We start our Vermont Hiking tour with an assembly on Day 1 in Burlington, and from there we shuttle to Stowe, a charming small town located at the foot of Mount Mansfield. Near Stowe, we will find one of the best spots for hiking on the Stowe Pinnacle Trail. We hike well above the valley, where the views are unparalleled. This 3.7 mile trail is also known for bird-watching, and will give you a great introduction to the terrain of the area. We travel from mountain to Main Street to enjoy the quintessential scenic landscape of Stowe for our first two nights. Sandwiched between Mount Mansfield State Forest and Putnam State Forest, the historic alpine village of Stowe is a chic destination with an eclectic mix of activities, cultural events and arts.
Day 2 is our big challenge with a climb to the highest point in Vermont – Mt. Mansfield. The mountain has the appearance of a human profile, with distinct forehead, nose, lips, chin, and Adam’s apple. The chin is the highest point and our destination for the day. This summit via the Long Trail requires some good scrambling and a few spots with some exposure on the final 1/2 mile push to the summit, and can take up to 2 hours. A great turn-around point, if desired, is Taft Lodge. This is a rustic cabin maintained by the Green Mountain Club an open only to thru hikers, but it has a great deck and nice views to enjoy for a while.
We climb another summit on Day 3 to Camel’s Hump. This area, along with Mt. Mansfield, is a rare area of Vermont where true alpine tundra survives from the Ice Ages. The views from the top provide a 360 degree vista of the surrounding Green Mountains, which in fall shine red and orange, more than green. For the hardy, we can turn this day into a little loop as well, continuing north on more of the Long Trail. After the hike we continue on to the Middlebury Inn, an historic Inn in the center of town the quaint college town, for our last three nights.
Our hike on Day 4 is a little less strenous, but still providing exceptional views. We start in Branbury State park, and continue through Moosalamoo National Recreation Area to the summit of Mt. Moosalamoo. On the return we can take a detour to the Rattlesnake Cliffs where you are almost guaranteed to view peregrine falcons.
We explore a segment of the United States’ oldest footpath on Day 5, running 273 miles along the length of Vermont. The aptly named Long Trail is enjoyed by day hikers and thru hikers alike. Our segment for today starts on the slopes of Middlebury College’s ski training hill, Middlebury Snowbowl. We traverse over 5 summits and down to a hikers lean-to shelter in our 9 miles. Today is a day to enjoy the brilliant colors, the smell of fall, and the quiet solitude of a walk in the woods.
For our last hike on Day 6, we take a shorter trail just outside of Middlebury to Abbey Pond. The pleasant trail through the folliage brings us to a small mountain pond. Photographs of the intense reds and oranges reflected in the water will fill your memory card! You’ll carry those memories of the exceptional hiking tour in Vermont’s Fall Colors, as we return you to Burlington for the conclusion of our tour.