Mobbs Farm, just 16 miles from Burlington, VT is a popular recreation spot for area residents as well as out-of-town visitors. It is located in the Green Mountain foothills about 1 mile south of the Jericho, VT town center on Browns Trace in Chittenden County. Jericho has historically been a rural, farming and mill community known mostly for sheep, dairy and wool carding and cloth mills. Hundreds of farms once dotted the landscape and eight mills lined the Browns River in Jericho. Today, only two dairy farms and a few historic mill sites remain. The forests are reclaiming pastureland.
The town of Jericho purchased the 300-acre Mobbs Farm, a classic example of the once prolific Vermont hillside family farm, in 1968. The property is open to all forms of non-motorized outdoor activities, including: mountain biking, hiking, trail running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding.
The area topography is diverse. Over 10 miles of multi-use recreational trails traverse successional northern hardwood forest, dense stands of hemlock and pine, expansive fields, rolling hills, sandy terraces, slick rocky ledges and steep sloped stream valleys. Stone walls that once separated farm fields and delineated property lines, cellar holes, apple orchards, old derelict cars and barbed wire fences can be seen throughout the recreation area and remind trail users of the past.
Mill Brook follows the southwestern boundary of Mobbs Farm, culminating in a series of cascading waterfalls and popular swimming holes just beyond the farm boundary. Several trails with benches parallel the brook, offering trail users the opportunity to stop and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Whitewater kayakers like to test their skills in the cascades during the spring.
Mobbs Farm also provides habitat for a variety of wildlife including: deer, bear, fox, coyotes, fisher, raccoon, weasel, beaver, salamanders, turtles and a variety of birds. The property is also part of an important wildlife corridor that runs from the Winooski River, through the adjacent University of Vermont Research Forest and Mobbs Farm up into the Chittenden County uplands.
Trail Description: Mobbs Farm Valley and Mobbs Hill
Fitzsimonds Road divides Mobbs Farm into two equal halves, “Mobbs Valley” and “Mobbs Hill”. Over the past ten years the existing 4-mile, well-worn trail system of mostly logging roads has been expanded into a 10 + mile sustainable, multi-use recreational trail network designed to maximize Mobb Farm’s varied topography and natural resources. Mountain bikers of all ability and skill levels will enjoy mountain biking here. All the trails are multi use and open to all users unless signed otherwise.
The current trail system was created through a cooperative effort between the Jericho Conservation Committee, the Fellowship of the Wheel Mountain Bike Club (FOTW) and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corp (VYCC).
On the Valley side (western) of Mobbs Farm, existing logging roads were cleared and a five- mile beginner/intermediate singletrack mountain biking loop was developed. Five wooden trail bridges were constructed by the VYCC to link the trails over ravines and small streams. On the Mobbs Hill (east) side of the property, a technically challenging 3.5-mile mountain bike trail loop was built. The trails are currently monitored and maintained by the Mobbs Farm Trail Committee.
Although the existence of way-finding signage on many of the trails is scattered, improvements are underway. The main mountain bike routes are marked with arrows posted on trees and the trail markers and signage in the Mobbs Valley area was recently updated.
Mobbs Hill Farm Trail maps are posted on the Informational Kiosk at the Fitzsimonds Rd. parking area.
Mobbs Valley Mountain Bike Trails (West)
The combination of rolling singletrack mountain bike trails and wide doubletrack trails in this section provide an easier biking and hiking experience than the trails in the hillier Mobb Hill area. The trails are well marked and designate the different walking/hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails.
The buff, fast and fun, 5-mile MTB singletrack loop in this section is blazed with yellow arrows and may be ridden in either direction. While there is nothing overly technical, the varied topography makes things quite interesting. The route circumnavigates former pastureland, winds through dense stands of hemlock and pine, past wetland areas and traverses the open forest along Mill Brook. The five bridges, built by VYCC are trail highlights. The wide doubletrack trails provide ideal warm-up and practice routes for beginner mountain bikers.
Mobbs Hill Mountain Bike Trails (East)
The Mobbs Hill trail system is mostly forested and will challenge even the most experienced mountain biker. The trails in this area are not very well marked. Markers are spaced at great intervals and at times are non-existent.
The most popular trail in the Mob Hill section is the Americana Trail. This 3.5-mile designated mountain bike loop was designed to be ridden in one direction. It is easy to follow and marked with red directional arrows. From the parking area, head south about a quarter of a mile on Fitzsimonds Rd, to access the Americana Trailhead from the Mobbs Farm southern entrance.
The Americana Trail, named for the old cars and other arcane artifacts found along the trail system, twists and turns through a relatively compact area in the far western section of Mobbs Hill. Steep climbs and fast technical descents, rock drops, narrow technical singletrack, and exposed slick rock ledges are just some of the technical delights to be experienced on the trail.
Chittenden Mills (Old Red Mill) and Mill House
The Old Red Mill was constructed around 1820 as a gristmill. It is one of two remaining mills out of eight that were once situated on the Brown's River in Jericho. Today, the Mill complex is a National Historic Site. The town purchased the Mill in 1973 and rented it to the Jericho Historical Society, which renovated the building for use as a community cultural, educational and recreational center. They acquired the adjacent Mill house (circa 1859) with gothic gables and gingerbread trim in 1978. The Old Mill Craft Shop, staffed by local volunteers, features handmade Vermont crafts. Proceeds go towards Mill restoration projects.
Directions: Jericho Village on Route 15, 30 minutes from Burlington, Vermont. Take exit 15 from I-89 and follow Rt. 15 through Essex Center. As you enter Jericho, look for the classic mill on your left by the River Bridge.
From I-89 northbound take Exit 11 (Richmond/Williston). Turn right off ramp, then immediate right onto Rt. 117 west. See below.
From I-89 southbound take Exit 11 (Richmond/Williston). Turn left off ramp, go .2 miles, then right onto Rt.117 west. See below.
Make immediate right turn onto Governor Peck Rd. and travel 2.3 miles. Turn left onto Browns Trace Rd. and travel .1 miles. Turn left onto Fitzsimonds Rd. (unpaved) and go .8 miles to a parking area on the left. The lot can accommodate only 5 cars! Do not block traffic on Fitzsimonds Rd.
Town of Jericho