The Killington Valley has some of the greatest views in the Northeast. From relaxing walks to adventurous climbs for the most skilled hikers, there is always somewhere new to go. Enjoy all the beauty Killington has to offer in Spring and Summer. Then experience fall foliage in all its stunning colors from some of the best peaks in New England. Below is a selection of the best hiking Killington has to offer.
In Vermont, the Appalachian Trail coincides with the Long Trail from the Massachusetts border to Maine Junction at Willard Gap just north of U.S. 4, and then swings east to cross the Connecticut River near Hanover, New Hampshire, a distance of 149.8 miles. The GMC maintains the AT from the Massachusetts border to Vt. 12. to Norwich. For more information about the Appalachian Trail, contact the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Just like the Long Trail, the Vermont Appalachian Trail has shelters that can be used by hikers. Winturri Shelter, Stony Brook Shelter, Thistle Hill Shelter, and Happy Hill Shelter are all available on a first come, first serve basis for hikers to spend the night.Vermont’s mountains aren’t called the Green Mountains for nothing! This section of the A.T. is characterized by dense and verdant forests. The 45 miles of A.T. at the east end of the state are lower elevation, but offer great autumn foliage and a chance to get away from the crowds.
Vermont’s Long Trail System, with its 272-mile footpath, 185 miles of side trails, and approximately 70 back country campsites (many featuring shelters) offers endless hiking opportunities for the day hiker, weekend overnighter, and extended backpacker. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont state line to the Canadian border, crossing Vermont’s highest peaks. Although the Long Trail is known as Vermont’s “footpath in the wilderness,” its character may more accurately be described as backcountry. On its way to Canada, this “footpath in the wilderness” climbs rugged peaks and passes pristine ponds, alpine sedge, hardwood forests, and swift streams. It is steep in places, muddy in others, and rugged in most. Novice and expert alike will enjoy the varied terrain of the trail as it passes through the heart of Vermont.
Starting from the River Road parking area the Appalachian Trail (AT) passes through the open Ottauquechee River floodplain across 900 feet of boardwalk built by the Green Mountain Club. The trail than ascends to the falls viewing platform via an accessible switchback and spur trail built by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. From here, the AT continues its ascent through northern hardwood forest to Thundering Brook Road where a small parking lot can be found.
Thundering Falls provides the first universal accessible portion of the Appalachian Trail in Vermont with wheelchair accessible parking on River Road in Killington.
From the trailhead immediately alongside Route 4 at the top of Shrewsbury Pass, the trail ascends quickly alongside the road (some road noise can be heard in the initial portions of the trail). The trail curves up to a wooded summit and requires a brief ten-minute mild descent down to the rock cliff vista that is Deer’s Leap. Exceptional views can be had generally to the south, very well worth the hour-long hike to the top.
Currently, this trail system includes two trails: The lower trail is a introductory loop that has some flow and very little elevation gain. The upper loop is a beginner trail that has more climbing and is machine built so has a very nice trail tread. You can also enjoy the great views from the Kent Pond Overlook.
The trails travel through mature hardwoods and are very stunning with lots of ferns and woodland wildflowers.
Bald Mountain Trails
The trail begins at the gated state forest management access road south of the Notch Road. There is a kiosk at that location. the trail follows south along the road for ¼ mile before turning to the west and heading uphill. The trail configuration is a ‘lollipop’ with a loop at the end of a ½ mile section of trail. The trail traverses Bald Mountain (2087’) with great views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
Canty Trail/Blue Ridge Trail
A moderately challenging hike, with several creek crossings and great summit views. Entering an evergreen forest the woods road gives way to a trail and climbs to a junction just south of the Blue Ridge Mountain summit at 3278 feet. Follow either spur at the top for great views.
Girl Scout Loop Trail
The Girl Scout Loop Trail begins at the gated road north of the Notch Road just east of the Bald Mountain Trail trailhead kiosk. The trail follows an old loop road that was originally part of a Civilian Conservation Corp camp and later a Girl Scout Camp. The trail is on level terrain.
Leffert’s Pond Trail
A pleasant leisurely walk around Lefferts Pond in Chittenden; cross wooden footbridges, past an old milldam, with a good chance of seeing a moose if you go early in the morning! Points of interest include: remains of an old lodge and an old milldam. The trails in this area are obtained in partnership with multiple organizations including Catamount Trail Association, Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, and Mountain Top Inn.
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