By Aaron Retherford
The Millstone Trails network is known for its miles on end of mountain biking adventure. The trails are also open to hikers, runners, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers.
But in 2013, the Barre Town Forest welcomed an entirely different type of recreationist – disc golfers.
Now in its third year, The Quarries Disc Golf Course in the Barre Town Forest is maturing into one of the must-play courses in central Vermont, complete with an experience like no other in the state.
The disc golf course was designed around the existing walking and mountain biking trails, meandering through the forest and old quarries. The signature hole at No. 5 includes an uphill throw over a quarry filled with water that can play with the mind.
“When my buddy Al (Rosa) went in to design it, he took into consideration all their trails and all their existing vista points,” co-founder David Rouleau said. “He laid it out pretty good and we worked with Millstone Trails’ current leaders. They were really happy with the way we complemented their trails to make them co-exist.”
Disc golfers must yield to hikers and bikers while playing though. Rouleau said there haven’t been any issues yet on the multi-use trail system.
The Quarries course offers two tees per hole. The course plays 4,727 feet from the white tees and 5,645 feet from the blues.
Disc golfers might feel like hikers by the time they’re done with the course. A full 18 holes is a three-mile walk, which is longer than other other popular nearby courses like the Wrightsville Beach course in Middlesex and Center Chains Disc Golf Course in Waterbury. But it’s also worth it.
“The Quarries Disc Golf Course flows through the Town of Barre Forest using the backdrop of historic granite quarries and grout piles, sharing space with many mountain bike and walking trails maintained by Millstone Trails Association,” Rouleau said. “As you play, there are many scenic vistas, including a great view of Capital Quarry, which provided granite for the Statehouse, the Old Number Six Quarry and a spur trail to Rock Tower Lookout.
“The course can be enjoyed playing as all 18 holes, where holes 8 through 13 take you deeper into the forest and offer longer shots, or you can shorten play by jumping from 6 to 14, bringing you back to the parking lot.”
Rouleau said of the 355 acres of town forest, the course spreads across approximately 35 acres.
The course is free to play on an everyday basis, but is closed occasionally for special events like tournaments. On Saturday, the course hosted The Quarries Throwdown, the sixth event of the Green Mountain Points Series.
However, The Quarries also hosts special free events throughout the year, including glow rounds. Disc golfers were able to enjoy the course at night recently during RockFire at the Quarries’ Third Annual Glow Round.
Parking for the course is located at 44 Brook St. in Websterville. The course is open from dawn to dusk.