Day 8 - Northern Vermont by Kenny & Kristen

Posted on 2020-08-23

Today was a long one. We got up at 4 am to drive from Dorset to Northern Vermont to do some other hiking trails and then drive all of the way to Acadia in Maine. We intended to go to bed early the night before, but had some laundry issues and didn't go to bed until almost midnight. Our first stop was supposed to be the Robert Forst interpreative trail. It's a short one mile hike that is lined with poems and works from Robert Frost. We thought it would be neat at sunrise and a good pit stop for driving. But when we got there, the trail and the road leading up to it were close so we had to keep moving forward. Our next hike was Mt. Mansfield loop, the trail head of which was about an hour and half north and has a few different entry points. Mount Mansfield has a few different peaks, roughly resembling the shape of a man's face (the forehead, nose, chin, and adams apple). We started from Underhill state park, which was a really nice campground/facility. We got all of our stuff ready and set off around 9 am. Unfortunately it was just starting to rain and it looked like it was going to rain all day. The 7.3 mile trip was supposed to start on a trail called Maple Ridge and then join the Long Trail until we hit the Sunset Ridge trail for the way down. ![blogPics](/static/img/174/green.jpg "Beginning of the trail") We had read some stuff beforehand that indicated MapleRidge was a very difficult trail, only meant for experienced hikers and not recommended in the rain. Naturally, Kenny decided this sounded like a load of fun. But they weren't kidding - there were a lot of parts where you had to scramble up rocks and half rock climb. By about 2.5 miles in you started to get some of the views that make it all worth it. ![blogPics](/static/img/174/first.jpg "First Views") The rain eventually cleared up for us and the visibility got way better. We were able to see all around the mountains and valleys around us. At the top of the forehead and chin you get full panoramic views. ![blogPics](/static/img/174/top.jpg "Top") It didn't look like you could hike up to the nose and we chose not to add on the adams apple because we were running late on time. ![blogPics](/static/img/174/push.jpg "Relaxing up top") If the trip up was difficult, the way down was potentially worse. It was wet, slippery, and full of rocks. It took us way longer than usual to get back down off the mountain. In total, the hike took us about 6 hours. After we finished the hike we hit the road to Maine! We stopped along the way and got some local Vermont snacks from a roadside lace called Tootsie. We tried to stop in Gorham, New Hampshire for dinner but the whole place was packed with ATV vehicles. Apparently they've been trying to make the city a destination for that crowd, and it seems to be working! We ended up eating leftovers and Ramen noodles in the van. We wrapped up the day in Augusta, Maine which put us in a good position to make it to Acadia in the morning.

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