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The Green Mountain National Forest is managed by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Located in Rutland Vermont, the park contains portions of both the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail as well as other popular peaks and trails. The park is a popular destination in New England for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Highlights within Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest include Grout Pond Recreation Area, sections of the Appalachian and Long Trails, Little Rock Pond Trail, White Rocks Cliff Trail, and Thundering Falls. The most popular season to visit this park during autumn, as the park has a stunning display of fall foliage. The park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including several bird species such as the peregrine falcon, as well as black bears, moose, and coyote.

17 days ago

It was a fun winter hike and bushwack as we head towards completion of the 100 highest in New England. Not extremely difficult except for the bushwack. But we are experienced hikers. I highly advise taking the high road to avoid the water crossings.

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.

Lovely trail that meanders up the mountains through various wooded habitats. We hiked on snow pack for most of the way. The low portion of the trail was muddy at times and portions of the trail where turned into creeks with the snow melt. Once we summited the mountain the temperature changed and the wind picked up. The summit was covered in a dense cold fog that left ice crystals on the trees and fire tower. We climbed the tower and enjoyed the limited icy view. It was spectacular even though we couldn't see far. The hiking down was the easiest part, the snow cushioned each step. I highly recommend hiking this trail in the winter. The views up the mountains through the trees are stunning. If there is snow wear snowshoes or high boots and dress for extreme temperature changes. This took us about 4 hours to complete, the snow will slow you down. Great hike, I would love to do it again but in the fall!

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. :)

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!

27 days ago

Hiked this trail with my fiance and my 8 year old daughter. Thought it was a great hike and tough in spots. Getting closer to the top it gets difficult and steep but well worth the view. A lot of water source and camping spots. We will hike this again but in the late afternoon to catch the sunset!

Great hike. What a workout. Views not great until the top but too busy climbing to worry about it!

1 month ago

This is a great hike for a day trip. A moderate climb up to the Randolph Gap, and then a sharp right turn onto the State Forest path. Then head north along the crest of the trail till you reach Mount Cushmore. There are some outstanding views to the East and West, and some interesting artifacts to find along the way. There are other trails in this area, you can go over the Gap down the other side, continue North past Mount Cushmore, or south to Rochester Mountain.

Beautiful trail, perfect for snowshoeing. Gradual ascents for the most part and very picturesque. A little confusing at the top where the trail ends and you need to navigate the ski trails to the summit as the walkway traverse was closed. The ski trail I went up was extremely steep and sheer ice but nothing like a good burn at the end to make you appreciate the view, and the excellent chowder in the summit lodge. Don't get that on every 4K peak for sure!

2 months ago

1/10/18 Snowshoed up Bucklin Trail carrying our skis and boots (my pack was 32# I'm sure my friend's weighed considerably more). Came out at the North Ridge Triple lift, traded for ski gear and glided down to our car at the Skyship Gondola parking lot. Planned to go over the top to Peak Lodge but it took us longer than expected to make the trip up and we were running out of daylight. The whole trek took us almost 6 hours. Snow conditions were PERFECT! Forecast said high of 25degrees, we didn't have a thermometer with us. Trail was soft enough for grip and no ice. Step off the packed trail and it dropped at least a couple feet. The alpine forest is dreamy!

It was an easy hike overall, very nice and well marked trail. We went to this hike at 29th, Dec with my 11yo daughter , the temperature was -5F may be lower. My daughter didn't like the idea of winter hike but she did well. It took us around 3hs to get to the peak, because we had to talk to my daughter couple times when she wanted to give up. We took it slow as you expected when hiking with kids. the trail had a lot of snow and was really cold but we didn't need to put crampons on. the peak was beautiful but wind was very strong, we had a quick lunch in the lodge and warmed up. it helped. i didn't like the view with so many lifts and people in the background. won't consider to do it again.

Coming down the trail was easy. It took us around 1h or so. We basically ran down together. Overall it was a beautiful winter hike. 

2 months ago

HIked this trail two labor days ago and it was humid as hell. I've seen a few reviews about the "boring" beginning of this trail....within the first 5 mins of the hike I saw a gorgeous Barred Owl in the ravine to the left of the trail. Luckily I had my binoculars with me and watched it for a good 5 mins, it wasn't bothered at all by my presence. As for the trail itself I loved it..moderate hike but challenging in the humidity, thinking ahead I packed cold beers for the summit and that was my motivation to fight through the stifling heat

Great training hike to see what kind of condition you are in. Steep and relentless but not technical at all as for half the trail you are hiking up a road. Due to this, it is not a long hike, but you will definitely work up a good sweat. Nice views of Manchester from Lookout rock. don’t forget to pay your respects to Mr. Barbo as my Lab, Molson and I did.

Wow, what a challenging winter hike! You will walk through 2 miles of well maintained wood trails, which is a great warm up for the immediate and continuous steep ascent to the summit. It also has its advantages as a good cool down on your way back to the parking lot. You see a stream running through, you will cross it a couple of times as well. There's snow over the mud at the base of the trail now, so you will get a bit dirty. The ascent begins with snow covered ice for a while, then into the snowy woods where the temperature dropped quite a bit. Where the trails intersect near the summit, there's a cabin and a ski trail that goes around it, so you might see people up there even now. The summit was steep and a scramble and in the ice it was much more dangerous that I had planned on. There were no views on this day, but I imagine w/out snow, it's quite beautiful. After our hike, we discovered that there is a warming shelter and/or ski lift restaurant not far from the summit, which would have been great to know about in advance. Anyway, I'd hike this again in the summer or fall for sure & plan to spend more time at the summit.

A major butt-kicker. Super steep and rocky toward the top, which was great. It became a magical fairy land up there too. Very beautiful. The summit views are fantastic of course, but some of the serenity is spoiled by the presence of a parking lot. My wife and I ran up in an hour and 17 mins, and down in 59 mins. Be prepared to get whooped :)

3 months ago

Good workout. Nothing special about the views on way up. Average view from summit. Could have used micro spikes on top section. Steep climbs with enough snow and ice to make it sketchy. Up and down in 2 1/2 hours.

3 months ago

Awesome trail! Hiked it in late November on a 45 degree, sunny day, no one else was on the trail! very gradual for the first half then a decent uphill for the last half of the hike but definitely a moderate hike overall. The view is not big and open but still beautiful. Very windy at the top.

I did this yesterday 11/18. Soft light snow covered the trail. Very little ice. Lots of fallen trees and detours that can be hard to see in the snow. Overall an amazing run.

4 months ago

Great easy hike for an early Saturday morning with a stellar view as the payoff. Had Prospect rock all to myself for 40 minutes...very grateful

Came in November. Beautiful and no none there. Perfect.

4 months ago

An ok trail for an average view. I only did this hike because it's part of the NE hundred highest list, and I'll never be back. For those looking to do this mountain the following information is as of 11/12/17. Go to the very end of Tower Rd and park when you can drive no further. Start your hike heading straight ahead as if the road continued. at very near 1 mile in you'll pass a collapsed shelter, keep going. The only next sign you're heading the right way is a tiny cairn on the left of the trail. You'll be following a stream for some time, keep climbing. At two miles there's a T intersection, go right. From there out the cairns and summit trail to the tower are obvious. Enjoy!

Nice easy hike! The Falls were completely frozen when we were there today which was pretty cool. Very well maintained trail & super easy going, never steep.

Trailhead was easy to find and did not use a map for this hike which was fine because the path was clearly marked with trail markers. I felt like the incline was not to strenuous, but it definitely brought my heart rate up! Went on a rainy day so unfortunately there wasn't any view at the top, but I would totally do this hike again!

Fun rock scramble at the end. Little icy and muddy.

I did this hike in early October. I saw bear scat and enjoyed the wildlife and vegetation, but the trail is more moderate than difficult.

Good hike for kiddos and the lodge and pond are beautiful!!

Great hike Rocky at top. Crossing the Long Trail cool sites!

4 months ago

Steep enough in places to make it fun. Can't wait to go back and do the loop!

Long climb to the top but worth it for the view. Challenging but the kids (12 and 7) kept up. Plenty to look at along the way to take a few breaks here and there.

4 months ago

It was a great hike and the best time to do it is fall when the ground is full of fall leaves. It looks like a scene from a fairy tail book. This is an easy hike with not much elevation. This is a quick hike if you have other things planned as well during the afternoon and dont want to spend all day hiking. Or just need something for 2-3 hours. It gives you some elevation as well. So for folks who like to raise their heart beats a bit while hiking, this has that element as well. Waterfall itself is quite beautiful. There is a giant rock where mostly folks go till and take pictures. But there is about 50 more steps you could take upwards towards the falls (a bit slippery) but gets you closer to the falls and gives you a better view. You could also go further down the fall and chill at a few rocks. Not too much traffic.

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