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Backpacker Magazine – January 2011

Our Backyard: Green Mountains

Nine ways to see Vermont's Green Mountains

by: Sarah L. Stewart. Illustration by Vikki Chu

5. Most Wildlife
The 17,841-acre Lye Brook Wilderness is a haven for black bear, beaver, and moose. Reader fave: an eight-mile out-and-back to Bourn Pond on the Branch Pond Trail; start from Kelley Stand Road, five miles from East Arlington.

6. Best Sunset
See the sun sink behind the Greens from Stowe Pinnacle, a 2,651-foot crag in the Worcester Range, via a 2.8-miler from Upper Hollow Road.

7. Prettiest Lake
Crystal-clear and 300 feet deep, Lake Willoughby is a parting gift from glaciers. See it from 2,751-foot Mt. Pisgah (take the South Trail from VT 5A, six miles north of West Burke). Return on the North Trail for a seven-mile day.
8. Favorite Campsite
Lay your bag by the soothing thunder of Big Falls, created by the Missisquoi River plunging 40 feet through a narrow gorge. Park at the turnout on River Road, 1.5 miles south from VT 105, then follow a 200-foot path to an 80-foot cliff directly above the falls. Camp on the right.

9. Best Ski Trail
The 300-mile Catamount Trail crosses Vermont top to bottom. Tackle its finest daylong stretch from VT 242 to Jay for a rolling, six-mile jaunt through snow-covered evergreens, says Lenny Christopher (below).

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