This short out-and-back run takes you through old granite quarry remnants in the Barre Town Forest before reaching Grand Lookout.
Along the way, you'll pass parts of The Quarries Disc Golf Course, towering "grout" piles (the unusable granite discarded by the quarries during operation), defunct mining structures being reclaimed by nature and several intricate granite carvings. At the apex of the run awaits Grand Lookout, from which one can see several obsolete quarries and Barre City below and as far as Camel's Hump and Mansfield
on clear days.
The trails to get to Grand Lookout
are wide paths with no intense inclines. They are a part of the 70-mile network of running and mountain biking trails maintained by the Millstone Trails Association (no charge for runners), within which lies several other defunct quarry sites and overlooks.
Consider extending your run by exploring these trails - it is rather easy to create routes of many different distances that loop back to the parking area. Trail maps can be found online on the MTA website
The numerous trails available offer loops of different distances and technicalities for all trail runners.
The most convenient place to park for this run is in the Barre Town Forest parking area (44 Brook St.).
Find your way to the main trailhead via several worn paths used for the disc golf course at which there will be a sign listing many different trails. Head southwest on VAST
through two of the disc golf course holes and getting your first glimpse at some of the monumental grout piles ahead.
Continue on VAST
through several grout piles until you reach an intersection next to Violet St. Run northwest along the path next to the road for a short distance to cross Church Hill Rd. and continue on Grand Lookout
(gated). From here, it's a straight shot to the overlook.
As you continue along the path, you'll run in between large granite blocks stacked several stories high - some with intricate carvings on them, and through two notable "cold spots" where the temperature drops sharply due to the surrounding geography. You'll pass a larger quarry with granite cliffs over 100 feet high. The ground will disappear to the left and right as you run further along a reclaimed grout pile and mountainous views will emerge before reaching the ledge that is Grand Lookout.
Retrace your path to run back to the parking area.