Green Mountain Gambols
Distance: 9.8 miles round-trip
Time: 6 hours
This long day hike features outstanding views of the Dorset Valley, Manchester, and Mount Equinox.
From the parking area on Vermont 11/30, cross the road, ascend the highway bank, and enter the woods (also a boulder field). Hike nearly half a mile and cross a stream, as well as the old, overgrown Vermont 11/30. Hike another .25 mile, cross another stream, and begin to ascend steeply.
Almost 1 mile after beginning your hike, you will pass two vistas (one to the south and one to the northwest), reach a ridgetop, and descend down a narrow ridge through a hardwood forest. Hike another .9 mile, cross an old woods road and a small brook, and ascend west and then south.
At mile 2.2, reach the junction with a side trail that leads a short distance to Spruce Peak (elevation 2,060 feet). At this side trail, head left along the A.T. for another .5 mile to the side trail to Spruce Peak Shelter. Water is available from a spring just south of the shelter, which is .1 mile off the trail.
Hike another .4 mile, cross a stream in a small gully, turn sharply left, and ascend the ridge. Reach the high point on the western flank of the ridge in .25 mile, continue south for just over 1 mile, cross a small stream, and descend.
At mile 4.9, reach the side trail that leads a short distance to Prospect Rock (elevation 2,079 feet), which affords magnificent views of the Dorset Valley, Manchester, and Mount Equinox.
Return to the parking area by retracing your footsteps north on the A.T.
The trail crossing at Vermont 11/30 is 5.5 miles east of Manchester Center and 4.4 miles west of Peru.
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Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication