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Underhill is within Vermont's 34,000-acre Mt. Mansfield State Forest. On the headwaters of the Brown's River, at about 2,000 feet elevation, the park lies on the west slope of 4,300 feet Mt. Mansfield, the state's highest peak. Just over the summit ridge is the Stowe ski area, one of North America's original ski resorts. The elevation and corresponding exposure to harsh climatic conditions have resulted in some relatively unusual vegetation types along the mountain's summit ridge. The low, stunted-plants found in the alpine tundra near the summit, very rare in New England, are more typical of types found on broad expanses of Arctic tundra a thousand miles farther north. These plants are fragile (if you hike to the summit, please stay on marked trails.) The park includes a log picnic shelter, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC, a nationwide public works program created during the great economic depression of the 1930s to provide jobs and training for thousands of unemployed. Many state and national parks trace their origins to the CCC era. In addition, the park contains a small campground, picnic grounds, and a group camping area. The campground has a restroom facility with flush toilets and cold running water, but no showers. Due to the parks hillside nature, it is not suitable for RVs or trailers. All campsites are walk-in. This off-grid park uses solar power for office functions, and to operate the water system. The group camping area consists of a small level field with 9 lean-to shelters, a 0.8 mile moderate walk uphill from the main campground. There is a pit toilet that serves the group area. The park is probably best known for its hiking. There are four trails to the summit ridge of Mt. Mansfield from Underhill State Park. Walking up the gated road from the park headquarters, the trails begin branching off shortly above the group camp area. The Sunset Ridge Trail, 3 miles to the summit, is the most popular. Vermonts Long Trail traverses the summit ridge and, with several trails from the other side of the mountain, many loops are possible. Hiking information and trail maps are available at the park headquarters. The upper camp area, about 3/4 of a mile above the ranger station, has 9 lean-to sites and is reserved for organized group use. In the lower camp area, around the ranger station, are 11 tent sites and 6 lean-to sites. There are cold water and flush toilets in the rest rooms, but no showers. Because campers park in the lot and cannot drive the last several yards to their campsites, this park is not recommended for RV or tent-trailer campers. There is a large log picnic shelter, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s for group functions.

Did this trail yesterday as loop. Laura cowles still rates as one of the toughest I’ve done it is uphill the whole time and doesn’t stop until you reach the top. Great views from the chin as usual. Was a warm and not much wind at all. GPS had this more like 5.4 miles round trip.

A steady uphill, but short and totally worth it for what’s at the top. The pond is beautiful, great for a dip for you or your pup at the end. Dogs can be off-leash. Also if you keep hiking past the pond you get to a chairlift where you get awesome views of Smuggs and beyond down below. This trail also connects to the Long Trail so you could extend it as far as you want to.

Challenging rock terrain over the forehead, a long day. Exhausted and happy.

The hike for me was pretty challenging but definitely worth it to see the pond and then to go a little further past the pond for the view. I’m in my late 50’s and in reasonably good shape and found myself having to stop a few times along the way to catch my breath. I think the length of this hike made it a doable hike for me. Definitely want hiking shoes or good tennis shoes to hike this trail because a lot of the time you are climbing up natural stairs of rocks and tree roots and yes you are climbing most of the way so don’t forget your water!

Awesome view at the top and a great hike

Very pretty!

A Great morning adventure! A fun amount of climbing and hiking. Recommend to all seeking a high intensity walk through the woods.

Kicked our butts. We took the Eagle cut to Ccc road to Laura Cowls Trail to the top. The LC section was steep and seemingly unending but fun in that it was a challenge — mostly a boulder and rock scramble. It had rained off and on the day before and much of the way was damp. Came down via the sunset ridge trail — easier and drier. Might try it as the way up and back if I do this Trail again. (Hubby says he never wants to do it again)

Definitely my new favorite approach to Mansfield. We did Sunset Ridge as our approach to Mount Mansfield, which stayed in the alpine zone for more than half the way up. We were able to see wonderful views of the Green Mountains on the way up including Camels Hump in the distance. The summit of Mansfield had wonderful views into Smugglers Notch and the Northern Green Mountains. We decided to take Subway and Canyons Trail to Hallway House rather than Long Trail. This brought us through epic caves an glacial features. Half Way House was very steep, definitely not meant for downhill hiking. All in all great hike.

Super hard, super gorgeous at the top!

hiking
8 days ago

Super pretty! Great way to spend a couple of hours.

went end of may... spectacular view at the chin. worth the long trek and deffinitly worth making the loop. profanity trail was covered in deep snow, so watch out going down after winter time into.

Great hike. You start with stone steps. The pond is beautiful. You can also keep going for a few more minutes to see the top of the ski lift. We aren’t regular hikers and it took us about 2 hours round trip.

backpacking
13 days ago

I would say it’s hard. Mostly because you need to bring a lot of water and marple trail part is not good for children and unexperienced pets.

hiking
13 days ago

A nice, fairly short hike. The views of the pond & swimming in it were highlights, as well as the view of the cliffs from the base. I would recommend tacking something on to the end of it (hike to the ski lifts?) for a nice payoff view.

Challenging and very rewarding!

Great hike. We took the Long Trail to Profanity to the summit, then traversed the summit ridge to the Nose, and descended Haselton. Fantastic loop.

The Long Trail up is a beautiful trail, with a nice mix of dirt paths, stream crossings, and rocky ascents. Profanity, well I let a bunch of profanities fly on this steep, narrow, rocky ascent to the summit. Challenging but very fun. I don’t recommend descending Profanity, but a number of people were.

The summit views are unparalleled on a clear day. We were able to see the Adirondacks, Mt. Washington, and probably Canada. Gorgeous.

I drank about 4-5 liters on the hike, so either carry that with you or bring a filter - there are plenty of streams to fill up at along the way. Also, bring a first aid kit just in case - I cut my thumb on sharp rocks on Profanity.

All in all, a fantastic hike with bird song, views, and loads of wildflowers along the ridge between the Nose and Chin.

hiking
15 days ago

My family and I hiked this Trail in 2016. We had not been hiking in years and so it was a little tough, but a beautiful hike. There were a lot of stone steps and some moderate rock climbing. The view of Sterling pond was stunning. It was a very lovely day for anyone interested in a moderate hike.

hiking
16 days ago

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.

Appropriately named; not a weekend warrior hike. This one is for two kinds of people; bare-chested freedom fighters or twelve year olds in Barbie shoes. Had two pretty good falls on the way down but managed to land in the fluffiest moss on this god given earth. Difficult hike, the real warriors take the Hellbrook trail on the way down, don’t be that guy doing the walk of shame on the road.

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful trail. Awesome swimming hole at the top. Loved it!

Great trail! Probably my favorite so far in the North East, and I've hiked in NY, VT and NH. If you have done anything in the White Mountains, this will feel a bit like the Franconia Notch Loop, but a little more technical. I did the Wampahoofus to Butler lodge trail and got to go through a cave (really cool). From there you take Rock Garden trail back to the main path and that had some really cool stuff as well. I also took the offshoot to Cantilever Rock and that had a great view. Overall, the majority of the hike is a breeze but there are a few sections that can be tricky. It was sunny and dry when we did it but I think it would be very tough in rainy conditions as much of the hike is on rock faces that have grip when dry but not when wet.

Hiked up Butler Lodge Trail to Butler Lodge. Pretty quick and easy, and a nice view from the lodge. Decided to continue up Wampahoofus for the first time to the forehead thinking it would be fairly quick and easy.. wrong!! It was so fun though! But a little intimating! I had to take off my pack a few times to hoist myself up slippery rocks, had to walk through a cave, but what an adventure. Once at the forehead, I decided to continue to the chin so I took Long Trail North to the chin, not too windy despite cloudy weather, then on the way back, Long Trail South to Wallace Cutoff back to Butler Lodge. Keep in mind going down LT south is a little daunting, those ladders going down can be scary if you don’t like heights and a few points where if you mis step, you could fall down some rock crevices. All in all I’m glad I did that loop, exciting adventure 8.8 total miles.

My favorite hike in Vermont! Similar to the West Loop Camel’s Hump hike, but with heartbreakingly beautiful views of the Champlain Valley throughout the top half of the hike, and gorgeous views of the White Mountains to the east once you attain the summit.

hiking
27 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike with a beautiful pond waiting at the top. Moderate hike that takes around 30-45 minutes depending on your pace. Like many have said, be sure to venture up to where the ski lifts are to catch more amazing views of the valley.

Doesn’t take very long to get up and down. Most of it is done up on the ridge. I added Bad Weather Pass as an option up top which was fun although you have a few up close encounters with cliff edges. Fun trail all in all.

Have done this trail more than once- absolutely beautiful. Highly recommend taking the Sunset Ridge Trail up and down. I did not find it too difficult and my 3 younger siblings aged 8-12 found the trail very exciting, and loved exploring the caves on the way up!

This trail is hard in all the right ways! Based on the signs we saw, from ground to summit is actually 3.6 -3.8 miles and takes about 3.5 hours. There are some fun features to explore along the way- big boulders, beautiful views, outcrops, and streams. Worth every drop of sweat.

Excellent hike but it was really hard!

Did this trail yesterday, great weather and a nice little hike. Added on the loop around the pond and got some beautiful views along the far side.

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