nature trips




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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.

This is a grueling hike but fun if you are up for the challenge. It is a quick hike up to the peak of Mansfield, but you are in for a workout. There are spots where bouldering is required to continue upwards. Definitely don't descend via this trail, I like either the long trail or the cliff trail to Stowe. Basically a stair master for 1.4 hours, nothing but vertical gain

This trail has some difficult areas but the experience and views are worth every step.

Great hike, though I wouldn't consider kid friendly. Lots of steep walking (sometimes climbing) on rocks that were wet when we hiked. The trail had very little traffic and was well maintained for what it was.

View is breathtaking once you get to the top. But till then there are lots of flies in the woods. This was my first hike here and I loved it.

Should not be considered a hiking trail. It is a rock climb. From beginning to end you will be scrambling over roots and rocks. Not to mention the fallen trees over the "trail". Also it is wet and dangerous. We made it (barely) but please beware when considering this one.

Hiked up 6/12/17 . we were fortunate that the trail was drier than we had expected after so much rain the week before. Was a great hike up Hellbrook, across the ridge and down Hazelton. The only drawback is Hazelton dumps you out 1 mile away from the entrance to Hellbrook making you walk up RT 108 to get back to your vehicle, tremendous views and a few spots that are sketchy but nothing to intimidating as long as you plan your steps carefully.

10 days ago

beautiful views from the top. the pond is so pretty with sparkling water and serene landscapes, however there was a few billion Flys that love to bite they don't itch they just hurt. bug spray a must.

11 days ago