Killington Peak boasts the second highest summit in the Green Mountains at 4,235 feet and is located along both the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail. We took the moderately difficult 7.2 mile out-and-back Bucklin Trail which is located on Wheelerville Road in Mendon, Vermont. For those traveling South on the AT, this is the last 4,000 footer until Virginia!
We began our hike at Brewer’s Corner Parking Lot. We started up Bucklin Trail which we followed for 3.3 miles before it reaches a junction with the AT/LT. The first 2 miles were meandering with a slight incline in a beautiful forest, leading past a stunning waterfall and passing over a creek with the aid of three wooden foot bridges. Bucklin Trail follows alongside Brewer’s Brook for a little under 1.5 miles.
0.2 miles after the junction with the AT/LT we reached Cooper Lodge, a beautiful stone overnight building with adjacent wooden platforms for camping.
The next 0.2 miles were a rugged, steep climb which required clambering over rocks and much perseverance in order to reach the summit of Killington.
Many people rated this hike as not being dog friendly. In spite of this, we brought along my sister’s 8 week old Belgian Malinois puppy, Kona, who was able to hike all of the way up with minor assistance. On the way down, we had to carry her a short distance during the steepest section of the hike which offers breathtaking vistas of rows upon rows of mountains.
On a clear day, the summit of Killington offers views of the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains, and the White Mountains! On the summit, which is primarily a rock slab with patches of forest, we enjoyed the far reaching panoramic views which include Mount Mansfield, Mount Ascutney, Glastenbury Mountain, Lake Champlain, the White Mountains, the Taconics, and the Adirondacks! Although the rock scramble to the summit was strenuous in the extreme humidity which led to a thunderstorm later that night, the views were well worth the effort!
After soaking in the stunning summit views and catching our breath, we retraced our steps to the parking lot.
At the end of the hike, we celebrated with lunch at McGrath’s Irish Pub which is at the Inn at Long Trail. They offer live Irish music every weekend and were the first in Vermont to sell Guinness on draft! McGrath’s had a rustic charm and provided a pleasent atmosphere. We rested on a large stone while enjoying a Vermont Half which was a combination of Guinness and Long Trail Ale. For another short hike, follow the Long Trail behind the inn up to the cliff that rises above and provides stunning views of Killington Peak.
Nearby Attractions: Outdoor enthusiasts who are looking to explore more of this incredible area should seek out McLaughlin Falls, Gifford Woods State Park, Leffert’s Pond, and Thundering Falls Trail. Local brew enthusiasts should be sure to check out the Long Trail Brewery. The Killington Resort offers mountain biking, a mountain side restraunt, and downhill skiing in the winter.