Quechee Gorge Hike
You can overlook the entire gorge (near Woodstock) from the VT 4 highway bridge. From the bridge, it is 165 feet to the river below. This provides quite a scenic and wild view of the shallow valley that the Ottauquechee River has cut its way through. By following the network of trails that parallels the river downstream, you can get a closer inspection of the small cascades within the gorge. The trails that lead to both the gorge and Mill Pond Falls begin behind the gift shop. From the parking area, walk behind the gift shop and down a short staircase where you will reach a trailhead sign. Continue beyond the sign by climbing a short staircase straight ahead of you. At this point, you will have a decision to make. You can either: take a left and continue 0.4 mile downstream to the base of the gorge, or you can take a right and head 0.3 mile upstream to Mill Pond Falls. Both trails are well-maintained and provide easy access to the gorge and falls. A trip to both the upper and lower ends of the gorge is 1.4 miles. Read more about the Quechee State Park.
Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont's highest peaks. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with it for one hundred miles in the southern third of the state. Although the Long Trail is known as Vermont's "footpath in the wilderness," its character may more accurately be described as backcountry. As it winds its way to Canada, the Trail climbs rugged peaks and passes pristine ponds, alpine bogs, hardwood forests and swift streams. The Long Trail is steep in some places, muddy in others, and rugged in most. Novice and expert alike will enjoy the varied terrain of the trail as it passes through the heart of Vermont's backwoods. With its 273-mile footpath, 175 miles of side trails, and nearly 70 primitive shelters, the Long Trail offers endless hiking opportunities for the day hiker, weekend overnighter, and extended backpacker.
The following two hikes on the Long Trail begin near Warren. Take Highway 100 North to Warren and turn left on Lincoln Gap Road (past Moss Glen Falls). Park at the top. Hike north on Long Trail for 2.5 miles to reach Mt. Abraham (4052') for great views. Or hike south for a short but strenuous hike to Sunset Rock (2924').
Underhill State Park: Mt. Mansfield
There are four trails to the summit ridge of Mt. Mansfield from Underhill State Park. Walking up the gated road from the park headquarters, the trails begin branching off shortly above the group camp area. The Sunset Ridge Trail, 3 miles to the summit, is the most popular. Vermont’s Long Trail traverses the summit ridge and, with several trails from the other side of the mountain, many loops are possible. Hiking information and trail maps are available at the park headquarters. Read more about the Underhill State Park.
Camel's Hump State Park
Several routes promise access to this 4,083-foot highpoint in the Green Mountains, also labeled the third tallest peak in Vermont. A 4.9-mile loop approaches Camels Hump via the south ridgeline then returns by descending west (near Bald Mountain) then south back to the trailhead. Over the course of 2,200 feet, the hike transitions from mixed forest to red spruce to fragile alpine tundra where plants often found in higher mountain ranges—like the Rockies—grow. The final climb is steep and somewhat exposed as the trail traverses up the distinctive bare rock hump. On the top, clear days deliver panoramic views to the Adirondacks, past Lake Champlain, and over to Mount Washington, the tallest peak in New Hampshire. Read more about Camel's Hump State Park.
Hiking in Woodstock
Mount Peg: The trailhead is easily accessible from the Village Green. Head down Court St. between Courthouse and Woodstock Inn. At the end of Court St. turn left and then make a right on to Golf Ave. Continue on Golf Ave. to Maple St. At Maple and Golf Streets see parking on left. Trailhead is to the left off the driveway. Trailhead starts with a steep incline through the woods but levels to a gentle series of trails. The vista at the summit includes Mt. Tom, Billings Farm and Museum, Pomfret Hills and Killington Mountain.
Mount Tom: The hill in the center of town on the banks of the Ottauquechee River can be reached by three different trails, including the The Faulkner Trail. The walk is about 30 minutes for the average hiker and provides a magical view of Woodstock. Note that reaching the summit requires sure-footed-ness at the top as the trail gets steep, narrow and rocky for the last hundred yards or so. From the Town Green, walk over the Covered Middle Bridge in the Center of Woodstock to River Street, go straight on to Mountain Avenue that will bear left, as a dirt road. Enjoy the stately architecture of the homes as you head to Faulkner Park, just beyond the lovely white Faulkner Mansion (a private home). The paths up the mountain are easily accessible from this secluded park and provide a series of switchbacks to the top.