Sterling Pond Trail

MODERATE 191 reviews
#2 of 11 trails in

Sterling Pond Trail is a 2.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Jeffersonville, Vermont that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
994 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

During the week or early in the morning, this pond is beyond idyllic featuring subalpine plants, wildlife and quiet water. Starting off directly across from the info station at the parking lot, the first quarter mile is saturated with carefully built stone steps. Much of the first three quarters of a mile is lined with deciduous forest, trickling water and everything else you would expect in a wild area. Those unaccustomed to rocky and uneven surfaces may be interested in something with a bit of ankle support. The climb itself is not completely constant like the Hell Brook trail or the Long Trail up Mansfield, climbing comes in bursts and flats are thrown in often. It's a good starter hike. Once you reach the Long Trail, turn left and within a tenth of a mile, you will approach the pond area. Note though that this area has a very limited growing season and despite what many folks may do, due to inadequate signage, one should not approach the pond or walk in the grass; stay on the trail and the rocks to protect this landmark for years and generations to come.

5 months ago

Great fun challenging “moderate” trail. We did the loop around the pond. Do NOT rely on this app map only. The trail has been rerouted in the last 8 yrs so it looks like you are bushwhacking for a bit north of the shelter. The loop trail starts right at the shelter unlike on the app map! Trust your gut and sense of direction... great hike

6 months 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

hiking
6 months ago

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
6 months ago

Steep incline from Mountain Rd. Trail can get wet and a bit slippery. We did the loop around the pond and met back up with the long trail to come back down. The trail around the pond was very interesting. Cool to see the ski lifts and top of the ski trails! Went with a dog - off leash most of the time and did great, but had to keep her on leash the whole way down from the long trail to the parking lot - VERY CROWDED! constant stream of people coming up.

hiking
6 months ago

A harder trail but worth the effort. Made a nice morning hike that much more.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail requires a moderate effort if you just climb up to the pretty lake. More effort for the Spruce Peak viewpoint and lot's of effort out to Elephant Head Vista. Optional walk around Spruce Lake is not worth the effort.

7 months ago

Beautiful pond and the hike wasn't quite as busy as I expected. I would guess it's more like 3.5 miles there and back.

hiking
7 months ago

Steep rocky trail but a quick and beautiful hike. The loop around the pond was a bonus!

7 months ago

Moderate for sure. Some steep parts make it difficult for the four year olds legs but the reward at the end with the highest water feature in the state was awesome. Try not to let your dogs run wild- we were guilty of this and the park attendant had to speak to us....MURPHY!!!

hiking
8 months ago

Wonderful hike to a beautiful pond. Completed in under 2 hours, with about 15 minutes at the pond. Went in August on a Saturday since the weather was poor Thursday and Friday, so there was a considerable amount of traffic going up and coming down but not to the point of being an annoyance.

8 months ago

one of my favorite trails in vermont. expect to see people alot.

hiking
8 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in the area. The trail itself was pretty well defined, the steep section has rock steps to help with the ascent. I would not recommend this for inexperienced hikers. I was able to reach the pond in 2.5 hours. Sterling pond is an absolutely beautiful spot, worth every step. If you like big hikes, I would recommend continuing up The Long Trail to the summit of Mount Madonna (top of smugglers notch). The Long Trail beyond the pond is very difficult, but if you are an experienced hiker and can handle the trail, you will be greeted with amazing views at the summit.

hiking
8 months ago

One of our favorite hikes in the region. If you're staying at Smuggs, go on to the top of Sterling and down the lift line, or stay on the Long Trail to the top of Madonna, and come down Chilcoot. Makes for a long day, but a great hike!

8 months ago

went later in the afternoon on a gray day. had no issues with traffic. lovely spot.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful views, slightly crowded on a Sunday but worth it!!!!

hiking
8 months ago

Only took about 2 hours to complete the hike. Really lovely at the top but there was quite a few people. Definitely would recommend in more of the off season.

9 months ago

a great little hike!
lovely if a little crowded at the pond.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful lake with stunning vistas and a sandy swimming beach make this an other worldly hike!!!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful! Be sure you follow the white blazes to top of the notch ski lift for Stowe Mountain. It is worth the extra 10 minutes!

9 months ago

This was a great hike. We hike up to elephants head, which you really can't see because you're on top of it, and out to Spruce peak for some sweet vistas, then back down to the pond. Found a sweet spot to hop in for a short sim, but some thunder, and lightning rolled in changing those plans. Hit the white blazes on out to the notch. Was a great hike little hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Absolutely stunning!! I went with my 17 year old and 4.5 year old daughter. My son had to carry the little one a little bit, due to steep rocky areas but overall she did excellent and was quite the trooper! The pond at the top was breath taking and very relaxing. I will be going back for sure!

9 months ago

It's been rainy here (end of June), so the trail was slick, but more than manageable with the proper shoes. The lake was a great reward!

10 months ago

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.

10 months 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.

hiking
10 months ago

Muddy on Memorial Day weekend but an absolutely incredible and scenic hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike with fantastic payoff. Still pretty wet and muddy in some spots at the beginning of June (especially the loop around the pond and back). I would definitely recommend a weekday visit.

10 months ago

Easy hike to beautiful pond, options of taking right at the Y to right to ski line trails. (Long trail) VERY busy on weekends and will be harder to get parking and very busy trails.

hiking
10 months ago

If you can get there during the week when it's a little later in the season and not Memorial Day Weekend when it's a little drier you'll be blown away

10 months ago

Muddy but beautiful views. Glad to get there early enough for roadway parking.

11 months ago

Fun hike. Beautiful day.

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