Let’s HikeVT! This week we’re featuring universally accessible trails that are also mud-season-appropriate hikes. Know before you go: proper footwear, safety, and activities for mud season.
- Moose Bog Trail, Ferdinand
- Sentinel Rock State Park, Westmore
- Thundering Falls Boardwalk, Killington
- Barnes Camp Boardwalk, Stowe
- West River Trail, Jamaica
Moose Bog Trail, Ferdinand
» 1.0 mi loop, approx. 24 ft elevation gain
This wide, mostly flat trail has many resting spots along the way. It includes a boardwalk that leads to a wildlife viewing platform over the bog. The Moose Bog area is one of the only places in Vermont to find the Endangered ground-nesting Spruce Grouse, so please keep dogs on leash when visiting. More info.
Directions: From Island Pond, head east on VT-103 for 9.3 miles. Turn right on South America Pond Road. The trailhead is on the right after a tenth of a mile. Map it.
Sentinel Rock State Park, Westmore
» 1.8 mi round trip, approx. 26 ft elevation gain
This easy and accessible trail leads to a grassy knoll that provides sweeping views of the Northeast Kingdom. Along the way, the trail passes by Sentinel Rock, a large glacial erratic that dates to 13,000 years ago. More info.
From Lyndon: Head north on US-5 N. Bear right on US-5A when it splits off in West Burke. After passing most of Lake Willoughby, turn right on Hinton Hill Rd/T-38 at the Westmore Community Church. Head up the hill and dirt parking lot will be on your left in a large field.
From Newport: Head south on I-91S and take Exit 26. Turn left US-5 S/VT-58 E and stay on VT-58 E when they split. When 58 ends, turn right on US-5A S. Turn left on Hinton Hill Rd/T-38 at the Westmore Community Church. Head up the hill and dirt parking lot will be on your left in a large field. Map it.
Thundering Falls Boardwalk, Killington
» 0.32 mi round trip, approx. 19 ft elevation gain
Nine hundred feet of accessible boardwalk on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont, built and maintained by the GMC, crosses an extensive wetland and connects to a smooth gravel switchback path to a platform at a 140-foot waterfall.
From Rutland: From the US 7/US 4 intersection, drive 12.6 mi east on US 4. Turn left on River Road. Continue 1.6 mi to the parking lot on your left.
From Bethel/I-89 Exit 3: Turn onto VT-107W from I-89. After 2.6 mi, turn left to stay on VT-107W. Continue onto VT-100S. When you see a golf course on your right, bear left onto River Road. Continue 2.3 mi to the parking lot on your right. Map it.
Barnes Camp Boardwalk, Stowe
» 0.25 mi round trip, approx. 2 ft elevation gain to viewing platform
You can explore wetlands, see a beaver dam, and admire a unique view of Smugglers’ Notch from this 660-foot accessible boardwalk on the Long Trail. Along the boardwalk are several informational panels with facts about the local wildlife and geology. You can extend your hike by continuing on the Long Trail until you come to a signed intersection. Turn right and follow the blue-blazed trail deeper into the Notch. You’ll pass through an old gravel pit, then descend to the West Branch of the Little River. As you approach the river, you will see the picnic area to your left down a short spur trail. Enjoy a packed lunch at the picnic tables, then return the same way.
From Cambridge: Follow VT-15 E into Jeffersonville and take a right on VT-108 S. Pass through Smugglers’ Notch. Barnes Camp is at the exit the Notch just as Stowe Mountain Resort comes into view.
From Stowe: From the intersection of VT-100 and VT-108 at the center of town, head north on VT-108 for 7.7 mi. Barnes Camp will be your next right after passing under the Stowe Mountain Resort cross-street gondola. Map it.
West River Trail, Jamaica State Park
» 4.6 mi round trip, approx. 154 ft elevation gain
The West River Trail is a 16-mile rail trail managed by the Friends of the West River Trail. This short section of trail runs through Jamaica State Park along the West River and is universally accessible. More info.
Directions: From the town of Jamaica, drive south on VT-30/VT-100. Toward the southern end of town turn right on Depot Street. Continue for 0.5 miles. The turn is on the left. Parking is provided within Jamaica State Park campground. Map it.