Spruce Mountain

Montpelier, Vermont

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
Superb family hikes to remarkable views are rare in the east-central portion of the state—a rambunctious region of low summits that fill a widening gap between the Green Mountains and the Connecticut River. This route, then, holds a pleasant surprise. Aided by an old fire tower recycled as an observation deck, the Spruce Mountain Trail rises above a thick cloak of evergreens to marvelous views that overlook Groton State Forest, the nascent Winooski River, and countless peaks that scatter to the far corners of northern New England. From a red post that serves as the trailhead, a level jeep track curls east from the parking area far below the glint of the sun on the summit’s silver tower. Dipping downhill, the path skims past gleaming birch and calmly advances toward the base of the mountain that blinks through the woods on your left. The sound of a brook whispers from the east as the track curves slowly south and climbs away from the peak.
Hiking Vermont: 60 of Vermont’s Greatest Hiking Adventures

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Vermont: 60 of Vermont’s Greatest Hiking Adventures

by Larry Pletcher (Updated and revised by Tom Seymour) (Falcon Guides)

Superb family hikes to remarkable views are rare in the east-central portion of the state—a rambunctious region of low summits that fill a widening gap between the Green Mountains and the Connecticut River. This route, then, holds a pleasant surprise. Aided by an old fire tower recycled as an observation deck, the Spruce Mountain Trail rises above a thick cloak of evergreens to marvelous views that overlook Groton State Forest, the nascent Winooski River, and countless peaks that scatter to the far corners of northern New England.

From a red post that serves as the trailhead, a level jeep track curls east from the parking area far below the glint of the sun on the summit’s silver tower. Dipping downhill, the path skims past gleaming birch and calmly advances toward the base of the mountain that blinks through the woods on your left. The sound of a brook whispers from the east as the track curves slowly south and climbs away from the peak.

© 2008 Larry Pletcher (Updated and revised by Tom Seymour)/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Montpelier
Distance: 4.3
Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Agency of Natural Resources, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, District V, 1229 Portland Street, Suite 201, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819; (802) 751-0110
Local Maps: USGS Knox Mountain quad
Driving Directions: Directions to Spruce Mountain

Recent Trail Reviews

7/17/2006
1

The hike is a bit more strenuous than the "moderate" category. The upper portions require some scrambling and conscious footwork which makes me wonder why it's labeled as a family hike? The work is well worth it as the views at the top of the fire tower are amazing. There is a 360 view of surrounding peaks and a nearby pond and town to gaze upon (no idea which pond or town). There are some views from the summit but the true beauty requires a courageous climb up the fire tower. The hike took us a little over 2 hours. Thus our speed may account for the added difficulty. It's a great late afternoon hike. We didn't get started until 5 pm and about 1/3 mile before the trail head on our return we saw a moose calf in the center of the trail. Pretty amazing sight! We didn't see any other wildlife worth noting save the occasional chipmunk and a plethora of insects, bug spray is a must(especially bad in the lower meadow areas). Great hike for older children (6-7 and up) but I would advise that those younger than that might not have the size and strength to handle this hike.


7/6/2006
0

The first mile up the trail is an easy climb. The last mile is steep. You are in the proverbial green tunnel all the way to the top, but the firetower at the top allows a true 360 degree panorama with beautiful views. I made it to the top in a little over one hour, and made it back down in 40 minutes with some running.



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