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I've hiked this a few times and it is easily a favorite of mine. I had the pleasure of actually getting the summit all to myself one evening I hiked it solo after work. I would not say it's to difficult even with the rock scrambles because as long as you pace yourself both going up and down and are careful of your footing it's a enjoyable hike.
I've done it top to bottom in 3 hours solo but it can also be more of a leisurely hike with a group around 4--4.5 hours total.

Did this beautiful hike, more if a trek, in early March on snowshoes. Very enjoyable and serene with Stevenson Brook runnig next to the trail the majority of the way. Came across one other person on cross country skis.

Wet snow remains on the trails, a little slippery going down hill, and the trails are marked well. I did not need micro spikes or snowshoes. Appropriately rated, an easy walk/hike in the woods. The access road is in great shape!

amazing views!

hiking
6 days ago

Castle itself is worth the trip. Some good views on the overlook near the pond. Pond view is very scenic as well. The actual trail is somewhat meandering.

Good hike but for some reason it seemed like it would never end.

hiking
14 days ago

Nice little hike. The trails are in really good shape and not very muddy today. Snow still covers the trail in a few sections; mostly in the heavy woods areas.

Took the white dot up and white cross down. Hiked with my 10 year old. There is still a fair amount of ice and snow would strongly suggest wearing spikes or crampons but I saw multiple people hiking without them. A lot of people had sneakers on which is kinda nutty for the conditions. We did not wear ours the entire hike. We put them on about half way up and took them off about half way down.

I didn't notice a huge difference in difficulty between the two trails other than the white dot has several scrambles and the white cross does not. The incline or steepeness is pretty much the same for both trails. If your uncomfortable with climbing over and around large rocks take the white cross up and down which feels more like a long staircase. I also noticed no real difference in distance between the trails but my mileage does not match the posted distances.

I really enjoyed this hike. Although I wouldn't rate it as difficult. I also wouldn't suggest this for a people without any experience. There are plenty of other trails with just as good views better suited for first timers. My ten year managed well over the multiple scrambles but spikes were necessary because of winter conditions. I would take my six year old in the summer but not in the winter or early spring. The most difficult portion of the climb is the last scramble on the white dot before the trails meet and the the last push before the peak which is completed with either trail.

You will have to pay to get into the park. It's the only state park I've seen open since last fall. Had I known I would have brought my vehicle with the state park plate. I brought cash but was told you can pay with credit or debit at the toll booth.

I will definitely come back in the summer with my younger child.

great winter hike! well marked trails, fairly steep in sections. wish I'd brought the trekking poles. micro spikes were a must. glad we chose this trail instead of the falling waters trail in the whites, as a storm system was coming in. even though there were no views at the top, the falling snow was magical. partially frozen waterfall was spectacular.

hiking
22 days ago

met battle kitten

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike! Didn’t need spikes, but there were some slippery slopes.
Also, Don’t eat the yellow snow

Pretty easy until the last quarter of a mile, nice views at the top.

Trails clearly marked. Even with the snow we’ve had there was a well defined path. Only made it to cascade falls due to daylight so will definitely have to come back to summit.

Starts off easy, gets steeper, with a few stone staircases, the grade eases at the end. There are great, 360 degree views on the summit, stretching up and down the Green Mountains and the Worcester Range. The last time I went, it was 85 degrees (on Memorial Day Weekend) so it was far less enjoyable. However, it is generally an excellent hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great little hike!

Nice, short hike, steep at points, but the falls are worth it. This trail is fairly popular, but there are other, less crowded cascades nearby that you can explore.

Spikes, my two kids, two dogs, amazing view from summit.

An okay hike. It’s a steady climb to the falls, it never gets steep. The trail descends a little over the last half of a mile. Although the lanslide and the waterfall are interesting, there aren’t many other attractions on the rest of the trail.

Most of the trail is on rock, so it’s more difficult than it might sound. You start getting views a little more than halfway up. It’s been hazy the last two times I’ve gone there (in August), so the vistas haven’t been as great as they can be. They are certainly phenomenal on a clear day. Beware of crowds (including weekdays) on one of the most climbed mountains in the world.

hiking
1 month ago

A great afternoon hike! It was not overly crowded and there are a few scenic spots along the loop. Because it is February in New Hampshire, long stretches of the trail were snow and ice covered which did make parts of the trail difficult.

Really nice trail although we didn't make it to the top. Right now the first half of the hike is mud and ice. The second half has enough snow to use short snowshoes, and most of us just wore microspikes the entire time. Well marked and great for dogs and people. :)

hiking
1 month ago

Icy (wear spikes) but fun to slide on the way down! Super windy at the peak.

Monday 2/19/2018

Weather: trail entirely snow-covered, beautiful and sunny, some strong wind at peak but trail until peak was below treeline so wind was generally minimal to moderate, very spotty light rain starting around 3:00 pm

9:45 am - 1:20 pm ascent from Bucklin Trailhead to Killington Peak Lodge
1:50 pm - 3:45 pm descent from Killington Peak Lodge to Bucklin Trailhead

The Bucklin Trailhead is accessible via an easily drivable dirt road that seems unlikely to become difficult to drive even in moderate snow or rain. There are no bathrooms at the trailhead, but there is a board with some trail information and maps.

We followed Bucklin Trail (blue blazes) for about 3.4 miles. Our time on Bucklin Trail was entirely under tree cover and the snow on the trail was generally powdery but packed down enough that big hiking boots would have been sufficient footwear (we wore micro spikes which was also fine). The incline for the first 30-40 minutes was slight, but increased suddenly to moderately strenuous after we crossed the last of a series of bridges.

We turned right on the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail (white blazes) and followed it for 0.2 miles to a wooden cabin with tarp-covered windows. After passing the cabin and some snowboarders who pointed us onward up the Long Trail, the snow became very powdery and the trail was not nearly as packed down as it had been. We continued on the Long Trail for about 100 steps until we hit the sign for the Killington Spur where we turned left (really more like continued straight) following blue blazes. The Spur was short (0.2 miles) and required moderate scrambling up a steeper slope. We sank a bit in the powdery snow, but the slope was steep enough that snowshoes might have been hard to use. The last 200 steps to the summit were a bit icy and required the use of our hands, but the trail was still surrounded by trees which we grabbed to anchor ourselves as needed. Only when we finally reached the summit did we emerge from the trees. There was a set of utility buildings at the summit, but the views off into the distance in all directions were excellent. We continued straight across the summit for about 0.2 miles (past the top of double black diamond Catwalk run) until we hit the Peak Lodge which had a large cafeteria, bathrooms, water, and comfy couches where we rested for 30 minutes while eating divine egg and cheese sandwiches from our B and B (shout out to Hartness House!).

On our descent, we butt slid down the Spur from the summit most of the way to the cabin. Having returned through the most powdery part of the snow cover, we stopped briefly in the cabin to change into dry socks before continuing downward.

All in all, an excellent, not-too-difficult winter hike with beautiful scenery throughout!

Incredible views. Best hike I have done on the east coast yet!

hiking
2 months ago

Fun hike with a great view at the beginning and the top. Very icy though, even with microspikes we had some gnarly spills on certain segments.

Choose when you go wisely, trails are often packed in warmer months.

Fantastic views

On a warmer day (1/21), temps were in upper 30's. summit was 31degree. Had microspikes and proven to be essential for the hike. Saw another couple from Brazil who had cleats and after suggesting them gave them one spare microspikes. They were really thankful at the summit. Summit was little windy and we had to put the gloves and cap back on otherwise it was manageable with good jacket and thermals.

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