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Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, Vermont, is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is “to inspire curiosity, love and responsibility toward our natural and working lands.” Its 3200 acres are open every day of the year free of charge from dawn to dusk, and horses are allowed on approximately 14 miles of trails. There are cabins for remote camping.


According to the Center:

  • Trailers may be parked at the back of the parking lot at the Visitor Center. There is not enough room at the South Gate to turn around or park trailers, so please do not attempt to access the property there.

  • Please check their website before going and do not bring horses on days when there are large public events such as Meet the Lambs and Harvest Festival. If unsure, call ahead.

  • Horseback riding is allowed but no driving (no carts, carriages).

  • Horses are allowed on any trail with “Road” in the name.

  • These “road” trails are dirt and grass-covered double-track trails through the forest, used for maintenance vehicles but no other vehicles.

  • Hunting is allowed in the forest but there is a no-hunting zone – click here for a map.

  • There are several remote rustic cabins and lean-tos for camping. They are accessible on foot or horseback, not by vehicle, so you must carry in all your supplies. Horses are allowed at the cabins. They must be reserved ahead of time (see the Merck Forest website). Please follow these guidelines:

    • Carry in, carry out (do not leave anything behind)

    • Move all manure to a place where it will decompose out of the way of the trail and campsite area

    • You may secure your horse as you wish (small temporary paddock, high line, etc.) but it must be in a way that does no damage, other than horses eating grass

    • Be considerate to leave the area in good shape for the next user

If you have ridden in Merck Forest, the VHC Trail Connection would love to hear about your experience, get a photo or two, and learn of any additional information that would be helpful to post on this page. Email us at