Sunset Ledge
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:Lincoln Gap Road, Lincoln VT
Hours:No posted hours
Fee: Free
Contact:

Green Mountain National Forest, 802-747-6700, www.fs.usda.gov/greenmountain; Green Mountain Club, 802-244-7037, greenmountainclub.org

Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None
Map:

From the intersection of VT 100 and Lincoln Gap Road in Warren, head west on Lincoln Gap Road for 4.1 miles to the height-of-land and the main parking area (44° 5.682´ N, 72° 55.677´ W). If this is full, you can park at the small auxiliary building you passed on your way.
 


An easy 2.2-mile walk to excellent west-facing views, perfect for a picnic or sunset supper.

While a mostly flat hike, the views from the craggy Sunset Ledge are amazing.
Photo by: Tre McCarney

Few hikes offer such a gorgeous view with such little effort. As the name implies, this rocky outpost has views to the west. Pack dinner and hike in for a gorgeous Vermont sunset or just plan a usual day hike.

From the trailhead, head south on the Long Trail. After an initial steep pitch, you will enter the 25,000-acre Breadloaf Wilderness Area; sign in at the kiosk at the boundary. Wilderness Areas are designated tracts of land set aside by the government where the land and wildlife are free to exist in their natural state, untouched by the hand of humans. You are free to travel through and enjoy these areas, but activities and machinery are limited to keep a pristine wilderness experience.

About halfway up the 1.1-mile hike, you will see an obvious spur path to your left that leads to excellent east-facing views of the Mad River Valley and the Northfield Range, a great spot for a quick breather and a swig of water. The trail continues on up the spine of the ridge, with patches of sky poking through and occasional views to the east and west. You never feel like you are deep in the woods along the path here, and the boreal forest of the ridge tops is great motivation keep moving up to the top. Scramble up and over several rocky ledges, and at 1.1 miles you will finally emerge out onto the wide-open Sunset Ledge with expansive views to the west. With good views comes steep terrain, so keep the kids and pets close here, as there are treacherous drops. Looking to the west, take a glimpse of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks of New York.

If you are staying in the area or live nearby, pack a meal and try this route in the late afternoon or evening. Bring all the courses, paper plates, and something good to drink—a thermos of hot cocoa is always a hit. (As always, carry out all the trash and food you don’t finish.) Watch the twilight hour and sunset, eating your delicious dinner on the ledge. Even though you only have 1.1 miles to hike out afterward, make sure you have headlamps for the hike down.

Plan B:

Head north on the Long Trail for a more challenging hike to Mount Abraham with overnight potential (see Trip 62).
 

Where to Eat Nearby:

The Warren Country Store, a presence in the area since the 1800s when it served as a stagecoach stop, is located in quaint downtown Warren and serves coffee, fresh sandwiches, baked goods, homemade ice cream sandwiches, drinks, and more. Warren and Bristol to its west each have numerous eating options.



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