When you live in the lower elevations of New England, the idea of a hike that stays cool all year round is a novelty. Therefore, when I heard about the White Rocks Ice Beds – where the deep crevices in a massive talus pile protects winter ice deep into the summer – I knew I had to check it out. I mean, cool drafts of air in the hottest days of summer, 40 degree water and great views to boot…it was an obvious choice!

This 1.6 mile round trip hike starts from the Ice Beds parking lot in the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont.  The trailhead is close to the parking lot entrance, following the blue-blazed trail.  Be sure to read the signs, as the far trailhead is a hike to the cliffs, not the ice beds.

After crossing over a brook, the trail climbs several switchbacks to the top of a knoll at 0.2 miles. Although overall the trail isn't difficult, it is rocky and this first section will get your heart pumping.  At the knoll, there is a side spur, leading to a great view of the northwestern side of the White Rocks Cliffs. Continuing on the main trail for another 0.1 miles, there is a larger vista with views of both the cliffs and the valley to the south. After soaking in the view, hop back onto the main trail, which descends to intersect with an old woods road. Bearing left, the trail follows the old road downhill and crosses a stream. From here the trail follows the stream around to the base of the talus pile of massive rocks. Deep within this pile lie the ice beds. 

If you choose to climb the talus pile, do so with caution.  Make sure to bring supportive and sturdy hiking shoes.  Dogs are allowed on leash, however horse back riding, mountain biking and ATVs are prohibited. 

Pack List

  • Sturdy, supportive hiking shoes
  • Snacks and water
  • Bug spray in summer
  • Layers appropriate to the season - New England weather changes fast
  • Camera and tripod
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RT Distance 1.6 Miles
Elevation Gain 180 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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