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  • Reviews

    hiking
    Monday, September 11, 2017

    First, let me say that while difficulty is certainly an individual evaluation, based on factors such as fitness level, and strength, this trail does not fit the hard profile in terms of comparison to other trails with hard rating I have followed. I would instead place it solidly in the middle of moderate, with just a few spots deserving a rating at the high end of the moderate spectrum. That being said, here is a review from my perspective.

    It was a perfect day for the hike, with mostly clear skies, and forecast high of 70 degrees. I arrived at the parking area around 10am and found plenty of room to park.

    The trail kicks off with a bit of moderate steepness, but once that is out of the way, there is a long stretch of gradual ascent that is for the most part easy to follow. Stick to the obvious trail marked by light blue paint marks on the trees until you reach the first ski slope.

    Once there you can either head directly up the slope to the summit, a fairly steep and exposed hike, or you can a hook a hard left as you come out of the trees, and move just 50 yards or so up the slope to another left that puts you back on the trail through the woods, following the path to Pico Camp.

    Stick the well worn, but narrow trail, until you see the cabin on your right. At that point, turn hard right, passing in front of the entrance door to the cabin, and you will see a sign indicating an additional .4 of a mile to the summit.

    This was the steepest part of the whole hike. Continue following the light blue trail marks. You will exit the trees at one point on a service road. The trail continues immediately across that road for the final approach to the summit.

    You will be rewarded with some nice views at the summit, although its somewhat crowded with ski lifts and communications equipment, but that is to be expected on any of the ski mountains. Fortunately, the ski lift does not run during the off season, so the summit is generally not as busy as Killington, although at around 200' shorter, the view isn't quite as nice either. Still way worth the effort though!

    Watch you step on the way down, as many of the rocks and roots are quite slippery, and be certain to look up at Dear Leap (the cliff face in front of you as you exit the trail into the parking lot). You may spot some more daring types trad climbing their way up to the top!

    Tuesday, September 05, 2017

    This was a spectacular hike, with an amazing view for relatively little effort. I completed this one with my 12 year old daughter and her friend, and while it took some effort on their part, they were quite please when we reached the summit. The trail was dry and well maintained. Very easy to follow. Definitely one I would do again, and one I would recommend to any interested in hiking to a mountain summit, even the 4 legged members of the family!

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    This was an awesome hike! Challenging and fun, with lots of technical rock scrambling and even come ladders! Despite its relatively short ascent, this one definitely fits its hard rating. The ascent is quite steep, but offset by how remarkably enjoyable it is! The views at the top are well worth the effort to get there though! Highly recommend this one to any that enjoy more technical hikes and a good challenge!

    hiking
    Thursday, August 10, 2017

    This was my favorite hike to date! Did this on a gorgeous summer day, with temps in the high sixties and full sun! Couldn't have asked for better conditions. As others have noted, the first part is a walk in the park (clocked at 2.5 miles on my handheld GPS). The second mile and half section is intense, with the last quarter mile requiring the use of your hands! It was an amazing ascent, with incredibly rewarding views at the top. I would label this one a must do for any avid hiker. It was also my first high peak!

    hiking
    Monday, July 24, 2017

    Visited this summit yesterday. As indicated in the previous post, the start of the trail is under construction, due to spring washout, so the first quarter mile is a bit rough. It was a fantastic hike after that though! It IS quite wet in some areas still, so good boots are suggested. As others have noted, there is not much to see at the summit, but there is a great view overlooking Bennington about a mile and quarter before the summit. The rock slides were fun to climb, and the short jaunt I followed along the Western Ridge trail was neat to see. Overall, a very enjoyable, and challenging day out! I would certainly do it again.

    Had a great time doing this climb today! Trail was wet from the recent rainfall but still quite passable. A nice steady ascent to the summit with only the last 3/4 mile being more than easy. Views are amazing and more than worth the effort to get there! A good one for the kids and dogs, if which I saw many today!

    hiking
    Sunday, June 11, 2017

    What an amazing but difficult climb today! The weather was perfect and the trials in great shape! If you're looking for a challenging climb with great rewards at the top, this is the one for you!

    hiking
    Monday, June 05, 2017

    In spite of the ran, I found myself with some time this afternoon and decided to use it hiking this preserve. I'm glad I did! The weather meant I had it all to myself!

    4.5 miles total distance and a little more than 1500' total elevation change made for a reasonably challenging hike. There were some muddy spots in the trail, but nothing that couldnt be easily crossed or navigated around. The falls are very cool to see, especially from the top, and the view from the gazebo is quite nice as well.

    Overall a great place to bring the family, and enjoy a day out! I would give this warning to hikers though: stay on the MARKED trails! There are places that appear to be trails, but without the trail blazes on the trees. There are only 2 trails up there: orange and blue. Be sure to stick those when exploring.

    hiking
    Sunday, May 21, 2017

    A fun and challenging climb! Summit views are worth the effort to get up there! There still some wet spots so bring your boots and plenty of big spray. I had to reapply on the way down!

    hiking
    Sunday, May 07, 2017

    Great hike out here yesterday. The trail head marker for the blue trail up Thomas was missing, so I ended up following the service road all the way up. From there I followed the blue trail to Cat.

    It was a fun, but challenging hike. There are a few harrowing rock scrambles and a lot of flooding and mud to work around. Bring the water proof boots and trekking poles! It will be worth the effort for the views from Cat particularly!

    hiking
    Monday, May 15, 2017