Mt. Mansfield

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Description

  • Driving Distance: 80 miles, approx. 1.5 hrs
  • Hiking Distance: several routes available, 4+ miles
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to strenuous, depending on chosen route and time of year

Mt. Mansfield is the tallest mountain in Vermont at 4,393 ft. Its name is derived from the fact that, when viewed from the side, the ridge looks like the profile of a human face. The Long Trail takes you by the adam's apple, over the chin, upper and lower lips, by the nose, and over the forehead along a rocky, open ridge. The ridge stays above treeline for over two miles, offering beautiful views of three states-New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. On a clear day, one can enjoy views of the Adirondaks, Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, and even as far as the Presidentials. The Chin is the highest point and makes for an excellent lunch spot.

Driving Directions

  • To Smuggler's Notch/ Stowe Mountain Resort trailhead: Take W. Wheelock out of Hanover to I91 South. Turn onto I89 at White River Junct. and continue on the highway (for the bulk of the trip)to exit 10 (Waterbury/Stowe). Take a right onto Rt. 100. Soon after crossing into Stowe, take a left onto Moscow Rd. Follow for about 1.5 miles, then take a right onto Barrows Rd. At the end of this road, turn right onto Luce Hill Rd. Follow for about 0.5 miles and turn left onto Rt. 108. This takes you to Stowe Mountain Resort and Smugglers Notch. There is a parking lot at the base of Smuggler's Notch and at the base of the ski trails at the Gondola.
  • To Lake Mansfield trailhead: Follow the directions above to Stowe. Turn onto Moscow Rd. At Barrows Rd., continue straight. Moscow Rd. Turns into Nebraska Valley Rd. Follow this road for about 4 miles. The road ends at the Lake Mansfield Trout Club, where there is an upper parking lot for hikers.

Hiking Directions

  • Long Trail South: Start at the Long Trail trailhead near the base of Smuggler's Notch. This route offers a pretty direct climb to the chin. The trail climbs past Taft Lodge at about 2 miles, then ascends steeply to the summit. The last pitch is very steep and involves some scrambling.
  • Haselton Trail: Start at the base of the Gondola lift at the Stowe Mt. Resort. The Haselton Trail is one of the easiest and most direct routes to the ridge. It threads through the woods between ski trails, finally emerging on the Nose dive trail. It then turns onto the Toll Rd. and follows this gradually up to the information building below the nose. To reach the Chin from here, follow the Long Trail North along the ridge for about two miles.
  • Long Trail North: Start at the Lake Mansfield trailhead. The Lake Mansfield trail climbs moderately for about 1.5 miles to Taylor Lodge. From here, take the Long Trail North or the Clarabow Trail. The Clarabow trail is an alternative route which ends back on the Long Trail further north. It is a short,fun and slightly more challenging route that winds through a rocky valley and a cave! Continue north on the Long Trail over the forehead. This is a moderately challenging climb involving ladders and some scambling. A bypass trail is recommended in poor weather. As you ascend the forehead you break out above treeline, and there are some beautiful views, especially of the Green Mountains to the south. Look out for blueberries by the trail if you are hiking in mid-to-late August! The Long Trail continues on to the information building, and then on along the ridge to the chin.

Suggested trips/loops

  • Smuggler's Notch to Mt. Mansfield Trout Club: About 11 miles, 6+ hours

This is a full Long Trail traverse of the ridge. It can be done in either direction, although it is perhaps more climatic heading north. The section from the base of the forehead to Taylor Lodge can seem long at the end of the day. This trip also starts and ends at different places, so transportation should be organized accordingly.

  • Haselton-Long Trail Loop: About 6 miles, approx. 4-5 hours

This is an easier loop which starts and ends near the base of Smuggler's Notch and the Stowe Mountain Resort, which makes transportation logistics easy.

Maps & Info