This week’s recommended hikes:
Let’s HikeVT! This week we’re featuring easy, moderate, and difficult trails that start in or near Lincoln Gap in central Vermont. The accessible trail is part of the Mad River Path trail network in nearby Waitsfield.
- Sunset Ledge – EASY
- Orvis Lookout – MODERATE
- Mount Abraham – DIFFICULT
- Hosford Heart of the Valley Trail – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
From Lincoln Gap parking lot:
Sunset Ledge via the Long Trail – EASY+
» 2.2 mi round trip, approx. 390 ft elevation gain
This short, popular hike leads to open ledges with views west to Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. From the parking lot, follow the white-blazed Long Trail SOUTH. While this trail is short, be prepared for some rugged terrain as you ascend the mile to the lookout.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are inspired by the name to hike this route for sunset, be sure each person has a flashlight and/or headlamp with fresh batteries. Do no rely on cell phones to light your way back down.
Mount Abraham via the Long Trail – DIFFICULT
» 5.2 mi round trip, approx. 1,600 ft elevation gain
From the Lincoln Gap trailhead, hike NORTH on the Long Trail for 1.7 miles to Battell Shelter. Continue 0.9 miles north on the LT. This section north of the shelter includes a few rocky scrambles before emerging above tree line and reaching the summit. When you start the rock scramble you are entering the fragile Alpine Zone. Above this point, please take care to walk only on rock, as the plants are easily permanently damaged by foot traffic.
Driving Directions to Lincoln Gap Parking Lot:
From Lincoln: Head east on East River Rd/Lincoln Gap Rd and continue up into the gap. Parking is just after crossing the height of land and beginning the descent. If there is no parking in the dirt pull-offs, please use the designated parking lot on the right just past the pull-offs.
From Waitsfield: Head south on VT-100 S and turn right on Lincoln Gap Rd in Warren. Follow the road as it steeply climbs up into the gap. You will first see a parking lot driveway on your left, followed immediately by two dirt pull-offs. Please park in either the parking lot or the large dirt pull-offs.
PLEASE NOTE: This parking lot fills quickly, and the gap may be difficult to drive through on busy fall weekends. We recommend hiking these routes on weekdays if possible. DO NOT park along the side of the road if the lots are full. The road is extremely narrow with very limited line-of-sight for drivers and pedestrians. This road and parking lot are closed in winter.
From Jerusalem Trail parking lot:
Orvis Lookout via the Jerusalem Trail – MODERATE
» 4.9 mi round trip, approx. 1,800 ft elevation gain
From the trailhead, ascend the Jerusalem Trail 2.4 miles to the intersection with the Long Trail. This trail passes through an active sugarbush for the first portion, so you will cross ATV trails and pass maple sap tubes on the trees. Be sure to stay on the blue-blazed trail. When you reach the end of the “J Trail,” take a left on the white-blazed LT North. Follow it a short distance to Orvis Lookout, which features lovely westerly views of Lake Champlain.
Driving Directions to Jerusalem Trail Parking Lot on Jim Dwire Road:
From Lincoln: From the center of town, head north on Quaker St. Follow Quaker St. until it ends at VT-17, then turn right. Follow VT-17 W and turn right on Jerusalem Rd just after the Jerusalem Country Store. Immediately turn left to stay on Jerusalem Rd. In .7 mi, turn left on Jim Dwire Rd. Dirt parking area will be on your right in .5 mi.
From Waitsfield: Head west on VT-17 W and follow it through Appalachian Gap. 6 mi after height of App Gap, turn left on Jerusalem Rd (just before Jerusalem Country Store). Immediately turn left to stay on Jerusalem Rd. In .7 mi, turn left on Jim Dwire Rd. Dirt parking area will be on your right in .5 mi.
In Mad River Path Network:
Babcock Nature Preserve Trail – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
Hosford Heart of the Valley Trail– ACCESSIBLE/EASY
Part of the Mad River Path network, this 1.3–mile trail travels across a combination of dirt, crushed stone, sidewalk, and boardwalk through the heart of downtown Waitsfield and along the Mad River. With many different access points along the way, you can enjoy all or just sections of the trail. The 900’ boardwalk off Carroll Rd is a nice area for hikers of all abilities to cross a wetland and view the birds that inhabit it. You can find a map of the trail here.
Driving Directions to Hosford Heart of the Valley Trail parking on Carroll Rd:
From Lincoln: Head east on East River Rd/Lincoln Gap Rd. Continue through the gap and turn left on VT-100N when Lincoln Gap Rd ends in Warren. Continue into the town of Waitsfield. Turn left on Carroll Rd at the signs for the Big Picture Theatre and Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Park in the large parking lot immediately on your right. Boardwalk starts across Carroll Rd from lot.
From Waitsfield: The boardwalk section of the trail starts on Carroll Rd, near the Big Picture Theatre and Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Park in the first large parking lot (immediately on your right). Boardwalk starts across Carroll Rd from lot.
Where to eat and drink nearby:
- Jerusalem Corners Country Store in Jerusalem for to-go breakfast and lunch sandwiches
- Lincoln General Store in Lincoln for baked goods and snacks
- Village Creeme Stand in Bristol for creemees and snack bar food
- The Bobcat Café in Bristol for dinner
- Warren General Store in Warren for snacks and to-go breakfast and lunch sandwiches
- East Warren Community Market in East Warren for snacks and prepared deli foods
- The Swanson Inn in Waitsfield for their specialty homemade pies and quiches
- Hyde Away Inn in Waitsfield for dinner, after-hike beers, and thru-hiker friendly lodging
- Mad River Barn in Waitsfield for dinner and after-hike beers
Previously recommended hikes:
- Ritterbush Lookout – EASY
- Devil’s Gulch – MODERATE (Bonus Hike: Spruce Ledge Camp)
- Belvidere Mountain – DIFFICULT
- Babcock Nature Preserve – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Little Pond Trail – EASY
- Harmon Hill – MODERATE
- Bald Mountain – DIFFICULT
- Shaftsbury State Park – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Old CCC Camp via Forest City Trail – EASY
- Montclair Glen Lodge via Forest City Trail – MODERATE
- Camel’s Hump summit via Forest City > Long Trail > Burrows Loop – DIFFICULT
- Raven Ridge Natural Area – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Lamoille River Bridge – EASY
- Prospect Rock via Long Trail – MODERATE
- Laraway Lookout – DIFFICULT
- Lamoille Valley Rail Trail – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Wheeler Pond Trail – EASY
- Wheeler Mountain Trail – MODERATE
- Mount Hor – DIFFICULT
- Sentinel Rock – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Griffith Lake – EASY
- Baker Peak via Griffith Lake Trail – MODERATE
- Baker Peak via Lake – DIFFICULT (Bonus hike: Baker Peak > Griffith Lake Loop!)
- Hildene estate boardwalk – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Beane Trail to Birch Glen Shelter– EASY
- Molly Stark’s Balcony – MODERATE
- Theron Dean Shelter – DIFFICULT
- Raven Ridge Natural Area – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Barnes Camp to Smugglers’ Notch Picnic Area – EASY
- Haselton Trail – MODERATE
- Mount Mansfield via Long Trail South > Haselton Trail Loop – DIFFICULT
- Smugglers’ Notch Boardwalk– EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Branch Pond – EASY (Bonus hike: Bourn Pond!)
- Stratton Pond Trail – MODERATE
- Stratton Mountain – DIFFICULT
- West River Trail at Jamaica State Park – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Deer Leap Trail – EASY (Bonus hike: Deer Leap Loop!)
- Pico Peak – MODERATE
- Killington Summit via Sherburne Pass Trail – DIFFICULT
- Thundering Falls Boardwalk – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
- Gleason Brook Bridge on the Long Trail – EASY
- Duxbury Window on the Long Trail – MODERATE
- Bamforth Ridge Shelter on the Long Trail – DIFFICULT
- Winooski River Footbridge – EASY, ACCESSIBLE