Years ago I would have said Mount Hunger was one of my favorite Vermont hikes, if not my favorite by far! I made sure I hiked that mountain with my girlfriends the morning of my wedding, and every year I hiked it on my birthday, just to see the stunning fall views from the top. Now, however, time is a factor, and I try to get the most vertical I can within a shorter time frame. So my faves have changed. Below are my current favorite Vermont hikes:
Sterling Pond Trail
The Sterling Pond Trail from Smugglers’ Notch is an all time favorite. It is a bit over a mile and you finish at Sterling Pond, which is lovely. The mile up, though, is up-up-up all the way, with very few flat sections for recovery. I often meet a friend for this hike, early in the morning; she comes from Waterbury and I come from Underhill and we meet at the trailhead in the Notch. It takes us about 1.5 hours for the entire excursion. We get a great workout and then we go to work.
Nebraska Notch Trail
The Nebraska Notch Trail to Taylor Lodge is another one of my current favorite Vermont hikes. From the parking lot at the top of Stevensville Rd. in Underhill Center I can meet friends and start our assent. Up and back down can be done within a reasonable amount of time, and then I can get on with my day. It has the advantage of the Taylor Lodge cabin, so if you are up for an overnight the cabin comes in handy!
Sunset Ridge Trail
And then there’s the Sunset Ridge Trail that takes you to The Chin of Mount Mansfield. You access it from Underhill State Park. It’s a much longer hike and you will need a lot more time for it… a few hours up and down. Or you can try Laura Cowles if you want something a little more challenging. It comes out near the top of the Sunset Ridge Trail but is much steeper.
Hikes from Home
Last but certainly not least, my go-to hikes are the ones I can get to right out my door. I live on Corbett Rd. in Underhill Center, with access to hundreds of acres of forest land. I can literally walk out my door and do a fabulous 2-mile hike up and then 1.25 miles back down. It takes me a little over an hour. This is the hike I chose when I have little time and I just want to get in a little cardio exercise. There are so many trails in the woods near my home that you can explore for hours, and over the years I have done just that.
I love where I live because we can hike, bike, ski, swim, and have fun right outside of my door. This is why I live in Pleasant Valley. We can come home to play after work, or, in my case, before work. We might have to drive to work but we come home to play!