Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Underhill State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Did this a few weeks ago in the rain. Very slippery and the most crowded trail I have ever seen. Probably pretty easy if it was dry.

Did the loop on October 12 but got started a bit late so took the Halfway House Trail to get up to the Canyons Trail and then eventually met up with the Long Trail to make it to the chin and back down via the Sunset Ridge Trail.

Halfway House was very very steep but offered some pretty views of the valley, especially with the foliage. The Canyons Trail included a lot of rock scrambling but offered some shelter from the wind on the ridge. Also great views on this section. Once we got to the Long Trail, the views were incredible because you get up above the treeline on to the ridge and you can really see the summit, the valley and stowe ski resort. Unfortunately we had a lot of fierce wind during our time along the long trail probably from the combination of elevation and quick changing weather.

Once we started descending via the Sunset Ridge Trail, the conditions were much better and we were able to enjoy the views and get some great photos.

Overall a great hike and worth the views. Strenuous because of steep conditions and rock scrambles. Make sure to check the weather and be ready for temperature drops and wind

Tough hike with amazing views. Worth the payoff. Took us about 5.5 hours total but we took our time going relatively slower than a steady up-beat pace. The park ranger recommended we go up Laura Cowles and down Sunset Ridge, as even advanced hikers have a hard time coming down LC, and I’m very glad we followed his direction. I highly recommend doing the same.

on Mount Mansfield Loop Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Summary (TLDR): Halfway House up and back in damp, foggy, and cooler conditions took roughly five hours. Challenging hike but very worthwhile.

My girl and I went over the past weekend (10/6) to see all of the wonderful foliage fall colors and the mountain didn't disappoint despite the weather. For our first time up the mountain, the ranger that was assisting in parking cars recommended Halfway House to the Chin, then back down Sunset Ridge. The conditions that day were damp, foggy, very light scattered showers, and windy at the ridgeline. The temperature was between 45-55F.

Halfway House certainly was grueling the whole way up if you aren't used to mountain hiking. The path has great opportunities for photos along the way and is easy to follow. There were two different areas where things were sketchy and both were towards the top. One is a serious rock slope that has very few areas to anchor your feet. We opted on taking a less traveled dirt path to the right of the slope and made it up without facing the troubles we could have encountered. The final dangerous obstacle was a shallow sloping boulder you have to cross that overhangs a cliff to connect with the trail on the other side. There was no going above or below this. I believe the hike up was around three hours.

When we made it to the ridgeline, we broke into the tundra foliage and it was beautiful! The sight was certainly breathtaking regardless of the poor weather conditions. There was still about another hour to the Chin according to other hikers.

We walked about fifteen minutes towards the Chin and ran into a few other hikers coming down from the Chin. They recommended turning back because it was raining pretty good on the summit and gusts were reaching up to and sustaining at 45 mph. I will also add if you are afraid of heights, walking the ridgeline to the Chin is not for the faint of heart. There is a 1000 ft drop to the right that provides for amazing views but will stunt those who may not be comfortable with heights.

To finish out the hike, we made our way back down Halfway House. Overall, we spent about three hours going up, two hours coming back down, and about an hour meandering around and enjoying views at the base and ridgeline. I'm looking forward to going back and experiencing the trails again. I highly recommend it.

I started this hike today around 3 p.m. and returned to the parking lot around two hours later. It's an incredibly beautiful hike on a sunny day with amazing sunset views. I would describe it as moderately difficult but it would be extremely slippery if it had been raining. This has been my favorite hike in Vermont thus far. Hiked it by myself and ran into a lot of people both ways.

rainy day yeaterday,but the clouds were low and as soon as we got to the ridge it was all above the clouds, it was amazing

I’m not a hiker and this was definitely difficult but it was very pretty. We reached the summit around 10:30am and it was so foggy that we couldn’t see anything. I think the fog burned out by midday but still a little disappointing. It’s not too busy (we went on a Sunday) and we passed our fair share of dogs :). Trail was pretty slippery even though it hadn’t rained in a few days. A lot of DIY rock climbing but worth it.

Up Laura Cowles, down Sunset Ridge. It's the way I've done Mansfield for most of my life. Traffic can be a concern in peak seasons, but here's the move: Get up real crazy early, put on a reliable headlamp, and don some warm hiking clothes (whoa, not THAT warm, champ! This is going to be exercise, after all). Make the summit minutes before sunrise. Pour yourself a cup of coffee from your Thermos while you enjoy the show. Descend by Sunset Ridge just as the sun starts to light up the landscape below. The experience will stay with you for the rest of your life. Side note: If you plan this as a date (with the right kind of companion, of course), you're an instant legend.

Decided to tackle another of the highest peaks of the state, this time in Vermont. Another 3.5 hour drive from home and same back. Decided to go up the lesser traveled route, Halfway House. Glad I chose that, saw 4 people as they were coming down but nobody else. Mile to the long trail but seemed longer. I'm not the fastest hiker out there so didn't want to have to move aside a lot. Another mile to the meetup with Sunset Ridge then up to the chin. A fair amount of rock jumping as you get closer to the final climb but nothing crazy. Halfway House wasn't all that bad in regards to actual climbing, just took time. The top was a little busy not that bad for a Sunday. One thing to keep in mind, as I knew where I was going, I met a couple who weren't sure and almost took the Sunset Ridge to go down which would have taken them down to the wrong side of the mountain. I got them straightened out, just glad I could help. Now the fun starts, heading down. I knew before I started I would go up HH and down Sunset. I just didn't think Sunset Ridge was as tough as I went through going down. I read somewhere that from easy to hard on this side was SR then HH then LC. From going up HH, I think SR is about the same really. Took a couple hours and had a constant thigh burn going but didn't want to stop because I knew I wouldn't want to get up :). Got to Cantilever trail and didn't have the strength to go out and back, maybe another year. As they say, doesn't matter how far or how fast you go, just that you go somewhere. It's always a few steps at a time for me, not bad for an overweight mid 50's guy. Enjoy yourselves!

Was definitely worth each step!

Awesome hike with beautiful views definitely be prepared with water and food there is a nice mountain top place to eat as well about a 10mile hike

This was my second time hiking Mount Mansfield, but this time we did it as a larger loop hike. The hike going up to the ridge was slow going due to the wet rocks. Once on the ridge there was a lot of people and the whole ridge was socked in majority of the time with a few breaks of sun here and there. We hiked up the Halfway House Trail to the Long Path and down the Sunset Ridge Trail.

One of the most beautiful trails I've ever done (only my first in VT). The trail was very well maintained and easy to follow. My dog had no trouble, but there were a couple places that it was nice she had a pack to help her up and down from tall rocks. It is steep, but definitely worth the views. There's about a mile of ridge line before reaching the Chin, so you can take breaks and see amazing views on your way to the top.

This trail does require a bit of patience (it took about 2.5-3 hours to reach the peak. It was, however, well worth it: you are afforded the best views in all of Vermont! Be sure that you’re prepared for a steep climb, especially in the last quarter of the trial.

Trail started out in a campground ($4 to park for the day per person). Hiked .6 miles up to the beginning of Sunet Ridge, which soon split into Laura Cowles. Laura Cowles was the most unrelenting trail I've done in Vermont, very steep with very few, if any, flat sections. It was all worth it for the great views coming above the treeline. The summit was covered in a cloud the whole time, but going down Sunset Ridge led to some of the most spectacular views.
My advice to anyone not extremely experienced, pack a LOT of water and be prepared to take most of the day. We did this in about 6 hours.

Cool trail, not so hard , great view!!

Going down this trail felt like falling down a mountainside in slow motion. Super slick and straight down, it took us an hour to go just one mile. We had gone up to the Chin via Sunset Ridge and decided to come down on Laura Cowles. If you are trying to reach the Chin I highly recommend taking Sunset Ridge instead, which leaves from the same parking lot (you have to pay $4 per person). That one has views along the hike and makes for a more varied and less grueling excursion.

This trail is as good as it gets! Not for the faint of heart or those that have a fear of heights... Come prepared to be in the elements– sunscreen and sunglasses recommended, as well as a raincoat or windbreaker for the peak. The parking lot is part of Underhill Campground and Park and you need to pay a fee of $4 per person to hike (cc accepted.)

The views!! Standing at the top you can see New York, Canada, and New Hampshire. Once at the top you have 360* views. Trails starts off a little easy but the closer you get to the top the more rocky it is.

This is a challenging hike through varied terrain and environments with a tremendous payoff at the summit with beautiful views across the Green Mountains. You climb through a lovely deciduous forest up a meandering trail before a nice walk through the alpine along the ridge with stunning 360 degree views over the Green Mountains of northern Vermont. Truly a must do for any serious hiker looking for a taste of Vermont’s natural beauty.

The rating on this trail is not overblown though and I would recommend it only to very experienced hikers and would caution that even experienced hikers could run into difficulties on the more technical pitches in wet conditions. The vast majority of the trail follows a path of naked granite. With this in mind I would strongly recommend starting the loop on the Maple Ridge side as that half of the loop has the most challenging granite faces to negotiate going up and those are even more challenging when tired and going down. Be aware also of the fairly significant time commitment required. It is only a 15km loop including the out and back to the summit, but it does some time to navigate everything the trail throws at you. This last time it took me 4 hours hiking alone and moving fast. They recommend 6-9 hours at the ranger station.


Enjoy!

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.

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

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)

backpacking
4 months 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.

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.

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!

Load More