LOOKING OVER THE TOWNS OF UNDERHILL AND STOWE THERE IS THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN VERMONT – MOUNT MANSFIELD.
Name: Mount Mansfield
Height: 1,339 m (4,393 ft)
Location: in Underhill, Vermont, USA
First Climbed: unknown
Climb Time: 3-5 hours
Best Time to Climb: June-November (it is climbed all year round)
Mount Mansfield is the highest mountain in the state of Vermont located within the town of Underhill, in Chittenden County. Nearly 40,000 people visit the mountain every year making it the most popular peak in the state.
Mount Mansfield is a part of Green Mountains Range and is known for being one of three spots in Vermont where true alpine tundra survives since the Ice Ages.
There are two different theories on how did the name - Mansfield came about. Some believe that mountain was named after a town with the same name that was dissolved by Underhill and Stowe in mid-19th century. Others explain that the name was inspired by mountain’s resemblance to a human profile that has Adams Apple (1,237 m / 4,060 ft), Chin (1,339 m / 4,393 ft - highest point), Nose (1,238 m / 4,062 ft) and Forehead (1200 m / 3,940 ft).
CLIMBING MOUNT MANSFIELD.
There are many trails up to the highest point of Mount Mansfield – the Chin. Two most popular routes start at the Underhill State Park.
First one is called Sunset Ridge Trail. It is a 5,3 km (3,3 mi) one-way hike that goes mainly above tree line. It is probably the most scenic route in the area. Although, it would not be recommended during bad weather or high winds since it is so exposed.
There is also the Laura Cowles trail, more direct route up to the summit. The Laura Cowles trail branches off the Sunset Ridge trail and meets it near the Chin. Since its 0,96 km (0,6 mi) shorter, the path is also steeper and sheltered.
It is possible to reach the top from the east side of the mountain as well. Even though it is called the Long Trail, it actually is shorter than two mentioned before - it is only 3,7 km (2,3 mi) long one way hike. On the other hand, this trail is quite steep and less scenic as most of the views are blocked by trees.
TREKKING AROUND MOUNT MANSFIELD.
There are quite a few trails in the Mount Mansfield area that can also be combined with a hike up to the summit. One of them is a Mount Mansfield Loop Trail - a 13 km (8 mi) moderately trafficked loop trail located near Stowe. This trail can be combined with such trails as the Long Trail to reach the summit.
Moreover, on the western slopes of the Mount Mansfield, from halfway up a cliff face there is the Cantilever Rock - about 40 feet long sword-shaped slice of rock. You can reach it via the Sunset Ridge Trail by following directions.
Finally, besides trekking, there are plenty of outdoor activities in the area; you can go skiing at a Stowe Mountain Resort, cycling in a Stowe Recreation Park, relaxing at the Smugglers Notch State Park and so much more.