Let’s HikeVT! We’re featuring easy, moderate, and difficult trails that start at the Long Trail parking lot at Eden Crossing, in Eden, VT. The accessible trail in the Babcock Nature Preserve accesses the same area from a different trailhead.
- Ritterbush Lookout – EASY
- Devil’s Gulch – MODERATE (Bonus Hike: Spruce Ledge Camp)
- Belvidere Mountain – DIFFICULT
- Babcock Nature Preserve – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
From Eden Crossing parking lot:
Ritterbush Lookout via the Long Trail – EASY
» 2 mi round trip, approx. 513 ft elevation gain
Take the white-blazed Long Trail from the parking lot and cross Rte 118. The trail climbs gradually through open hardwood forest for .8 mi, then descends .2 mi to Ritterbush Lookout. This lovely view of Ritterbush Pond is a great spot for a picnic before you return to the parking lot, or for a snack on your journey to Devil’s Gulch (see below).
Devil’s Gulch Loop – MODERATE
» 4.8 mi round trip, approx. 500 ft elevation gain
This fun loop takes you to one of the most geologically fascinating spots on the entire Long Trail.
From the parking lot, take the white-blazed Long Trail south. Follow it across Rte 118 and through open hardwood. About .7 mi after Ritterbush Lookout (see above) you’ll come to an intersection with the Babcock Trail. Continue south on the LT for another .3 mi, at which point you’ll see a sign marking the entrance to Devil’s Gulch.
Devil’s Gulch itself is a .2 mi long ravine with breathtaking cliffs rising above you on either side. The LT climbs over boulders, through tunnels, and along ledges before reaching the other side. You can turn back after exploring the ravine or continue on to Spruce Ledge Camp.
To get to Spruce Ledge, continue another .3 mi south on the Long Trail. At the sign for the shelter, turn left to ascend the steep but short spur trail to the shelter and Devil’s Perch Lookout.
Return on the LT as far as the intersection with the Babcock Trail. Turn left on the blue-blazed Babcock Trail and take it 1.4 mi to Rte 118. Cross 118 and continue on the trail for .4 mi to the parking lot.
Belvidere Mountain via the Long Trail – DIFFICULT
» 5.6 mi round trip, approx. 2,223 ft elevation gain
Starting from the Eden’s Crossing trailhead, head north on the white-blazed Long Trail. The LT climbs steadily for 2.6 miles, when it reaches an intersection with the summit spur trail. If you see a sign for the Forester’s Trail, you’ve just missed the summit trail. Take the summit spur trail 0.2 miles to the top, which features a firetower you can climb for spectacular views of Northern Vermont and New Hampshire.
Driving Directions to Long Trail Parking Lot at Eden Crossing:
From Eden: Head north on VT-118 N from intersection with VT-100. Parking lot driveway will be on right just after starting descent from height of Eden Crossing.
From Belvidere/Jeffersonville: Head north on VT-109 N. Bear right on VT-118 S. Parking lot driveway will be on left .6 mi after passing Belvidere Pond.
In Babcock Nature Preserve:
Babcock Nature Preserve Trail – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
This 1,000-acre preserve is maintained by nearby Northern Vermont University for scientific and educational study. It features a network of trails, including a rustic universally accessible trail leading to Ritterbush Pond.
For more information, visit https://www.northernvermont.edu/student-life/activities-and-events/outdoors/johnson-outdoor-adventures.
Driving Directions to Babcock Nature Preserve:
From Eden: Head north on VT-188 N from intersection with VT-100. In 2.2 mi, turn left on Crooks Rd. In 1.4 mi turn sharply right on Baker Rd. Parking is at end of road.
From Belvidere/Jeffersonville: Head north on VT-109 N. Bear right on VT-118 S. .8 mi after passing the Long Trail Parking Lot, turn right on Crooks Rd. In 1.4 mi turn sharply right on Baker Rd. Parking is at end of road.
Where to eat and drink nearby:
- Eden General Store in Eden for snacks and to-go sandwiches (intersection of VT-100 and 118)
- Rock Art Brewery in Morrisville for post-hike beers on the porch
- Lost Nation in Morrisville for after-hike beers or for lunch or dinner along the rail trail
- Johnson Farm and Garden for hiking gear and supplies
- Morse Mountain Grille at Smugglers’ Notch Resort for lunch or dinner
- The Cupboard Deli for creemees, baked goods, and to-go sandwiches