Distance 11.6 miles
Gain 2,500 feet
Why it’s grand This one-day, six-summit ridgewalk is the best section for views along Vermont’s 272-mile Long Trail.
Do it You’ll start at Lincoln Gap, following white blazes north up the Long Trail, but first leave a shuttle car at Appalachian Gap, 16 miles north toward Waitsfield. Your first big climb is a lung-burning 1,600 feet over 2.5 miles to the rocky, treeless summit of 4,006-foot Mt. Abraham, from which you can see 50 miles to the Adirondacks (in New York) and White Mountains (in New Hampshire). The trail then crosses the wooded summits of five of Vermont’s highest peaks (Lincoln, Nancy Hanks, Cutts, Mt. Ellen, and General Stark) and alternates between stands of spruce and fir and open vistas. Just after the Theron Dean shelter (mile 9.8), follow blue blazes through Dean Cave, a short and narrow underground passage that leads back to the Long Trail.
Mt. Ellen was named in the 1920s for the heroine of Sir Walter Scott’s poem “Lady of the Lake.”
Contact (802) 244-7037; greenmountain.org
Maps USGS quads Lincoln, Mount Ellen ($8 each; store.usgs.gov)
Season June to October