Explore the most popular birding trails in Mt Mansfield State Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

October 25 18 - some snow on the trail which made it a little slippery but doable. Our first time on the trail and it was very well marked with blue paint. Highly recommend driving past the "Trout club private property" signs until the end of the road. There is a public parking lot for the hiking trail.

1 month ago

Please note... For parking if you see the "Private Property" sign, keep going. The Trout Club has signs up everywhere, but you can bypass the sign to park. We did not, parked in the lower lot and walked 1 mile to the trail head.
The hike was pretty easy for the first mile or so and it became a steady increase in incline. Lots of beautiful sights. Plenty of brooks for my dog to drink from. There is a nice waterfall before you get to the lodge. The view is not awesome at the lodge, but do they fret -- walk out and up a tiny bit for a beautiful sight! There's a map at the lodge. The trail marked with no milage, follow it!
Our friends 10 year old daughter came and had no issues!

Sweet trail, easy start, a section of steeper trail, but not bad. Some nice waterfalls along the way. There was a pretty heavy fog up top today, it made for a beautiful hike with the mix of fog and fall foliage. Taylor Lodge was the perfect place to stop and have a snack before heading back down!

It was a rainy day and there were less than 10 people we encountered during the hike, but it was very special.

It was very windy near the chin and the rain drops hit hard on the faces, but what an experience!

We met a group via Meetup and enjoyed seeing a new trail through someone else's guide. We just followed along on a 12.5 mile hike from Smugglers notch to Sterling pond, Madonna summit and Whitedace summit with a stop at Bear Hollow shelter. Nice hike, we met some cool hikers and then did Camels jump the next day.

Beautiful and quick hike. About two hours, round trip

We took gondolas and then hiked the rest of the trail to the Chin. This part of the trail is challenging and very rocky, but really fun as well! Not too long, 0.6 miles or so. But be careful when descending, rocks are veeery slippery! Unfortunately we did not have a good view on the top as the summit was covered with clouds, but it was still a very nice walk with beautiful nature and plants around, it was a little crowded though because it was Labor Day weekend. Have fun and be careful! Remember to have proper hiking boots, it’s very important on this trail. Also remember that the last gondola from the top leaves at 4pm, so plan accordingly, otherwise you’ll have to go down on foot.

Breathtaking panoramic views all the way up the Toll Road! We were lucky & caught a beautiful, clear, light wind day. Be sure to wear luggy hiking boots or shoes & plenty of water. Sunscreen is a good idea on a sunny day (fully exposed). Some rocky challenges but my 12 & 9 year old daughters did great (after several water breaks). A couple more technical sections towards the summit but manageable if taken slow & well worth the climb. We’ll be sure to make a return trip next summer!

We did this today with our 3.5 years old (he did the way up himself , we carried him in the backpack on the way back but only because he was tired). I would qualify this as an easy trail - if you have the right shoes (I did it in sneakers and it was doable but it would have been so much easier in my hiking shoes). The views are amazing throughout the trail , we loved it. It is windy and pretty cold up there (it’s Aug 20th and we wore 3 layers) and sunscreen is a must if it’s sunny. A must do in Vermont, in my opinion.

It is a beautiful and open view almost the whole way. It was challenging and at times a little scary for me because of the high and open view to the valley's below. So very worth it!

As a volunteer at Barnes Camp Hiker/Visitor Center on Route 108, right on the Long Trail, when we heard hikers asking for "The Smuggler's Notch Trail" we informed them there was no trail with that name. They quickly said AllTrails said there was. However, once I saw the topo map, we knew the trail is actually a combination of trails including a 2 mile road walk. The actual trails are Sterling Pond Trail, Long Trail and then a road walk, Route 108. However, the Long Trail has been rerouted now (not showing on the AllTrails map, and crosses 108 more south, traveling across a Boardwalk, then beside Barnes Camp. This reroute of the LT adds distance (about 1 mile) to this hike is following the LT. Here is another confusing element: The old LT trail head, from 108, heading north is still open, but it is a new trail (Barnes Camp Loop Trail) and has blue blazes vs. white for LT. It connects with the LT, north after crossing the brook and hiking steeply for .2 mi. If using this trail, this trail map is okay, just be aware, it is NOT all on the LT. And, be aware, if you ask a local what the Smuggler's Notch Trail is, they likely will not have a clue what you are talking about, as this loop is not called that. It is called by the actual trail names.

Hiked this trail again with friends. It’s a fun hike with several options to take side trails!!!

This was such a fun hike. Starts out easy and gets increasingly steeper. It took me less than 2 hours up and back with time to stop for photos. I will definitely return in the Fall.

1.5 hours to Taylor Lodge and back. Great moderate hike, some steep rock steps, good views.

Hiked from the Toll Road parking/visitor center to the Chin. It's a fairly moderate hike with a mix of rock and dirt trail with the occasional board over wet areas. Stay on the trail to preserve the fragile ecosystem. Amazing views out to lake Champlain to the west and the Stowe valley to the east. Porta potties at the visitor center.

A nice hike with opportunities to join up with other trails at the top. It ends at a shelter on the Long Trail. A decent hike to do if you want to get out for awhile and work up a bit of a sweat but you don’t have all day to spend.

Nice shaded rocky trail up to Taylor Lodge. When you get to the lodge take a quick left up to the lookout over the valley for a beautiful view.

Yes. Silly signs about private property

We were thankful to the previous reviewer who told us not to give up hope on the public parking at the end of the road. Just when we despaired we were entering a private address, the parking lot appeared on the right. I was glad to have my hiking boots for the wet rocky area. The waterfall and notch were nice and the trail easy to follow. I would have given it another star if it weren't for the first part of the trail that followed the lodge and the seemingly ridiculous amount of signs reminding you that it bordered private property. We did experience bugs, so take the bug spray.

walking
4 months ago

Great walk with beautiful views. Would be very slippery in the rain but if it’s dry this is a very enjoyable 1.5-2 hour walk (at a casual pace).

I came straight down the gondola path and had to navigate a 20 ft waterfall. Killed my quads.

Did this in February on snowshoes. Lots of snow, beautiful and peaceful. Has a few steeper spots for short periods but always levels out to let you catch breath. No view at top but beautiful wooded surroundings with brook along the way.

trail running
8 months ago

Loved it . It was challenging and fun.

Nice trail with some terrific views, we met lots of people hiking or skiing on the trail, also three groups of ice climbers in the notch, nice relaxing day in the notch highly recommend.

Nice winter hike. Snowshoes are probably recommended.

hiking
Monday, October 02, 2017

We hiked this trail to the top and back, it was not 6.4 miles but a little over 8 miles. There was not a clear spot to turn around as the Catamount XC trail goes on for many miles, so we stopped at approximately the top, and we got a little view, but not very much.

It was an enjoyable trail to hike, with beautiful scenery, but does not see much traffic in summer, some areas were not very well marked and 2 different people missed a turn and got lost on the way down. It was wet in places and the footing could be slippery. I would not classify this as a great trail for beginners.

At the top there was a lot of signs of moose activity.

(FYI The reviewer Jesepe A is obviously commenting on a different trail that starts nearby goes up to the Long Trail and back, https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/vermont/nebraska-notch-lake-mansfield-trail, that is not this trail)

hiking
Saturday, September 30, 2017

Perfect hike! Meandering trail. Lots of ponds, rivers, flowers, moss, trees. I was smiling the whole time. First 1/4 really easy trek, next 1/2 somewhat challenging uphill with rocks, then last 1/4 easy again. No real 'peak' with a view, but still an amazing hike. Would do again.

Moderate. Beautiful. My companions who wore sneakers weren't happy, but I was fine with boots. One steep climb. Ends at Taylor Lodge.

Great, easy hike. It costs $23 per vehicle with one adult and $8 more per adult to go up the road, and the gates at the bottom close at 5PM. Beautiful views, almost all over rocks. If you're afraid of heights the drive may be hard for you as you get closer to the visitors center, and there are parts of the path that may be hard too.

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