Green Mountain National Forest

Hiking - Manchester Range District

The Appalachian and Long Trails (AT/LT) - The Long Trail winds over the main ridges of the Green Mountains for 265 miles between the Massachusetts and Canadian borders. Where the LT traverses the Manchester Ranger District (72 miles), it is also part of the Appalachian Trail, a National Scenic Trail crossing 14 states from Georgia to Maine. Shelters are located at convenient intervals to provide relief from bad weather and facilitate overnight stays along the trail. Before planning longer hikes, however, the hiker should have the detailed Guide Book of the Long Trail and be familiar with the rules and courtesies governing responsible use of the trails and shelters. This book is available at a nominal fee from area book stores, sports shops, from the Green Mountain Club, Inc., RR #1, Box 650, Waterbury Center, Vermont 05677, and from selected Green Mountain National Forest offices.

The trail descriptions are divided into three rating categories:

Easy: Most of these trails are relatively short (less than two miles long) with only a few steep pitches and many flat or gentle sections where you can catch your breath. The vertical climb is normally less than 700 feet.

Moderate: Most trails rated "Moderate" are less than three miles long. They climb fairly continuously uphill with occasional "rest" sections. Steep pitches are common. The vertical climb is normally between 700 and 1,500 feet. If you're not in good physical condition, you should plan a half to a full day for the round-trip and allow for frequent rest stops.

Difficult: Trails rated "Difficult" tend to be longer than three miles with vertical climbs exceeding 1,500 feet. There are very few "rest" sections. You should attempt these trails only if you are in excellent physical condition.

1. Keewaydin Trail - From the upper end of the White Rocks Picnic Area near Wallingford, follow the blue blazes 0.4 mile to Bully Brook Waterfalls and 0.8 mile to the Appalachian/Long Trail. The trail passes through private land and back to National Forest Land. Rated: Moderately difficult.

2. White Rocks/lce Beds Trail - From the White Rocks Picnic Area, follow the trail for 0.2 mile to a good view of the White Rocks. To follow the Ice Beds Trail, bear to the right at the fork in the trail. The distance from the fork to the ice beds is 0.6 mile. Rated: Moderate.

3. Homer Stone Brook Trail - From South Wallingford, take the Hartsboro Road to the Homer Stone Road (no parking available). The trail is the first left on an old road that follows Homer Stone Brook for two miles. The trail then bears right and uphill for 0.5 mile to Little Rock Pond and the Appalachian/Long Trail. Rated: Moderately difficult, 5 miles.

4. Green Mountain Trail - From Route 7, turn east at Danby onto Forest Road 10. Park at the Big Branch Picnic Area on Forest Road 10. The trail begins about 100 feet west of the picnic area, on the road. Hike north on the blue-blazed trail for 4.1 miles to Little Rock Pond. Rated: Moderate to difficult. For a loop route, follow the white-blazed Long Trail 2.0 miles south back to Forest Road 10. Turn right (west) for a 0.5-mile walk back to the Big Branch Picnic Area. Rated: Moderate. Total loop is 6+ miles.

5. Big Branch Trail - This trail is accessed from the Big Branch Picnic Area off Forest Road 10 in Mt. Tabor. The trail starts in the break of the rail fence. It follows down a narrow path for 0.1 mile to the Big Branch. Rated: Moderately difficult.

6. Greendale Trail - From Route 100 north of Weston, turn northeast on to the Greendale Road, FR 18, and drive to the end where there is a beaver pond. Then turn east, cross a stream, and hike along an old road for about one mile to some open meadows. Note: This trail is not blazed. Rated: Easy, 3 miles round-trip.

7. Old Job Trail - This trail is accessed from Forest Road 30 (off of FR 10) where it crosses Lake Brook. The trail is a loop trail and may be traveled in either direction. Traveling north (downstream), it is 0.9 mile to the Old Job Shelter and another mile to the Big Branch Shelter just past the trail's junction with the Appalachian/Long Trail. Return the same way, or hike south on the Appalachian/Long Trail for 1.5 miles to FR 30, and then east on FR 30 for 2.5 miles back to your car. (Total loop is 5.9 miles.) Traveling south on the Old Job Trail, it is 3.4 miles uphill to Griffith Lake. Return the same way or hike up 2 miles to Baker Peak on the Appalachian/Long Trail. Continue north on the Appalachian/Long Trail for 2.0 miles to FR 30, and then east on FR 30 back to your car. (Total loop is 9.9 miles.) Rated: Both directions are easily hiked.

8. Lake Trail/Baker Peak Trail - Two miles north of Emerald Lake on Route 7, take the first right after the Green Mountain National Forest sign to the trailhead parking area. Follow the blue-blazed trail for two miles to McGinn Brook crossing. Here the trail divides. To the left, it is one mile to the summit of Baker Peak, which offers views of the Route 7 valley and the marble quarries on Dorset Peak. To the right it is 1.5 miles to Griffith Lake. The Appalachian/Long Trail provides a two-mile connecting link between Baker Peak and Griffith Lake. Rated: Moderate.

9. Griffith Lake Trail - From the end of Forest Road 58, where you may park your vehicle, hike north on an old road approximately 2.2 miles to Griffith Lake. This is a snowmobile trail and is blazed with green snowmobile markers. Rated: Easy, 4.4 miles round-trip.

10. Styles and Peru Peaks - AT/LT - From the trailhead at Mad Tom Notch on Forest Road 21, follow the trail north 1.5 miles to 3,394-foot Styles Peak where there are good views. Continue another 1.7 miles to reach Peru Peak at 3,429 feet. 6.4 miles round-trip. Rated: Difficult.

11. Hapgood Pond Trails - Trail is located north of Peru at the Hapgood Pond Recreation Area off Forest Highway 3. A trail begins at the picnic area and continues 0.8 mile around the north edge of the pond to the dam. *Admission to Hapgood Pond is $4 per car. Rated: Easy.

12. Bromley Mountain - AT/LT - Five miles east of Manchester Center on Route 11/30 is the parking area for the Appalachian/Long Trail. From the parking area, hike north on the Appalachian/Long Trail for 3 miles to the top of Bromley Mountain. There are excellent views of Stratton and Equinox Mountains from the summit. Rated: Moderately difficult.

13. Spruce Peak - AT/LT - Five miles east of Manchester Center on Routes 11/30 is the parking area for the Appalachian/Long Trail. Park on the north side of the highway. Cross the highway and hike south on the Appalachian/Long Trail for 2.2 miles to Spruce Peak. The summit affords views of the Taconic Mountains and the Manchester valley. Note: To reach the summit, follow a 300-foot, blue-blazed side trail off of the Appalachian/Long Trail. Rated: Moderate.

14. Bourn Pond and Branch Pond Trails - Start at the height of land from the Kelley Stand Road (Forest Highway 6) between Arlington and West Wardsboro. Take the Branch Pond Trail two miles north to Branch Pond. It is another two miles north to Bourn Pond in Lye Brook Wilderness. Access is also available from the end of Forest Road 70; hike west 0.1 mile to Branch Pond and east 2.5 miles to Bourn Pond. Rated: Moderate.

15. Stratton Pond Trail - Park at the trailhead parking lot on FR 71. Cross the Kelley Stand Road and hike north for 3.9 miles to where the trail comes to the southeast corner of Stratton Pond. Rated: Moderate.

16. Stratton Mountain - AT/LT - Start from the parking lot on the Kelly Stand Road near the Deerfield River bridge. Hike north 3.3 miles to the top of Stratton. Climb the fire tower at the top for a panoramic view of southern Vermont. Rated: Moderately difficult.

17. Grout Pond Trails - There are a series of easy loop trails, which pass around Grout Pond and access the north end of Somerset Reservoir. There are a total of 10 miles of trails for both winter (ski and snowmobile) and summer (hiking) use. Camping, picnicking, swimming, and other activities are also popular at Grout Pond. Rated: Easy.

18. Bald Mountain Trail - This trail begins near the water tanks on the Bolles Brook Road (off Route 9 at Woodford Town Hall) and climbs about 1.9 miles west to the summit of Bald Mountain where there are excellent views of Bennington, Massachusetts and New York. From here, hike in two directions. The Bald Mountain Trail continues on the west side of Bald Mountain for 3.5 miles south to Branch Street in Bennington. It is about 4 miles back to your car on the Bolles Brook Road. (Total loop is 9.4 miles.) Or, travel east from Bald Mountain on the West Ridge Trail for 7.7 miles to Glastenbury Mountain (elevation 3,748 feet) where there is a shelter. A loop back to Route 9 can be made by following the Appalachian/Long Trail south for 9.8 miles. From Route 9 it is 2 miles back to your car on the Bolles Brook Road. (Total loop is 21.4 miles.) Rated: Moderately difficult. It is recommended that you allow two days to hike the complete loop over Glastenbury Mountain.

19. Harmon Hill - AT/LT - From the Appalachian/Long Trail trailhead on Route 9, about 8 miles east of Bennington, hike south to Harmon Hill for an overlook of Bennington. This section of trail is about 1.7 miles in length, but the first mile is very steep. Rated: Moderately difficult.

20. Haystack Mountain Trail - This trail begins on an old road at the upper reaches of the Chimney Hill subdivision, 200 feet east of the highest crossing of Binney Brook. The trail bears left after about 0.8 mile and then begins to climb steeply for about 0.6 mile to the summit where there are excellent views of Massachusetts. Rated: Moderate to difficult, 2.8 miles round-trip.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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