Vermont Day Hikes
The Green Mountain Club website is a great resource for day hikes in Vermont! Here is a list, taken from their website, of some beautiful day hikes:
Barnes Camp Loop, Stowe: This newly opened 1.5-mile loop is a great moderate option found in the scenic Smuggler’s Notch. The loop starts at the historic Barnes Camp on the new ADA accessible boardwalk then continues on the white-blazed Long Trail. In 0.3 miles, turn right to follow blue blazes towards the picnic area. At the next intersection, hikers can head towards the picnic area for lunch, or continue to the right following the blue blazes towards a river crossing that can be difficult in high water conditions. After the river, follow the trail to the intersection with the Long Trail, where you will turn right to follow the white blazes back to Barnes Camp.
Belvidere Mountain, Eden: For those trying to tick off the side-to-side trails, a difficult 7.9-mile loop can be made by connecting Frank Post Trail, the Long Trail, and Forester’s Trail. Along the way, stop and have lunch at Tillotson Camp then continue on to climb the fire tower on the summit of Belvidere for 360 views.
Mt. Elmore, Morrisville: As one of the smaller peaks in the Worcester Range, Mt. Elmore is a great beginner hike. Accessing the trail from Mt. Elmore State Park, hikers are rewarded with amazing views of the Lamoille River Valley from a fire tower at the summit. Now included on our Mansfield Map.
Moose Mountain Trail, Willoughby State Forest: In a moderate 1.7 miles from the front door of our Hadsel Mares cabin on Wheeler Pond, you can summit Moose Mountain, connect to other trails in our Northeast Kingdom Section and experience great views of Lake Willoughby and the surrounding area.
Little Rock Pond Loop, Danby: This moderate 7-mile loop includes the blue blazed Green Mountain Trail, an opportunity to swim in Little Rock Pond or have lunch at the shelter, then an easy descent on the Long Trail back to the parking lot. It makes for a pleasant, relaxing trip out in the woods. Now included in our new Manchester Map.
North Stratton Mountain, Stratton: The Wanderer Trail leaves from Stratton Mountain Ski Resort and gradually winds 2.4 miles across ski trails and past chairlifts to the summit. Nice views are found throughout from the open ski trails. To continue to Stratton Mountain follow Stratton Ridge Trail to the Long Trail.
Bald Mountain Trail, Bennington: This trail leaves from Branch Street in Bennington and follows an old road, gradually becoming a lovely footpath through the woods. A spur trail leads hikers to White Rocks ledges that afford excellent views of Bennington and the surrounding countryside. Continue to the West Ridge Trail to summit Bald Mountain.
Mt. Olga, Wilmington: An easy 2.0-mile loop can be made by families and novice hikers looking to summit a smaller mountain with nice views. Mt. Olga became a fire lookout site in 1930, but the current steel tower was transferred from Bald Mountain in 1950. From the top of the tower, there are wonderful views of Southern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
Appalachian Trail, Maine Junction to Norwich: This 44-mile section of the AT has many day hike options that provide rolling hills, open pasture, views, and shelters. Make your day as long or as short as you want. Specific suggestions can be found in our Day Hiker’s Guide or Long Trail Guide.
Mt. Ascutney, Windsor: A true monadnock, Mt. Ascutney has many interesting features with trails for all levels of ability. Hikers can visit waterfalls, an old granite quarry, and a stone hut site. The stone hut was built in 1858 as an overnight shelter for hikers. A fire tower at the summit provides 360 views.
Echo Mountain, Fairlee: This trail starts across from the Lake Morey boat launch and moderately climbs to Eagle’s Bluff, an outlook that includes views of the lake, Mt. Moosilauke, Mt. Cube, and Smart’s Mountain. This is a great hike for families and hikers of all abilities.
Spruce Mountain, Plainfield: This family-friendly trail winds 2.2 miles to the summit where a fire tower provides 360 views of the surrounding area. Originally built in 1919 and replaced in 1944, the current tower was placed on the National Historic Lookout Register.
The Presidents, Lincoln: Another hike for aspiring side to siders, this difficult 12.4-mile loop via Cooley Glen Trail, the Long Trail, and Emily Proctor Trail is aptly named as it brings hikers over Mt. Cleveland, Mt. Roosevelt, and Mt. Wilson. The two shelters along the way provide nice places to rest during this long adventure.
Appalachian Trail from River Rd to Route 100, Killington: This 2-mile stretch of the A.T brings hikers across the 900-ft Thundering Falls ADA accessible boardwalk to a scenic waterfall, then continues past the beautiful Kent Pond to Route 100. Park cars or head back the way you came to lengthen your trip.
Stark’s Nest, Irasville: Starting at Mad River Glen Ski Area, a moderate 5.3-mile loop starts with Stark Mountain Trail which brings hikers across ski trails and past the famous single chair to the beautiful views at the top of Stark’s Nest. Rest at the warming hut before taking a rugged section of the Long Trail to Sunnyside Trail.
Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, Brandon: Located on the edge of Lake Dunmore, this network has over 70 miles of trails for hikers of all abilities. There are waterfalls, lakes, ponds, and viewpoints. Hikers can spend several days exploring the natural features found within this area.
For more information, visit their Day Hikes page.
They also have two up-coming workshops, Hunting Wild Mushrooms and Map and Compass 101. To learn more about these classes, visit their Workshops Page.
View from Mt. Elmore Photo credit: Green Mountain Club