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I'm a native Vermonter, and somehow I'd never done Mansfield via the Hellbrook Trail until today. It is my new favorite ascent, and it is the business. Conditions were damp and foggy, but not rainy. Consider your boots before you start up this trail. I believe that almost anyone who is interested in tackling a "difficult" hiking trail will be physically capable of crushing this trail, but I would not attempt it unless you're confident in your footwear. A few sketchy sections (you'll know when you get to them) might be made less sketchy by stopping to brush mud/leaves/dust from the soles of your boots (or give them the ol' spit-and-rub if they're dry, though that's unlikely around here). The security that you will get from grippy shoes will mean more thrill and less spill (and a spill on parts of this trail could be very bad). Side note: I'm very afraid of heights, and I survived. A little of the old sit-'n-scooch can get you through the worst bits of the descent; there's no shame in it (well, maybe a little, but it's fine). Descending, by the way, is totally doable as long as you take your time, and choose your steps thoughtfully and deliberately. Happy hiking!

hiking
13 hours ago

Brought my 5 and 8 year old up for a hike with their day off from school. I don't know how they categorize moderate vs hard, the only thing really harder about this was its length (6.5 miles). The elevation gains were pretty reasonable through most with the steeper stuff more in the last mile. I just hold the 5 years hand during any of the steeper stuff up and down so he doesnt trip but otherwise more than manageable. The minor rock scrambling you do isnt that steep or hard if youve done some other hiking. Took us 3:15 to go up and down. Make sure you see both viewpoints (the better one is .25 after the first one).

Actually breathtaking views. My girlfriend and I were able to finish the loop in about 8 hours. It was tough but it was one of the highlights of my year. I am from Jersey and the huge plus was when we camped out the stars were absolutely unbelievable. Great way to end the night! Us Jersey people are not used to seeing shooting stars and such view able sky's. If you are even considering this hike I would recommend pulling the bandaide and getting the plans together, you will not regret it.

Although strenuous at times, the views and the path along the ridge of the mountain were breathtaking!

Awesome experience and will definitely be going again!

Such an impressive and gorgeous trek. This hike is no joke, it would be very challenging to do without physically preparing yourself. Well worth it! Once you summit, you are exposed to some truly marvelous views for miles along the ridge. As was suggested to my group, ascending via Falling Waters was a good idea since the rocks were slippery, and descending Old Bridle Path was more comfortable considering our tired legs. That way, too, you can stop at the Green Hut to refill on water (bring plenty!!!) and grab something to eat if you need. Overall, one of my favorite hikes to date and plan to return!

Working on the highest peaks in NE. This was a fun hike - only a couple of steep spots, but they're all very easy. I went north up Money Brook - neat waterfall along the trail. I recommend diverting from this route and going up the Mt. Prospect Trail - the views were incredible from Mt. Prospect!! Then connect back into the AT. Mt. Greylock views were beautiful, but crowded at the top since there's an auto road to the top too

Completed this trail Saturday. Was breathtakingly beautiful. We went down the Boott Spur trail due to the amount of traffic on the trail. Overall a perfect day with perfect temperatures.

What a great hike. Waterfalls and outstanding views. Yes, the hike was difficult but very rewarding once you reach the top. I’m 45 and my buddy is 44. We took rests along the way and spent some time at the top. In all, we took about an hour in rest time. The hike itself took us around 5.5 hours. We were hiking at a descent pace. I was thankful to have hiking poles. The trail going down (after Lafayette) was aggressive and tough on the legs after a while. Overall, a great hike. One of my favorites.

Hiked this in 3 hours with my 16yo son (I'm 53). Perfect weather, great views, very little traffic. We got an early start by staying overnight at the AMC lodge at the base. Two sections are still detoured before Hermit Shelter. Last 1/3 is very steep and exposed, so keep an eye on conditions.

Amazing views but the hike WAS as difficult as previous reviews say. Probably one of the most difficult hikes I’ve ever done. Very rocky trail and pretty steep in parts but it levels off a lot once you get onto the ridge and that’s also when the views open up and are beautiful for about 2 miles. GPS watch clocked it at 8.8 miles total 4,000 ft elevation gain. It took us 6 hours but we didn’t take many breaks. Definitely worth the effort. Come prepared with food/water and the ridge was windy and pretty chilly when we were there so I was happy to have brought a jacket. Poles would have helped but we didn’t bring any. We were able to get great parking in the lot at the trail head when arriving at 7:15am on a sunday.

Beautiful hike but very challenging. Start early and be prepared with PLENTY of water and food. I drank about 3.5 liters on my own.

My girlfriend and I went up Old Bridle Path. I know its less popular but I would do it again that way. We started around 7:00 and the viewpoints in the morning sun were absolutely serene. It's the quieter trail at that time so we got to enjoy the views mostly by ourselves and our legs were a little more fresh than had we gone up Falling Water. Doing the loop this way means your descent is much steeper which was admittedly tough after an already long day. But Falling Water is now quieter by the afternoon and the waterfalls made for a great treat and a beautiful change of pace, in terms of scenery, at the end of the hike.

rock climbing
3 days ago

Very nice hiking and rock climbing trail. Near-vertical rock climbing ascend for about ~0.3 miles; but nicely placed metal rungs help a lot. Very great views from the top.

Don’t try to do this trail the wrong way around; that is, do the trail *counter* clockwise, so that you end up climbing up the rocks and not down. Don’t attempt with kids or if you feel you might be unable to pull yourself up onto rocks (two or three spots require pulling oneself up onto shoulder-height rocks using rungs).

Also, good hiking shoes may be better for this than rigid hiking/backpacking boots.

This was an absolutely breath taking hike. It was difficult but definitely worth it. I DO NOT recommend dogs do this hike. The last mile of the hike had jagged rocks which were unstable and not good for the paws.

challenging for some but definitely worth it

Beautiful hike! I did the loop counter-clockwise too to keep the nice slop down from the top for the end. I did not know what to expect from the loop before going down Canon Brook trail, but I loved the river bed in the middle of the forest. It was worth going down and up again!

Not for the faint of heart. Because HEIGHTS. ladder rungs, scrambling and narrow edges are most common features. You must be certain of your footing on this one. Completely worth the view though. However, not for dogs, inexperienced hikers or young children. And don’t come DOWN the beehive. You’ll make a mess of things.

Amazing trail with beautiful views but thats all good about it. The difficult of the trail is indeed very Hard and this trail never gives a break in terms of flat terrain but its all going up! There are rest rooms at the Hermit Shelter other than the ones at the Pinkham Notch and the summit.

All I can say is wow! And ouch! I didn’t expect to do the loop but I ended up doing it counterclockwise on the suggestion of the park lady. Glad I did - what a hike! The worst part imo is hiking up to the ridge. Once you’re on the ridge it seems easier to me - maybe it’s just because the view is so amazing that you forget your hiking. Plan on a full 8 ours though - it will take you that long! This was the second hardest hike I have ever done - the only one harder so far was Mt. Washington.

I went up the cliff path first so I wouldn’t have to on the way down... those first couple miles were tough! But it was really refreshing getting to the waterfall right near the end. The rest was a breeze after that!

nice trail lots of people

A great hike with a beautiful payoff at the top!

Took this on as my second hike...don’t know what I was thinking. The warning sign gave me hesitation but decided to go for it. Got to really stay focused ascending this path and it was good to have my SIL (an experienced hiker) leading the way. Beautiful views from the top. When I completed the ascend felt a great sense of accomplishment and gained major confidence about my ability to do this hiking thing.

hiking
4 days ago

One of the most incredible hikes I’ve ever done! It is certainly challenging and not good for those with a fear of heights... but an experience not to be missed! Once up, it seems safest and the best idea to go down north ridge and then black/orange trail.

Don’t start what you can’t finish. This is no hike up a mountain. Scramble & climb more like it. Lots of upper body. If you are not prepared then you can do some damage to yourself. I was able to complete because I had to. As I first stated. When you start, really not easy to go back. That said it’s not easy going up either. I went alone on a very wet rainy day. Also totally unadvisable. Lots of other fun and safer hikes with great views. Do the pinnacle or hunger. These are way easier with only a few challenges near the top. But safe and doable. ONE MAN GATHERS WHAT ANOTHER MAN SPILLS.

Absolutely wonderful hike. We are somewhat but not super in-shape, so the hike was challenging, but doable. We took Falling Waters up and Green Leaf down. It had rained heavily the night before and one of the river crossings was a bit tricky with the powerful stream on Falling Waters, we were glad to have waterproof shoes and wished we had brought a hiking pole. Breathtaking views for miles once you clear the tree line. It took us about 7 hours with a number of short breaks and a stop at the top of Lincoln for lunch. We went through water pretty quickly but refilled at Green Leaf Hut, and had some refreshing lemonade there as well. My legs were sore for days but it was totally worth it.

Second time in one month. It was hot and We have taken the Lions head trail while coming back. It was fun hiking the trail but the waterfall became smaller and wild flowers are almost gone.. Lot of difference and felt good doing it again.. I hope I will do it again in winter may be

hiking
4 days ago

This was a great experience! I am excited to share it with my family (of adult children)!

Great for a lunch trip - My goal was to go to summit without stopping, did it in just under 90 minutes and I would say it was a moderate pace for first 2 miles then slow (steep) for the last mile. Gorgeous views and multiple vantage points of the lake to explore at the top.

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