Mount Equinox; Green Mountain Hike
Mileage: About 7 Miles Directions
Rise: About 2800 ft Facebook
Elevation at the top: 3850 ft Weather
Hike time: about 6 Hrs with 3 kids 1 adult Printable Map
Significance: Views, Mountain Visitor Center Snow Pack
Here is some of what you need to know. Whenever you go up 1000 ft in altitude over a mile, it is going to hurt. This hike climbs 2800 ft over 3 miles, and their is almost no horizontal hiking. Another option is to pay a toll and drive to the top, check the link below. I was told if you have driven up you better be off the mountain before the gate closes, or else they close the gates. You will have to search the internet to get pictures from the top because as we reached the summit the fog rolled in leaving us about 100 ft of visibility, pffffft!
*The map above only shows the hike up so the mileage is not accurate.
1. Scroll the mouse over the altitude line to see where it lines up on the map
2. Click on the flags for more information
3. Click on the pictures to make them large
The Parking area on the map will bring you to the red entrance, this will lead to the blue blaze Summit Trail. WARNING: Pay attention, there are 2 red gate exits, be aware of which one you are supposed to take, it will be a long walk back if you choose the wrong one.
As far as trails go this one is relatively well groomed, their are few obstacles until you get about a mile from the top. The challenge is the relentless climb in altitude. Every time I saw a turn ahead I would pray for flat land to follow, and I was always disappointed. It took every trick in the book to keep my kids going. It is about 3 miles to the top, and we maintained an average of 1 mph.
About a mile before the top, the trail makes a sharp right. Their is a bench just before the turn, they are trying to tell to you take a break because it is about to get hard. From here the trail gets more steep, rocky and wet. This is the last push to the top.
Somewhere at the 3500 ft mark, we hit the deciduous line where all the trees that grew leaves were gone, replaced with a thick growth of pine. These trees seemed to encase us until we were close to the top.
At about 0.2 miles from the finish line you are given a choice of breaking off the trail to the right and head over to look out point, or straight to the visitors center. This vista will give you a view of the Manchester valley. If you look at the map you will see there is a small loop that leads to the visitors center.
When we started the hike the weather was sunny and in the upper 40’s. When we got to the top the temperature had dropped, the fog rolled in and it was windy. The weather made for lousy pictures and added to the fatigue of the day. We had read in advance that the temp drops about 10 degrees by the time you get to the top so we had packed extra clothes, but what really helped us was the hilltop visitor center.
Not only did the visitor center shelter us from the weather, but for those clear days they provide lookout platforms for two sides of the mountain. Occasionally the clouds would break and we would get a quick glimpse of the Vermont mountains. We read that you can see the mountains in New York as well.
I wish I could say the trip down was easy, but it was not. The slippery leaves combined with the steep slopes made for very difficult descent. Hiking poles would be useful for this trip. I enjoyed the trip, but the intense hike resulted in the kids saying they would never go hiking again. After a month of rest and some negotiating we hit the mountains of VA and they had a blast, so it worked out. This is one trail I am glad I can cross off my list of southern Vermont hikes.
IMG_1079– A glimpse of the hike down.
A tip I learned after this hike for keeping kids happy on the trail. I let each kid pick out their own sports drink and a pack of bubble gum. They normally don’t get much of either one at home so they were excited to have it. The drink kept them hydrated, the sugar gave them a little extra energy,and the gum was fun.