres on the south side of Stowe Hollow Road. The land on the south side of Stowe Hollow Road consists of 35 acres of moderately sloping fields, 41.5 acres of northern hardwoods and the apple orchard; one small residence and a barn are located on this part of the property. The conserved land on the north side of Stowe Hollow Road is appropriately known as the White Pine Forest because it contrasts with the surrounding landscape as the largest stand of White Pine.
Public Access: Raven Hill Forest can be accessed by the public from a trail head on Dewey Hill Road near its intersection with Stowe Hollow Rd. There is no parking area so visitors must walk to the trail head or park along the side of the road. Walk along the edge of the field until you enter the forest. Please respect private property and stick to the edge of the field when accessing Raven Hill Forest. Public access is also permitted in the White Pine Forest on the north side of Stowe Hollow Road. However, there are no trails and the area can be quite wet.
Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about public access to this property.
All other portions of the H. D. Burnham Farm are privately owned; please respect the landowner’s privacy and obey any posted signs.
Directions: The H. D. Burnham Farm is located on Stowe Hollow Road. Raven Hill Forest can be accessed via a trail head at the end of Dewey Hill Rd. From the intersection of Route 100 and 108 head south on Route 100 for approximately 2 miles. Turn left onto Goldbrook Road. Stay straight; Goldbrook Road will turn into Dewey Hill Road (travel 1.25 miles to the end of the road).