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.


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.