|Peak Summited||2019 Mount Mansfield|
|Type of Hike||Day hike|
|Trailhead||CCC Road/Eagles Cut|
|Road Conditions||Road suitable for all vehicles|
|Bug Status||Bugs were not too bad|
|Snow Conditions||Snow free|
|Trail Conditions||Trail in good condition|
Absolutely awesome hike! Did this hike before heading over to Camels Hump and have to say that of the two, this was my favorite (although they were both good).
Overall summary: Felt it was a moderate to hard hike at times, few bugs, low traffic with the exception of the area between the visitors center and The Nose and also a few sections on Sunset Ridge Trail. Also felt that it was very well marked and cared for. Total distance (Garmin) was 7.9 mi, elevation gain 3099 ft, total time was about 3.5 hours (includes stops and I ran for portions).
Arrived just after 10:30 and started the hike at about 11Am. I think I got the next to last spot in the parking lot. Headed up the Eagles Cut from the upper portion of the parking lot until it intersected CCC Road which I followed instead of Eagles Cut (and in doing so, added a little extra mileage). CCC was nice and easy and even had a pleasant descent before meeting up with Maple Ridge.
Maple Ridge was a true hike! Lots of rocks and roots and steady uphill movement. On this section of the trail you will find one boulder that is closer to rock climbing and will be challenging to get dogs up if you bring yours (however, it did appear off to the right that there might be a wildlife path that some folks have been using to get around it). Also, there is a point to point jump over a five to six foot deep gap that is about 2.5 to three feet wide. If the jump seems a bit much, you can straddle it and push off instead.
The while ascending Maple Ridge the views are outstanding, with each one surpassing previous. As you get closer to The Forehead the Maple Ridge joins with the Wampahoofas.
Once I got to The Forehead, I headed north on the Long Trail. The smells on the trail were heavenly… the evergreens! I was thrown for a “loop” when the Long Trail intersects a service road and you are directed to take a left. I thought the trail would hit all the major “face” points, but to get to the nose, you would have to follow the service road. To follow the Long Trail, you make a left down the service road and then a right back onto a single track.
From the visitor center all the way to The Chin, the traffic was considerably higher. I can't imagine what it would be like on a weekend.
Down Sunset Ridge was great. A few steeper spots, but glad I was going down Sunset instead of Maple Ridge. Also, so thankful that most areas were dry. Sunset Ridge has a considerable amount of exposed rock for the descent for the first half, so on a wet day I imagine one would need to be extremely careful.
Once back under the shade of trees on Sunset Ridge, there were lots of rocks and roots to hop around. Fears of falling flat on my face subsided once the trail got within a quarter mile of CCC Road.
Awesome trail, tons of fun, challenging and totally worth it! Would love to go back and try some of the other trails on the mountain. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who has contributed to the care of the trail system on the mountain. A true delight!