Sterling Pond Trail

MODERATE 477 reviews

Sterling Pond Trail is a 2.3 mile heavily 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 bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 2.3 miles Elevation Gain: 908 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

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 unforgiving, like the Hell Brook trail or the Long Trail up Mansfield, as 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.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 day ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
7 days ago

This trail is definitely difficult. I am not sure how it is rated as moderate. About 90% of the hike is steep vertical ascent and then descent. You will mostly be climbing stairs the whole time. I am disappointed I could not figure out to get to mount spruce to get a view of mt. mansfield. Will try to do that next time. It was a tough hike and there really wasn't as good of a view as I had hoped at the pond, but still beautiful scenery for a killer workout.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
8 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

One of my favorite Vermont trails! Would definitely recommend doing during leaf peeping season! It was so beautiful and not too strenuous. Definitely continue along the trail once you get to the pond for some beautiful views and explore the top of the mountain! Would recommend to anyone who wanted to experience some true Vermont scenery!

hiking
12 days ago

I really enjoyed this hike. It was almost all uphill until just before we got to the lake. The last 50 yards or so was a fairly steep downhill covered with white quartz rocks. They were dry but still very slippery when going downhill. My wife slipped on one of them, but did not injure herself. That was the only negative incident on the climb. My wife and I are 61 and 68, respectively. We stopped a few times to rest a minute going up the climb, but had no other real issues. The weather was sunny and in the 70s, and there were no bug issues. I enjoyed the fact that there were small trickles of water coming down the mountain at various spots. It made the climb more interesting than just going up through a dry forest. I would say that this was a moderate, but occasionally difficult climb. For myself, I would not climb it without hiking shoes as there were a lot of very sharp and pointy rocks throughout the trail. We did not go around the lake, but did go up to the Top of the Notch ski area very nearby. There some nice views from there.

hiking
14 days ago

Fun family friendly short hike with a big payoff. My wife, and 7 1/2 yr old daughter and I enjoyed the serene beauty of Smugglers Notch and the views from Spruce Peak. At the fork, turn left for Sterling Pond, and on your way back go straight to Spruce Peak with a great view of Mt. Mansfield. Disregard last 3 miles on Smugglers Notch road, we forgot to turn off our recording on our drive back to Stowe.

hiking
muddy
rocky
14 days ago

Lies, all lies. Wet, not family friendly and very rocky. Not moderate, DIFFICULT!

hiking
14 days ago

Great short hike with rewarding views.

hiking
rocky
scramble
21 days ago

Tough but rewarding hike for a 60+ man and wife who recently ( March) had a knee replacement.

Great trail,beautiful lake

hiking
24 days ago

Nice short/steep hike. Definitely recommend an early morning weekday due to heavy traffic.

hiking
24 days ago

a perfect, short Vermont hike

hiking
rocky
26 days ago

Whew def a moderate trail. Once to the top the pond is breathtaking! Keep going though and you hit a part of the Long Trail that takes you to the ski lifts! Amazing cures there as well.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

This was a good hike and I would say it’s more of a hard hike then moderate. It start off steep, its very rocky and wet. Could be challenging for small children. It did rain the day before so most of the rocks where slippery. Good shoes are a must! I would also say this is not a dog friendly hike due to some big rock they have to climb. It’s especially challenging for them if you walk around the pond. We actually turned around about three quarters of the way around.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike, beautiful views. It rained the night before so it was a little muddy, but otherwise a fun hike.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This was a fun trail but maybe a difficult one if you’re not particularly fit. I would not recommend it if you have knee issues or balance issues! We would recommend going earlier in the day as the parking was just about full at 11am on a weekday. My asthma made the incline on the way up harder - with lots of breaks it took about an hour and a half. The way down took about an hour. There are some good views from the top by the ski lifts which are just past the pond.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike the my beautiful wife made it to the pond while there was still fog rolling off it. Absolutely gorgeous and majestic place!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great little hike. When we went it was definitely bug season, but it was well worth it. Relatively steep incline the entire way, but not too bad in comparison to other hikes. We arrived fairly early in the morning, but on the way out it was heavily trafficked. Would recommend early morning or a weekday to avoid the crowds.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

It's nice hike with well marked route to Sterling pond. it is dog friendly. Temp was in 60s and little windy so we didn't face any bugs. My 9 yr old and 5 year old did entire hike all by themselves from start to finish. It is kids friendly.

Load More

Featured Trails