Prospect Rock Trail is a 3.1 mile out and back trail located near Manchester Center, Vermont that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,010 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Manchester Depot, VT: Travel northeast on SRs 11 / 30 making a sharp right onto East Manchester Road. Make an immediate left onto Rootville Road. Follow until the road forks (which is practically the end of the road) and bear right. Trailhead is at the end. Parking is limited.

hiking
1 day ago

Enjoyable trail that is a decent challenge and fairly quick. It took us 55 mins up and 42 minutes down. Trail is on a two track road (if your feeling lazy and have a off-road vehicle/Jeep you can just drive it). Beautiful cascading waterfall very early on that is definitely worth the quick stroll off the path to get closer. There are a few off shoots of other trails but just stay on the one that looks most vehicle friendly (or the widest). Fairly steep but not too bad most the way and flattens out a bit before you reach the top. Footing a bit unforgiving as it isn’t a true hiking trail but manageable. The sign is easy to miss as others mentioned but one way to help is there is a trail that shoots off dead left with a sign after the trail levels out a bit. Just past the sign on your right you will see the red sign on a tree that reads “look up” and further up the same tree another sign reads “Prospect Rock” and points right of the trail. Then you just walk down a little path thru some trees and you can see the opening and “Prospect Rock” as well. The views of Manchester, Mt. Equinox, Dorset Peak and the Northshire valley in general are magnificent!

hiking
7 days ago

Pretty boring but has a nice view at the top. The waterfalls make it interesting. The bigs were out in full force

hiking
rocky
8 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

Great trail! Only passed 3 people on the way up. Nice wide trail which is awesome, easy footing. Pretty good gain over just a short 1.7 miles on the way up so it makes it feel like a solid workout. The view is nice, leaves a little to be appreciated but still a great hike! Dog friendly too.

recorded Prospect Rock Trail

hiking
rocky
21 days ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

The view from the rock is nice of Manchester but the view of the waterfalls is even better if you walk down to it!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Uphill all the way to Prospect Rock. Incline was not bad, well established wide trail, but very rocky. Descent was not as pleasant as ascent because of the rocky path. Prospect Rock was not marked, and if not for a boisterous group on the rock, we would have missed the cut through the woods to this lookout. Keep an eye on your GPS for it's location. Wonderful waterfall in the first 1/2 mile. Next time might just pack some snacks and cut out to the waterfall for an easy walk and enjoyable secluded picnic.

recorded Prospect Rock Trail

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail for a rainy week as all the runoff runs off and the trail stays almost dry. It is a wide road but very rocky. The scenery is a bit stark in the winter. The lookout I found to be well marked and it is extremely beautiful. The waterfalls/babbling brooks at the start are gorgeous too. Took us 1 hr up (very steep) and 20 mins down as we ran.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail - walked to rock with two young boys in a little over an hour and 40 min back. Prospect rock is a little off the trail so use GPS and look through trees to the right - great view! Parking is tricky, park down the road and not just in front of trail.

hiking
icy
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Did the whole trail up and down (my recording is incomplete), which is a wide gravel/rocky road that can be driven on. One can see a beautiful river with some good views of small waterfalls. The lookout point (the rock) is spectacular, but easy to miss.

hiking
7 months ago

You can drive through it.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Great incline hike. It is more like a rocky access road than a “trail”. The lookout isn’t the most obvious, but if you miss it, you’ll come to a block in the trail about 500 meters up that tells you to turn around and look for the sign.

hiking
7 months ago

beautiful trail... the lookout could be marked better though

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Did this as the start and finish of a weekend of backpacking. Overlook is beautiful. Trail is a steep double track road. Wish there was a trail option up and back rather than the road. Pick a clear day to hike it to appreciate the view.

hiking
9 months ago

Steep but short. Well maintained trail, wide. Runs along a creek and you can see a nice waterfall on the side and even hike to it for a brief detour. At the top it becomes flatter for a bit before you arrive a the rock with awesome vistas of the Manchester Valley. Great half a day hike!

hiking
9 months ago

Nice flat gravel road/trail, mostly shaded and stream/cascades/slides/pools along the first third. Nice view of Manchester and mountains at the Rock! Parking at kiosk ( beyond water tower area) as well as parking lot before water tank where this all trails starts.

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome view from the rock. It can be easy to to miss so stay straight on the main path and keep an eye out for a sign on the right. From here, you can keep going and walk out on the long trail for a bit but there are no more views.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Moderate because of the steady incline of the fire road but not long. Nice views of Manchester below and Mt Equinox in the distance. There is a nice waterfall near the beginning you can hike around that is a great way to finish!

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

A steep climb all the way up, well maintained road/trail with sun and shade. Beautiful vista makes it well worth it.

hiking
muddy
rocky
10 months ago

this is one of my top favorite trails! its steep most of the way but worth it when you get to the rock. dont forget to look up

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

Steep assent, but trail is wide and easy to follow. Not many views going up except for the waterfalls and creek that is along the side. Good amount of sun and shade. Great for dogs, but I would think this one would be difficult for little kids (unless you plan on carrying them).

10 months ago

I'm a fairly inexperienced, out of shape hiker and I loved this trail! The ascent is challenging while not making me feel like I was going to have a heart attack. I took lots of breaks going up, so it was like doing intervals. The view from prospect rock is great as well! I'm awful at descents, but this one was really easy. I felt like it was a true moderate trail (as opposed to other "moderate" rated trails in VT which I thought were very hard). Enjoy!

11 months ago

this was an awesome trail. nice steady uphill. and what an amazing view from the rock. you can see pretty much all of Manchester. would definitely recommend this hike.

hiking
bugs
Wed May 29 2019

This is a steep uphill climb, especially for the first mile. About .5-.7 miles in you see a waterfall on your left. A little over a mile in you'll cross over another trail, then see several small offshoots (most blocked by trees on our visit) on your right. None of those are Prospect Rock. You'll think you've missed it, but you haven't! The incline gets a little less steep, and then about 1.7 miles in you'll see a blue and white sign very high on a tree that says "Prospect Rock" and a red and natural wood sign lower on that same tree that says "LOOK UP." That's it! Lovely view. We enjoyed ourselves even though it was a little buggy. It took us an hour and a half round trip.

hiking
bugs
Mon May 20 2019

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