Explore the most popular forest 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.

Great hike for kids. Lots of variety of landscapes, with a cool beaver pond along the way. Make sure to keep going after Taylor Lodge up the short, steep spur trail to the lookout, with a great view of the lake and mountains.

We took the Clara Bow Trail at the beaver pond instead of the Long Trail, and I highly recommend it. Same distance, but the rocks and caves are really interesting on Clara Bow. There’s a fun ladder too. More moderate than easy, especially if you take Clara Bow 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!

Great hike on this fall day. There are 2-3 steep areas on this hike.

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

on Beaver Meadow Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Loop trail. Moderate Difficulty. We began the trail at the main parking area. There are a lot of parking spaces. From the main parking area, the first 2.3 miles is primarily a wide trail, ATV width, with a few muddy sections but primarily a good trail. The climb is gradual, a little steep at times, but plenty of leveling off for breaks if needed. You are in the forest the entire time. For vistas, you would need to hike to Whiteface Mountain or Chilcoot Pass to the Long Trail. At 2.3 miles, there is a juncture to Beaver Meadow Loop (left or right fork), Whiteface Mountain, or Chilcoot Pass Trail. We took the right fork and followed the Beaver Meadow Loop Trail. The Beaver Meadow Loop Trail is more like a hiking trail in terms of width. Some rugged sections, some muddy sections, and some slippery rocks, but overall a good trail. You need to cross a few streams. We stopped at the Beaver Meadow Lodge for a break. FYI, there is a composting outhouse near the lodge. After you leave or approach the Beaver Meadow Lodge, there is a bigger stream to cross. Easy if low water but I would imagine a wee bit difficult if high water. Overall, a nice hike in a forest setting and a good workout.

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.

This is a nice hike to do if you’re looking to spend a little time outside without exerting yourself too much. Although much of it is fairly rolling, and the scenery becomes quite beautiful after you link up with the long trail, the first and last stretches are a bit steep. I would say this trail ranks closer to moderate than to easy. It comes out at Taylor Lodge, which looks like a nice place to to spend a night if you wanted to do some extended hiking.

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.

I decided to go via the Beaver Meadow as I arrived a bit later in the day-it had been raining in the morning and was still lightly raining when I arrived. The hike up was moderate in most areas, a few difficult spots. When I got to the top, it was sunny and lovely, however there was cloud cover all below me and on ll of the surrounding mountain tops, it was like I was standing above the clouds-amazing!

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.

trail running
4 months ago

Great loop to get some cool mileage in from Little River State Park.

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.

I hiked this trail on Memorial Day starting at the Butler Lodge trailhead taking the Frost Trail along the rocky ridgeline to the foot of Mansfield’s forehead. Instead of descending along the rocky garden trail to follow the loop to Butler Lodge I ascended to the summit @ 3940ft and follows the very steep descent to the Eye at Long trail junction with Wallace cutoff. From there I made it Butler Lodge and followed the Rock Garden trail back to Frost to finish the loop. The views from he summit unfortunate were socked in the clouds and the black flies were terrible. Make sure if you hike this time is year to being plenty of insect repellent and a head net!!

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).

The Frost trail is a really fantastic hike. Once you approach the top, there aren't just lookouts...but a rolling view to your left that gradually gets more and more expansive as your scale up a ridge line.

ONE WARNING: While the bottom of this trail & the Butler Lodge trail are both dog friendly, the connector between trails is not. There's several steep rock faces that need to be scaled. We took our two dogs and had to physically lift them through several sections to proceed.

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.

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