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

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!

It is a beautiful and open view almost the whole way. It was challenging and at times a little scary for me because of the high and open view to the valley's below. So very worth it!

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
1 month 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.

Hiked from the Toll Road parking/visitor center to the Chin. It's a fairly moderate hike with a mix of rock and dirt trail with the occasional board over wet areas. Stay on the trail to preserve the fragile ecosystem. Amazing views out to lake Champlain to the west and the Stowe valley to the east. Porta potties at the visitor center.

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!

walking
2 months ago

Great walk with beautiful views. Would be very slippery in the rain but if it’s dry this is a very enjoyable 1.5-2 hour walk (at a casual pace).

Awesome hike! Took about 4.5 hours. The first part (CCC road) leading up to the Maple ridge trail is very easy. I am a pretty experienced hiker and this was the hardest one in Vermont I have ever done. There were definitely some technical parts leading up to the Forehead. I would not suggest attempting any of it when the rocks are wet. Awesome hike along the ridge line where you can see the Burlington side as well as the Stowe side. The distance listed on here is off in my opinion. My Iphone said about 8 miles. The park rangers guide says 8.4. Will definitely do again at some point!

Wonderful and challenging trail.

So I’m a bit of a dope - I read about this trail on AllTrails and thought it sounded about right for me in terms of length and difficulty so off I went.

I had no idea that I was scaling the highest peak in VT with 15 yr old boots and no trekking poles, food, or company!

Doh!

Anyway...I did it and it is spectacular. An excellent challenge for the casual hiker and the views on top are a tremendous reward for the effort you will expend getting up there.

Highly recommend but take it more seriously than I did in terms of prep.

Did the CCC road/Eagle Cut-Maple Ridge-Long Trail-Chin-Sunset Ridge (approx 8.5m per the parks handout map). Perfect day and trails in good shape. Took under 5hrs including stops vs the 8hrs per the park ranger. I found Sunset to be a little wet and Maple Ridge was dry.

Fun trail with a lot of great views on the way to the top! Very enjoyable

I took halfway house trail to go up and reached the nose. Hiked the long trail to reach CHIN (Summit). Took the sunset ridge trail on my way back.

Goodluck!

Awesome hike. Best one I’ve done on the east coast.

The trail condition was somewhat difficult today, the snow was semi hard and the path has been trampled, so hard with snowshoes. Was a beautiful day though and not too windy nor cold ! Long walk from the winter parking to the beginning of the trail. Will try again this summer !

we picked Laura Cowles to hike up for sunrise. steep trail, great workout. we went at new year's day 5am. it was -20 at the bottom. the peak was way too cold to stay. had to use crampons. less exposed straight up and down. good for a night hike. we came back from the same trail because of the weather condition.

bit muddy and wet. crazy views througout the hike. some tricky rock scramble sections. very well marked.

Nice hike. Hells brook ascent to the Adam's apple and chin was definitely a rigorous but rewarding climb.

hiking
10 months ago

conditions : wet + windy + leaves
Trail : loop starting from ccc road @ up maple ridge @ long trail (forehead to chin) @ down sunset ridge
stats : 5h (including breaks) / 12km / 867m
cost : 4$ US per person, they also accept Canadian money.
This is my 4th hike ever (my biggest yet), it was a great personnal challenge.
Great advice from the park ranger : start going up maple ridge in these wet conditions, it would've been very dangerous going down those slippery rock walls.
Very hard on the knees going down such technical terrain, using hiking poles normally help but the ground is so irregular we could use them only near the bottom.

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