Most of you know I love to hike but I've been a little lazy lately, trying to do all of the touristy things near the areas we are camped at. I keep telling myself as I tour different states I should find the high point and hike it. I've hiked the high point in Nevada and California so I decided Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's high point at 4,393 feet would be part of my itinerary(with a little encouragement from my friend Nancy) while in the area. There is a toll road that goes almost all the way up to the top of Mt. Mansfield and then a short 1/1/2 mile hike with a 500 foot elevation gain to get to the top. From a distance, Mt. Mansfield looks like a mans head.
We joined up with friends Nancy(I think Nancy has about 20 high points under belt) and Maynard early in the morning for the hour drive to Stowe, Vermont and then took highway 108 to the toll road. The toll road opens at 9:00 and we wanted to beat the traffic, which was a good plan. The toll road is a steep price to pay for a 4.5 mile dirt road at $26.00 per car, but since there were four of us our pocket books didn't suffer hugely, besides, Nancy treated all of us. (Joel had helped Maynard install a new cooling unit for Nancy's refrigerator and I think this was her way of saying thank you). The price of the toll also includes a CD, bumper sticker for your car and a map. The toll road is a ski trail in the winter and is in the middle of a huge ski hill which seemed to me rivals Aspen or Squaw Valley. There are three different sections to the ski area.
We were ahead of most of the cars and there was only one other car parked at the visitor center when we arrived. "Visitor Center" is a loose term for the structure at the trail head ..there really isn't one. There is a volunteer from the Green Mountain club that greets you and gives a little spiel about staying on the trail because this is only one of three areas in New England that has tundra. If you step on it it will die. The Green Mountain Club maintains the Long Trail and other trails in the area.
The visitor center is at the base of the Chin, at the bottom of trees.
What a fun, but busy day. We are suppose to leave tomorrow and head over towards New Hampshire, but we all need a day of rest, so we'll probably stay one more day at Groton Forest Road Campground. Oh, one other thing: my camera finally arrived! No more IPhone and no more borrowing cameras.