Grand Canyon of Norwich

Norwich, VT
Difficulty: Moderate
Special Features: Natural
Walking Conditions: Trail
Duration: 1:15
Season: May-Oct
Bring: Compass, Field Guide


This trail hike focuses on learning how to “read” a forest.

This land has been conserved by the Upper Valley Land trust. UVLT is a regional land conservancy working to protect farmland, forests, wetlands and waterways, wildlife habitat, and trails and scenic areas in the Vermont and new Hampshire towns of the Upper Valley. Since 1985, UVLT has protected 530 parcels of land encompassing 54,446 acres. UVLT is a non-profit organization and is supported primarily by local contributions from individuals. For more information visit, or contact UVLT at 603-643-6626.


Take Interstate 91 to Exit 13. This is the Hanover/Norwich exit. Go west towards Norwich. Turn left on Beaver Meadow Road just pass Dan & Whit's. This Quest is on the Bill Ballard Trail, which is located on the west (left) side of Beaver Meadow Road about 4 miles from the Norwich Inn in the center of Norwich.

Clues and Map

Click here to view/print the clues and map for this quest.


1998; updated 2012

Update to this Quest

N.B.: The PDF you can download above is up to date. If you are using the 2008 book Best of Valley Quest, insert these clue updates:

Since the trail has changed over the years, use these clues after stanza three (“Leave ruins of pond…”):

Out of the darkness, cross a stream
Off to the right, a meadow where light gleams.
Into mixed forest, left the trail bends.
The direction the sign on the tree does lend
Left and right the multi-trunked trees tell
The story of their ancestors that were felled.

Down the steep and forested slope
Charlie Brown’s Brook looks like a mote.
So pass #6. Look left after 100 feet more,
then imagine the diameter of this tree’s original core.
To calculate: Note the center of each trunk. Connect them in an imaginary circle near the ground.

After the original fifth Stanza (“Cross the stream at #7 and…”) insert these clues:

Wind your way through the disturbed forest
Following the blue markers that were put there to guide us.
After three wooden bridges, listen to the sound;
The water flowing through the gorge is soon to be found.

There is no longer a #15 marker. The last stanza:

After the yellow sign, stop to look at the rock walls in the canyon nearby,
Continue left on the trail, and cross where a bridge of stone lies.
(The bridge of stone is sometimes covered by water depending on water flow.)
Look to the right at a multi-trunked tree Under a rock bench, the treasure you should see.