Taconic Mountain Ramble Zen Gardens – Castleton, Vermont - Atlas Obscura

Taconic Mountain Ramble Zen Gardens

Castleton, Vermont

This magnificent Japanese garden provides a moment of Zen in rural Vermont.  


The Taconic Mountain Ramble is just a few miles from the Hubbardton Battlefield, the site of the only Revolutionary War battle in the state of Vermont

The 204-acre property was a labor of love for Carson “Kit” Davidson, a New Yorker who acquired the property in 1966 and spent his days blazing trails and designing the site’s Japanese gardens. The Ramble is home to waterfalls, ponds, bridges, meadows, sheer rock cliffs, and views of the rolling hills. Its centerpiece is the garden itself, complete with small stone shrines surrounded by water features. 

Hiking trails welcome visitors of all abilities, from meandering paths through wildflower meadows—to rocky climbs that reward visitors with views from the top of Mount Zion. The view also encompasses the battlefield. Davidson allowed curious locals to enjoy the land for decades, and after his death in 2016, the property was turned over to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation for the enjoyment of the public. 

Know Before You Go

The garden does not allow for overnight stays, smoking, or fires. The Japanese garden is found along a very steep, hilly trail. This is not a developed park. Bring your own food and water. 

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July 20, 2020

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