With Columbus Day weekend just around the corner, it’s that time of year again where the leaves put on their beautiful, bright colors and Vermont dazzles us with it’s golden autumn show. One of our favorite ways to enjoy the season here at the Inn is to get out for a fall hike. With the quiet of the woods and the crunch of leaves under your feet, hiking lets you get up close to those gorgeous colors and take in our breathtaking mountain views. Here’s a list of our favorite nearby hiking trails from easy walks you can bring the kids on, to more adventurous climbs with incredible mountain top vistas. So break out your boots, pack some water and snacks, and get yourself up on a mountain this fall! Click the links below for directions.
Cedar Rock – West Mountain Inn Trails, Arlington, VT
We’ll start with our own backyard which includes 150 acres of beautiful, well marked woodland trails. Cedar Rock (pictured above) is about a 45 minute hike from the Inn’s front door to a lovely peak overlooking the Battenkill Valley. There are many other easier trails to choose from along the way but if you want a good hike with a stretch of uphill climbing towards the end, Cedar Rock is one of our favorite places to take in the fall colors. Just stop at the front desk and we’ll give you a trail map.
Equinox Pond Trails – Manchester, VT
Located near the base of Mount Equinox in Manchester, Equinox Pond and the surrounding land are part of the Equinox Preservation Trust, which was established in 1996 and includes more than 914 acres of protected land. Beyond the pond, 11 miles of trails that mostly follow old logging roads are open for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and mountain biking. Pond Loop is an easy, three-quarter mile walk through the woods around the pond’s perimeter, but there are many other marked trails along the way if you want a more adventurous hike.
Haystack Mountain – Pawlet VT
Once called in local advertisments the “Gibralter of the America,” Haystack affords the hardy hiker one of the best panoramic views in Southern Vermont. To reach the summit will take between 1 and 1.5 hours (bring water and good shoes). This is not an easy hike (the last 20 minutes are steep) but the panoramic views from the top of Haystack are well worth it – especially in the fall!
The Mile-Around Woods – North Bennington, VT
The Mile-Around Woods is an easy, but beautiful walk near the village of North Bennington, VT featuring rich stands of old timber and a circular carriage road laid out after the Civil War by Trenor Park, the builder of the nearby Park-McCullough House. Loved and well-used by the locals, this peaceful hike is a great place to bring the kids or go for a quiet jog through the woods.
Lye Brook Falls – Manchester, VT
This hike ends with a beautiful waterfall, easily one of Vermont’s finest! The trail is completely straightforward. 2.3 miles to the falls, gaining about 800-900 feet in elevation, then losing about 200′ to the falls. The climb is very steady and only mildly steep in a couple of places. The view alone is worth the effort.
Merck Forest Trails – Rupert, VT
All of Merck Forest and Farmland Center’s trails are open year-round for hiking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. With over 30 miles of trails on 3,000 acres of land, the trail system is well-marked, and the trail terrain is variable: some loops cover easy-to-moderate terrain (great options for family treks), while other trails are steeper and rocky (more-suited to the experienced hiker). Many trails go through the forest, around the farm, travel along streams, and include beautiful views of the Taconic and Adirondack Mountains.