Lye Brook Wilderness

Manchester Center, Vermont 5255

Lye Brook Wilderness

Lye Brook Wilderness Professional Review and Guide

"An overnight backpack to a wilderness pond, or a half-day hike to a plummeting falls. Overshadowed by the height of Stratton Mountain and the fame of Stratton Pond, this unheralded route through the heart of the Lye Brook Wilderness is a backcountry hiker’s delight. Remote wetlands, a plummeting falls, and shelter near an unspoiled pond add luster to this rambling hike, which ends less than 3 miles from more popular haunts on the Long Trail (LT) corridor.

Day hikers on their way to Lye Brook Falls join the early procession as the Lye Brook Trail skirts the right side of a brushy clearing, aims at the sound of the brook, and bears left through a gauntlet of stones. Pausing for a quick look into the stream’s ravine, the path joins the raised grade of an old logging railroad that tunnels straight through the pine-birch woods to a woodland road, rambles easily up a minimal slope, and discovers the awesome power of nature."

Lye Brook Wilderness Reviews

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Great hike. Much of the trail was overgrown and was obviously not used much. Once we passed the falls we only ran into 2 other hikers the entire trip. Signs of moose were everywhere. We camped at Bourne Pond and woke the next morning to two moose swimming. Really cool.
This was quite lovely--there were a few inches of snow on the ground and the falls were partially frozen, but this added to the ambience. The canopy provided by the trees over the old railroad path is beautiful. I just hiked to the falls, which was supposed to be about 2.3 miles and it seemed to take a long time (plodding through the snow). There are some spots that are steep and tricky to navigate with snow on the ground. I can imagine this would not be a good hike during Vermont's mud season, as even with the snow, there was a good deal of water to cross.
Easy day hike to the falls, 2.3 miles with gradual incline on the way in. Spectacular waterfall, will do this one again.
This was a very challenging hike for me I did 8 miles out and 8 back I went about one mile past the bourn pond. It was very wet and the trail is over grown in many areas but not too hard to follow. The blaze seemed to be spaced out about every 1/4 mile or so there where more on the way back then on the way out. There where also many blow downs to deal with three spots had more than two blow downs on top of each other. Over all it made for a great challenge and a good work out. P.S I saw allots of Mouse sign but didn't see any but they are there. Also the bourn shelter has been taken down as of 6/5/06
The shelter at Bourn Pond has been demolished as that is now included in the wilderness area. Trail was deserted in early September: last person to come thru according to the log book at the trailhead was 5 days prior. Really pretty. Found a huge dead moose sprawled across the trail: moose signs abundant: heard one bellow in the wood nearby early one AM.
A great hike. The falls are spectacular; like two hikes in one, real backcountry on the second half to the bogs/marshes and pond beyond. Note: the shelter at Bourn has been removed to encourage camping at the already-established spots.
Lye Brook Wilderness is a gorgeous area. However, it's a long hike! We set out from the Branch Road Access Road off Kelly stand Road. We took the Branch Pond trail leading to Bourne Pond. It took us about an hour and 15 minutes. Then we turned onto the Lye Brook Trail, hoping to reach the falls. After 2.5 hours, we really needed to eat lunch, so we stopped right after crossing what we thought was probably Lye Brook. We had to turn around, not knowing how much farther the falls were, and knowing we had 4 hours back. This would have been a better hike one-way, or overnight. But the area is gorgeous - we saw moose tracks everywhere - and very remote.
The Lye Brook Wilderness rates among the best backpacking trips I've taken. Rather than out-and-back, we hiked this trail one-way by parking at the AT/LT head on Arlington-West Wardsboro Road and having a friend drop us at the Lye Brook trailhead in Manchester. Following adjoining trails made for a longer hike (roughly 20 to 25 miles) that allowed us to take in not only Lye Brook Falls and Bourne Pond, but Branch and Stratton Ponds as well. The grande finale was an exhillirating hike up and over snow-patched Stratton Mountain, where at the top, a climb up the fire tower rewarded us with a breathtaking all-encompassing view of the region (that included our point of origin far off in the distance.) Looking forward to a return trip in the Fall!

Lye Brook Wilderness Photos

Trail Information

Manchester Center
Nearby City
1,675 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Manchester Ranger District, 2538 Depot Street, Manchester Center, VT 05255; (802) 362-2307
Local Contacts
USGS Manchester, Sunderland, and Stratton Mountain quads
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018