In addition to village buildings and businesses, the Foundation owns approximately 1,600 acres of land, roughly two percent of the land in Grafton. Over 95 percent of that acreage is cropland, pasture and forest. The cropland is used primarily in the dairy operation at Idyll Acres Farm. The balance is grazed by a flock of sheep, managed by the Windham Foundation.
Several miles of hiking and cross country ski trails traverse the Foundation’s woodland, which is used at the multi-seasonal Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center.
Ongoing professional forest management practices assure a continued harvest from Foundation woodlands.
Located across the road from the Windham Foundation offices is where the sheep flock is housed. Located on the Grafton walking trail just behind the Foundation's offices is a sheep display that tracks the history of the sheep industry in general with a special emphasis on Grafton's contributions. The sheep project is part of the Foundation’s contribution to an effort to promote the sheep industry in Vermont. The University of Vermont Extension, in cooperation with Windham Foundation and Shelburne Farms, sponsors an annual sheep shearing class. One is held here in Grafton every spring. The class covers how to set up equipment and the basics of how to shear a sheep, followed by actual shearing under the supervision of a professional shearer. We post the class information in our news section as it becomes available.
In 2001, the Windham Foundation purchased the 475-acre Retreat Farm property, which includes a portion of the Retreat Trails land. The Retreat Trails network is on land owned by both the Windham Foundation and the Brattleboro Retreat. Together we offer and maintain them for public recreational use.
The trails encompass more than nine miles and more than 400 acress of trails, forests and agricutural land. The trails are open year-round for non-motorized enthusiasts and their leashed pets.
Learn more about the Retreat Trails including a downloadable map, and an audiofile of our Woodlands Interpretive Trail, which is located in the Retreat Trail network. We are proud of the use these trails get year-round and how the community rallies together with us to keep them accessible and in great shape.