Sterling Pond Trail

MODERATE 284 reviews

Sterling Pond Trail is a 2.3 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
2.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
908 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.

Well maintained trail with cutouts for views of Mt. Mansfield. Various terrain but plenty of flat forest floor to break up the few rocky climbs. About 2 hours for us 65 year olds. As expected, rocky and steeper at the top.

Machu Picchu stairway is a hoot. Bravo GMC!

hiking
5 days ago

Really great trail, nice views of pond. Lots for “stairs” on way up. Can get crowded.

hiking
18 days ago

If you don't like crowds, only hike this on a Tuesday when it's raining. The pond is pretty and if you go about 500ft past the pond, you'll be on the side of Smuggs and there are pretty views of Mansfield and the valley.

hiking
26 days ago

The views were amazing - totally worth it and I’m already planning my next hike up!

hiking
26 days ago

One of my favorite trails to hike in Vermont; probably because my late husband and I first hiked it back in 2004. It is a good couple hour hike up and back down. Worth seeing the pond but hope that it is not getting over hiked.

1 month ago

Hiked this trail today for the first time. The pond is great! We hiked in with my 11 and 7 year olds. It was long for them but they made it. My husband has been coming to Stowe for 25 years and this was the first time he did this hike. We will absolutely do this one again!

1 month ago

Good day to spend time with the kids. Plenty of climbing & easier than I thought to get back down. still have to be careful though.

1 month ago

great trail great views!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great 2 hour out and back (plus whatever time you spend at the pond). Lots of dogs on the trail. If you do not use the coordinates from AllTrails to find the trailhead BEWARE - Sterling Pond is NOT in Underhill State Park (even though that’s what this page says!) I used my car’s GPS system since I didn’t have phone reception and I ended up at the Mt. Mansfield trailhead after setting Underhill State Park as my destination (both the Mt Mansfield and the Sterling Pond trailheads are on roads called “Mountain Road” so you might think you’re headed in the right direction but you’re not!). It took 30 extra minutes to drive to the Sterling Pond trailhead. If you’re not using the AllTrails Coordinates to get there, make sure you’re taking the road that takes you past Smuggler’s Notch Ski Area.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this in full foliage in mid-October. If you start early enough then you would witness two seasons. Fall at the bottom, winter at the top. It was freezing up there but so worth it.

1 month ago

This trail was tough- straight up scaling up rocky terrain. Pond was pretty with ducks. Humid.

1 month ago

Great drive up to the notch. Absolutely beautiful. Then a nice hike up to another beautiful spot!

1 month ago

Great hike! It was so crowded the day we went though. I highly recommend the loop around the lake for a much less crowded walk. The trails are well marked. There were several dogs off leash at the lake if that bothers you, you’ve been warned.

2 months ago

A steady uphill, but short and totally worth it for what’s at the top. The pond is beautiful, great for a dip for you or your pup at the end. Dogs can be off-leash. Also if you keep hiking past the pond you get to a chairlift where you get awesome views of Smuggs and beyond down below. This trail also connects to the Long Trail so you could extend it as far as you want to.

hiking
2 months ago

The hike for me was pretty challenging but definitely worth it to see the pond and then to go a little further past the pond for the view. I’m in my late 50’s and in reasonably good shape and found myself having to stop a few times along the way to catch my breath. I think the length of this hike made it a doable hike for me. Definitely want hiking shoes or good tennis shoes to hike this trail because a lot of the time you are climbing up natural stairs of rocks and tree roots and yes you are climbing most of the way so don’t forget your water!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome view at the top and a great hike

2 months ago

Very pretty!

hiking
2 months ago

Super pretty! Great way to spend a couple of hours.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. You start with stone steps. The pond is beautiful. You can also keep going for a few more minutes to see the top of the ski lift. We aren’t regular hikers and it took us about 2 hours round trip.

hiking
2 months ago

A nice, fairly short hike. The views of the pond & swimming in it were highlights, as well as the view of the cliffs from the base. I would recommend tacking something on to the end of it (hike to the ski lifts?) for a nice payoff view.

hiking
2 months ago

My family and I hiked this Trail in 2016. We had not been hiking in years and so it was a little tough, but a beautiful hike. There were a lot of stone steps and some moderate rock climbing. The view of Sterling pond was stunning. It was a very lovely day for anyone interested in a moderate hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail. Awesome swimming hole at the top. Loved it!

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike with a beautiful pond waiting at the top. Moderate hike that takes around 30-45 minutes depending on your pace. Like many have said, be sure to venture up to where the ski lifts are to catch more amazing views of the valley.

3 months ago

Did this trail yesterday, great weather and a nice little hike. Added on the loop around the pond and got some beautiful views along the far side.

3 months ago

Great hike and refreshing swim before heading back down. Easy!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Some uphill from the road, but the views are worth it. We went around the pond, and that was nice too.

hiking
3 months ago

We did this and it was awesome. Don't miss the side trips to the ski lifts to see "forever" around you. There is an unmarked but beaten path just off from the old Spruce lift. Coming back from the lit it is on your left, you can see an old shed/building rotting in the woods up the hill. You can see Mount Mansfield from chin to forehead, totally worth the extra little hike!

3 months ago

Beautiful day/hike. Well groomed, moderate hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike, not too crowded for a Saturday. Black flies were out, but not bad enough for bug spray. Adding Spruce Peak to the return leg is a MUST! Breathtaking views of Mansfield, and it is only about a 15 minute easy hike from the LT junction! Not super well marked, but just keep following obvious trails UP!

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail! The weather was great—a bit chilly up top but very refreshing (there were even a few patches of snow left!). Views were spotty because of the cloud cover, but it made for really neat fog on the pond. Our dog had a great time too! Some folks don’t respect the (very lax) leash rules at the summit/when there are crowds and one off leash dog was getting a bit rough with ours and his owner did little to control him. Be cautious at the pond for that reason. Overall an awesome hike!

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