Earning the View: Vermont’s Iconic Hiking Trails and Peaks
It’s just as fun to go up the mountain as it is to go down thanks to Vermont resort’s well maintained and sprawling trail networks. Thousands of acres of wilderness offer both challenging and meandering trails with beautiful views and the ability to choose between half-day hikes complete with summit dining, to overnight hikes and the opportunity to connect with Vermont’s iconic Long Trail system and the longest hiking foot path in the world, the Appalachian Trail.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Inspiration for both the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail can be traced to the summit of southern Vermont’s highest peak where today these storied footpaths share a route across the top of Stratton Mountain. There’s a good chance of meeting thru-hikers at the firetower, which can be accessed via a gentle .75 mile path from the summit, featuring a unique opportunity to climb 61 winding steps, rising 65 feet in the air, for a view clear across four states. Stratton offers a variety of hiking trails from base to summit, which can also be accessed via the gondola. Hiking poles, maps and a complete selection of supplies are available at First Run in the Village.
Stowe Mountain Resort
The Mt. Mansfield Auto Toll Road is over 150 years old. The 4.5-mile road climbs to an elevation of 3,850 feet, ending at the Mt. Mansfield Summit Station. The road’s upper terminus presents spectacular hiking options. To the north, the Cliff Trail, Long Trail and Canyon Trail – all about 1.5 miles long and climbing about 550 feet – offer three routes to Mansfield’s “Chin,” the highest point in the state of Vermont. Southerly trail options include the Lakeview Trail, Forehead Bypass, and Long Trail to the Forehead.
With 15 miles of hiking trails, hikers will never take the same route up or down The Beast. The rewards after summiting Vermont’s second tallest peak are unencumbered 360-degree views of Vermont’s Green Mountains, New York’s Adirondacks, New Hampshire’s White Mountains and of course access to the Peak Lodge, Killington’s state of the art facility offering fresh food and cool drinks to hikers and mountain bikers all summer. K-1 Gondola Season Passes are also available for unlimited round trip rides to the Peak Lodge on Vermont’s highest elevation lift.
Bolton is home to 100km of cross country and backcountry trails and in the summer, these same trails provide paths for outdoor adventure in over 1100 acres of wilderness. Some trails even lead up the valley to the ridge-line where hikers can connect with Vermont’s iconic Long Trail.
Enjoy a nearly six-mile scenic hike on the Long Trail (Appalachian Trail) leading to the summit of Bromley Mountain. The summit is fully equipped with a shelter, basic privy, and amazing 360° views of the region. The breathtaking views allow you to see Stratton, Okemo, Magic, Killington, and even spot Mount Washington on a clear day. It’s a perfect four-hour day hike that is accessible year-round and allows for visitors to bring their K-9 best friends.
Hiking and walking is a popular activity at Sugarbush Resort. Visitors can try one of the many diverse hikes, explore scenic country roads and covered bridges that scatter the Valley, or meander along the nature paths of the Mad River. Group and private guided naturalist hikes are also available. The Long Trail crosses over both of Sugarbush’s mountains and provides great day hikes, including the Gap-to-Gap Hike from Lincoln Gap across the Monroe Skyline to the Appalachian Gap. The resort also offers hiking trails from its base area to the summits, as well as Burnt Rock, a moderate hike just a few miles from the resort.
Woodstock Inn and Resort
Step outside the Woodstock Inn and Resort and choose from more than 60 miles of interconnected trails and pathways that wind through the Woodstock Village, nearby meadows and woodlands, scenic vistas and rural countryside. Pedestrian pathways skirt local landmarks, while off-road trails yield to magnificent vistas from the summits of Mount Peg and Mount Tom. For a historic walking tour of Woodstock’s past, stroll the 20+ miles of colonial carriage roads as they wander through the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and intersect with the Appalachian Trail.
Jay Peak Resort
On a clear day you might just see the glint of Montreal off in the distance once you’ve hiked to the summit of Jay Peak. If you don’t want to strain your eyes, take in the deep blue of Lake Memphremagog off to the north and Lake Champlain to the west. And don’t bother straining your knees hiking down. Grab a beer at the Sky Haus Café before jumping a ride on the tram back to the base area.
Mad River Glen
When the snow melts, Mad River Glen’s General Stark Mountain becomes a mecca for hikers. With an amazing network of trails for hikers of all ages and ability, the main attraction is the Stark Mountain Trail which runs two and a half miles long and has 2,036’ of vertical gain. The tail meanders up the ski trails under the Single Chair, past a large waterfall, with tremendous views along the way.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Hikers have a variety of ways to enjoy Okemo Mountain, one of Vermont’s largest State Parks. Okemo’s Sunburst Six offers a scenic chairlift ride in comfort. Visitors can hike around the summit area, enjoy refreshments at the summit lodge and ride down at their convenience. The paved Mountain Road, open to cars, bikes and hikers, ends at a parking area a short walk from the summit. Departing from the western side of Okemo Mountain, at the site of a former train station, the Healdville trail is a moderately challenging hike ascending 2,200 feet over three miles to the summit and Okemo’s historic fire tower with 360-degree views that are well-worth the climb up the steel staircase.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Nestled right in the heart of the Green Mountains, Smugglers’ offers hikes for every age, interest, and ability. The Resort hosts guided outings designed for families with young children at a gentle pace and with fun learning opportunities. A variety of other guided outings entice new hikers and experienced hikers with the opportunities to learn more about the history of the surrounding area and the local flora and fauna, and to summit some of the area’s most challenging peaks. Guided hiking is included in the resort’s vacation packages. The resort also provides informational sheets on self-guided outings nearby.
Trapp Family Lodge
Hike Trapp’s many miles of meadows and country roads at Trapp Family Lodge. More than 35 miles of wooded hiking trails offer hikers of all levels breathtaking views and lush greenery. Go backpacking through the trails on your own or take a guided nature walk and learn about native plants, wildlife, and the evolving landscape of Vermont. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful hike to the Chapel. A more challenging hike takes guests to the Slayton Pasture Cabin, a favorite resting spot for cross-country skiers in the winter.
Mount Snow Resort
Whether hiking Mount Snow, on Dover’s network of trails, or in one of Southern Vermont’s six State Parks, it’s safe to say that there’s always a hiking trail near you. If you’re looking for solo exploration while you take in the grandeur of the Green Mountains on your own, or are looking to take part in one of Mount Snow’s guided treks and naturalist tours, there is something for everyone at Mount Snow this summer.
The Magic Mountain Outing Club has built a great network of trails up and around Magic affording great views of southern Vermont and challenging climbs.