Let’s HikeVT! These easy, moderate, and difficult hikes feature Griffith Lake and Baker Peak. The nearby accessible recommendation is in Manchester at Hildene, the private historic estate of Robert Lincoln.
- Griffith Lake – EASY
- Baker Peak via Griffith Lake Trail – MODERATE
- Baker Peak via Lake Trail – DIFFICULT (Bonus hike: Baker Peak > Griffith Lake Loop!)
- Hildene estate boardwalk – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
From Griffith Lake Trail parking lot in Peru:
Griffith Lake – EASY
» 5.5 mi round trip, approx. 259 ft elevation gain
Follow an old carriage road as it gradually descends to the spring-fed lake. Just before the end of the trail is a lovely view of the pond with a nice spot to sit for a snack or swim. For a slightly longer walk, keep going and at the well-marked Long Trail/Appalachian Trail intersection turn right on the LT/AT south. Continue approx .2 mi to the Griffth Lake Tenting Area, which has spots to picnic at the lakeside. Fishing is allowed with VT fishing license.
Baker Peak via the Griffith Lake Trail and the Long Trail – MODERATE
» 8 mi round trip, approx. 270 ft elevation gain
Follow Griffith Lake directions above. At the end of the Griffith Lake Trail, turn left on the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail North. Stay on the white-blazed LT/AT as it passes several side trails while gradually climbing towards the peak. From the open rock summit you will have a panoramic view of the Great Valley of Vermont. On a clear day you can see the Adirondacks to the west, Killington Peak to the north, and Stratton Mountain with its firetower to the south. Return on same route, paying careful attention at intersections.
Driving Directions to Griffith Lake Trail parking lot:
From Manchester: Head east on VT-11/30 and stay on VT-11 when it splits from VT-30. Soon after passing Bromley Ski Area, bear left on Main St and turn left on Hapgood Pond Road in the village. At fork bear left on N Road. Turn left on Mad Tom Notch Road (Forest Road 21), drive approximately 2.0 miles, and turn right onto Forest Road 58. Continue to the gate at the end of the road. Do not block gate while parking.
From Londonderry: Head west on VT-11 and turn right on Lovers Lane before reaching village of Peru. At four-way intersection, take a right on Hapgood Pond Rd, then an immediate left on N Road. Turn left on Mad Tom Notch Road (Forest Road 21), drive approximately 2.0 miles, and turn right onto Forest Road 58. Continue to the gate at the end of the road. Do not block gate while parking.
From Lake Trail parking lot in Mt. Tabor:
Baker Peak via the Lake Trail and the Baker Peak Trail – DIFFICULT
» 5.8 mi round trip, approx. 2,200 ft elevation gain
This is a rewarding hike through history to a breathtaking panoramic view. We highly recommend bringing a paper map, as there are several intersections and the trail is not always freshly marked.
From the trailhead, the Lake Trail follows an old road as it climbs past signs of old pastures. Keep an eye on the blue trail blazes, which may be infrequent. You’ll pass views of the Danby marble quarries and cross a bridge near which you can still see anchors from a previous bridge. At 1.9 mi, turn left on the Baker Peak Trail. Again, keep an eye on the trail blazes to stay on track. After .9 mi, turn left on the white-blazed LT/AT North at a four-way intersection. Follow the LT/AT up the final .1 mi to the summit.
To turn your hike into a “lollipop” loop, do not turn on the Baker Peak Trail as you begin your return descent. Instead, continue on the LT/AT South 1.8 mi to the top of the Lake Trail (which you turned off of on your way up). Turn right on the Lake Trail and descend 3.3 mi to the trailhead. If you want to see Griffith Lake, stay on the LT/AT South for another .1 mi instead of turning right on the Lake Trail. Once you’ve looked out on the lake, take the LT/AT North back to the Lake Trail intersection and turn left to begin your descent.
Driving Directions to Lake Trail Parking Lot:
From Manchester: Head north on VT–7. 2.3 mi after passing Emerald Lake State Park, turn east (right) on South End Road (Forest Road 259). Follow FR 259 for about a ½ mile. The trailhead parking area is on the left after a sharp right.
From Wallingford: Head south on VT–7. 2.7 mi after passing Mt. Tabor Country Store, turn east (left) on South End Road (Forest Road 259). Follow FR 259 for about a ½ mile. The trailhead parking area is on the left after a sharp right.
*NOTE: This trailhead is incorrectly labeled on Google Maps as the Griffith Lake Trail.
At Hildene Estate:
Battenkill Wetland Accessible Wildlife-Viewing Boardwalk and Trail – EASY, ACCESSIBLE
The accessible trail this week offers both wildlife-viewing and history. Hildene is the privately managed the estate of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert. The estate’s trail system includes a 600-foot floating accessible boardwalk over a wetland where you might spot turtles, frogs, and herons.
Please note the boardwalk is accessed via a grass wagon path which may not be passable by all mobility aids.
There is an admission fee and limited hours, so for more information see: https://hildene.org/visiting.
Driving Directions to Hildene:
From Manchester: Head South on VT-7A from the center of town. Turn left on Hildene Road. Welcome Center will be on your left.
Where to eat and drink nearby:
- Bob’s Diner for breakfast and lunch
- Dutton Berry Farm farmstand on Depot Street for creemees and berries
- The Mountain Goat for hiking equipment and supplies
- Mt. Tabor Country Store in Mt. Tabor for snacks and to-go breakfast and lunch sandwiches
- Sal’s in Wallingford for pizza and drinks