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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.

Last hiked in 1990 and stayed at the youth camping area campground. Took Sunset Ridge Trail to Chin, and down Laura Cowles Trail. Took a group of teen and younger kids who enjoyed it.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
2 days ago

Did this trail in the rain (which became snow as I got higher). There were no views whatsoever because of the weather. With that said, it was still an amazing hike. Solid workout. 360-degree view at the top. Can't wait to come back!!

hiking
3 days ago

good hike and the lake is pretty. but it is a tough moderate hike as it is all climbing with minimal flat stretches but I enjoyed it

Great hike!

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
8 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.