Towering above the Green Mountains at 4393 ft, Mount Mansfield has always been a favorite Vermont hike. Hiking up the Hell’s Brook Trail which follows Hell’s Brook is the most challenging yet most rewarding route. A steep hike up the east side of the mountain leads to the Chin. Here, the hiker is rewarded with stunning 360 views. It is another 0.3 mile from the Chin to the summit following the Adam’s Apple Trail which links up the to Long Trail. Near the summit, the hike becomes much more challenging and a bit frightening to those with a fear of heights. Persevere! Mount Mansfield provides breathtaking summit views in every season which are well worth the effort!
Late fall is the most breathtaking time to hike Mansfield. If timed correctly, the mountaintop will be coated in frost which starkly contrasts with resplendent fall foliage below.
In the winter, take the Long Trail to the summit. After enjoying a quick snack and thermos of hot coffee, take the Cliff Trail towards the Cliff House Restaurant. This will lead you to the gondola. Upon reaching the ski trails, unstrap your snowshoes and fly down the mountain “by the seat of your pants” on the ski trails. Or, stop by the restaurant then take the gondola down.
Sliding down the gondola trail.
My most memorable hike up Mount Mansfield was in early October. The strenuous hike up the Long Trail was rewarded with the most incredible views. At the end of the hike, Alex and I ran into a group of Canadians who had a feast set up in the parking lot. They waved us over and filled us with wine, brie, dark chocolate, duck pate, and homemade baked goods! Such encounters always remind me of the beauty of community.
*Always properly prepare and pack for hikes.
** Mount Mansfield is one of two summits in VT with arctic tundra. Please respect the boundaries in order to keep the tundra safe.