Take a Hike – Historical Retreat Tower in Brattelboro, VT

Tower Built by Patients of Vermont Asylum in 1887

Are you looking for a spooky hike? How about taking a walk into the woods to see an old cemetery? Maybe you’d like to see the rundown building that once was known as Vermont Asylum? Perhaps the Brattleboro Retreat Tower that was built by the patients of Vermont Asylum in 1887 perks your interest even more? Whatever you’re ready to see, all three of these spooky things exist at one location.

I’ve ventured this way once before, but this time was a little different. I was able to bring most of my little family over to check out this creepy location in the woods of Brattleboro, Vermont. The story itself is a historical story, I mean who wouldn’t want to see a storied tower built by patients of an insane asylum? Okay, so maybe not everyone, but this is a short hike to enjoy in Vermont with family. 

It took a little convincing to get the middle child out there ready to go, we sort of just surprised him, to be honest.  He took it rather well, considering the fact that he doesn’t care for surprises and he certainly doesn’t like surprises that involve hiking. I’m happy to report that our middle child {and the rest of us} had fun!

I got ready to hit the road for our adventure … brushing out my bedhead, throwing on a shirt, jeans, and sneakers too. We packed up the family van and ventured out to the town of Brattleboro, Vermont to find this retreat tower built by patients of Vermont Asylum in 1887. 

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GPS Location of Brattleboro Retreat Tower

I forgot how complicated it was to figure out the location of the Brattleboro Retreat Tower, but we found it. The address is Retreat Tower, Reservoir Loop, Brattleboro, VT 05301. Your GPS will lead you to the corner of a street, do not park there as it’s someone’s driveway. Park along the side of this road that the GPS leads you to, and walk down the long driveway that’s located near the area that GPS has you arrive at.

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Yes, it will look like you’re walking down someone’s driveway, and technically it might be, but the owners are used to people having to walk down this driveaway to get to the Tower Built by Patients of Vermont Asylum in 1887. 

Take a Hike – Historical Retreat Tower in Brattelboro, VT

Tower Built by Patients of Vermont Asylum in 1887

This was called the Vermont Asylum for the Insane when it was first built in 1834 but was renamed the Brattleboro Retreat in the late 19th Century to avoid confusion with the state-run insane asylum in Vermont. The storied tower was said to be built by the patients of Vermont Asylum as the doctors felt physical labor was a good way to help the mentally ill.

Many Suicides Off the Retreat Tower

While they felt the tower would help those homed at the Vermont Asylum, it ultimately gave the patients a place to escape and jump to their death. The number of suicides that were committed off the top of the Brattleboro Retreat Tower is not made public, but let’s just say the death count from this facility is much larger than the number of graves found in the asylum’s cemetery. 

Apparitions After Dark at Vermont Asylum 1887 Tower

It’s said that you can see a ghost flying to their “death” from the top of this 1887 tower. That is if you hike this trail after dark, and I’m not going to be the one to find out if there’s truth to that statement. The apparition disappears before it hits the ground. In addition, it’s said that the cemetery is quite eerie after dark. Some visitors have felt someone watching them when visiting the cemetery at the base of the Retreat Tower area. 

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Whether haunted or not, this Tower Built by Patients of Vermont Asylum in 1887 is a pretty neat spot to check out. The hike is a short hike uphill, so be prepared to walk uphill. There’s a stone stairway with a railing, but it’s not super sturdy so those who aren’t good on unstable ground, may not be able to do this hike.

Once you reach the retreat tower, you’ll be amazed at the view. This tower is so tall and magnificent. It’s up in the woods, literally in the middle of nowhere. I guess they do open the tower one or two times a year for visitors to walk up and get a view from the top, but I have yet to find out exactly when they open up for said tours. 

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12 thoughts on “Tower Built by Patients of Vermont Asylum in 1887

  1. This looks really cool and intereting but I am not sure if I could ever get myself in there. I am such a coward on places like this!

  2. This looks like a cool place to check out. It is amazing how these old structures have held up over the test of time. I’m like you, touring during the day would be okay but I’d rather let a drone go near it after dark. No way, I would be close to it in case it is haunted.

  3. This tower is one that I would love to visit in person. I love spooky visits like this, but it’s sad that so many took their lives there though 🙁

  4. That tower looks amazing indeed. I have always wanted to visit and explore Vermont. Hopefully, we get to do it someday.

  5. That looks really cool but if it is scary at all I am a big chicken. I will not go anywhere that looks like it’s going to be freaky LOL. I would love to get some pictures there though so I will be a little bit conflicted LOL.

  6. Oh I love to travel to things like that. Looks like a cool place to visit. Florida has places like that I haven’t been to yet.

  7. This is the coolest! I love history, so I would be all about checking this out. It would get me to hike, that’s for sure. Normally I can be anti-hike, but this would do it 😉

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