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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.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

Love this hike. Have done it twice. Bring lots of water. First time I did it with my husband and we went at a pretty good clip. Felt very accomplished when done and views are outstanding. Coming back was harder than going up as our knees were grumbling we are both over 50).

Second time did it with a bunch of girlfriends and it was wet and super foggy. Two girls turned around early on. The rest of us turned around probably less than halfway in. Must have good hiking shoes. Ideally you want boots as your ankles will be screaming at you on the way back.

Go but be prepared. You want hiking boots, water, something warm for up top plus a snack.

This is a tough climb and a tougher descent. Beautiful views

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

conditions : wet + windy + leaves
Trail : loop starting from ccc road @ up maple ridge @ long trail (forehead to chin) @ down sunset ridge
stats : 5h (including breaks) / 12km / 867m
cost : 4$ US per person, they also accept Canadian money.
This is my 4th hike ever (my biggest yet), it was a great personnal challenge.
Great advice from the park ranger : start going up maple ridge in these wet conditions, it would've been very dangerous going down those slippery rock walls.
Very hard on the knees going down such technical terrain, using hiking poles normally help but the ground is so irregular we could use them only near the bottom.

Thought it was a fun hike, the lake was really lovely and as it was foggy, the view was rather suggestive. Make sure you do the loop around the lake as that makes it more fun and helps enjoying the lake views further from other angles

hiking
14 days ago