Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park related to the Billings Farm & Museum?
The park is named for George Perkins Marsh, author of Man and Nature (1864) and one of the nation's first environmental thinkers. It is also named for Frederick Billings, a 19th-century lawyer and railroad entrepreneur who bought the property from the Marsh family and who was deeply influenced by Marsh's conservation thinking. Billings established a progressive dairy farm and professionally managed forest on the property. His granddaughter Mary French Rockefeller and her husband Laurance Spelman Rockefeller sustained Billings' practices in forestry and farming during the latter half of the twentieth century. Continuing the property's agricultural legacy, the was opened in 1983 as an operating dairy farm and a living museum of Vermont's rural past. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, which includes the property's residential core and 550-acre forest, was created in 1992 as a gift to the American people by Mary and Laurance Rockefeller. Today the national historical park is an operating partner of the adjoining Billings Farm & Museum, and shares public parking and visitor orientation space at the Farm & Museum's visitor center.
Q: When is the park open?
We are open from Memorial Day weekend (late May) to October 31, seven days a week, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Guided tours of the park are offered during this time.
Q: Can I visit in the winter?
The visitor centers and Mansion are open Memorial Day weekend (late May) to October 31. The trails and carriage roads are available for three-season hiking and equestrian use, until winter snows arrive and the roads are groomed and used only for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Q: May I take pets into the park?
Leashed pets are welcome until winter snows arrive and the carriage roads are groomed and used only for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Pets are not allowed on groomed roads and trails. During the rest of the year, please make sure pets are on leash at all times.
Q: I am disabled. How can I see the park?
Public parking for disabled persons is available at the Billings Farm & Museum parking area. For visitors taking guided tours at the national park, a special pass may be obtained at the National Park Service desk in the Billings Farm & Museum Visitor Center in order to park within close proximity to the Mansion and Carriage Barn Visitor Center. Both facilities are wheelchair accessible. Please ask park staff for assistance. For further information, call 802-457-3368 ext 22.
Q: May I ride my bicycle on the carriage roads?
The use of mountain bikes on the carriage roads and trails is specifically restricted in the Deed of Gift - a permanent condition of the generous donation that transferred most of Mount Tom to the National Park Service and the American people. Since the park opened in 1998, people have been understanding and respectful of this limitation and have enjoyed the carriage roads and trails in many other ways.
A gentle 3/4-mile walk loops around the Pogue.
Q: What is the Pogue, and how did it get its name?
The Pogue is a man-made 14-acre pond tucked into the hills of the park's Mount Tom Forest. Naturally a spring-fed boggy area, it was created in the 1880s when an earthen dam was constructed. It is rumored to be bottomless! The origin of its name is still in question. One theory believes it is derived from an Abenaki word describing the area. Another theory holds that it is an old Scottish word and was given to the boggy area by an early settler to Woodstock. Please note: There is no swimming, fishing, or wading allowed in the Pogue.