Rivers, streams, brooks, creeks, and the Water Andric: Barnet has so much running water that the town maintains some 53 bridges. The foothills of the Green Mountains rise up around you as you move west of the Connecticut River Valley.
Barnet Village lies on the Connecticut River itself. Feeding the river are the Passumpsic and Stevens rivers. Noted waterfalls include one between the Barnet Village Store and the Connecticut, and another in the town’s southernmost village, McIndoe Falls.
Three significant mountains rise up and can be explored somewhat by road: Barnet Mountain, Garland Hill (also called Bogie Mountain, for the farm and maple sugaring operation there owned by the Bogie family), and the long rise of Barnet Center, where there is a National Historic District as well as the untamed and simple wildness of Sarah Moore Pond. Good walking can be found on the back roads around Barnet Center.
In the western part of town is the village of West Barnet. Just outside the village are Roy Mountain and Harvey Mountain (named for one of the town’s earliest families). Hike Roy Mountain as part of your exploration of the Roy Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The mountain does not have trails, but there are some paths in the WMA, as well as a map at the parking location. To find it, drive to the far end of Harvey’s Lake, where the Harvey Mountain Road and the Roy Mountain Road meet, and take the dirt road you find there. Parking is less than a quarter mile down the dirt road.
Best seasons to explore are summer and fall. In summer, Barnet’s streams and the recreational beach at Harvey’s Lake are especially lovely. And the area is famous for its colorful autumn foliage, with bright reds and golds on the hills and in the valleys. Bring a camera! Winter visitors can make the most of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as snowmobile use on dedicated trails. Although early spring is not as pretty (we call it “mud season”), it’s also the time for maple sugaring, and you may want to visit an active sugarhouse to see this art and taste the product.
A caution about November: Traditional hunting is practiced in the woods around Barnet, including the Wildlife Management Area. This is both to maintain the traditional skills and to help control wildlife populations, as monitored by the state biologists. The most intense hunting season takes place in November, especially the second half of the month. Always wear bright orange clothing if you walk in the woods at this time; avoid white and brown, which are the colors of deer in the woods.
Above photo: The beginning of the Stevens River. By Jay Collier.
Descriptive text and historical research on this page are contributed by Beth Kanell.