Burnt Mountain
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:Rossier Road, Montgomery
Hours:No posted hours, May 15–December 15; welcome center open weekdays 9 a.m.–4 p.m., weekends 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; all trails closed April 15–May 15
Fee: Free for day use in summer and fall; contact Hazen’s Notch Association for winter trail pass and rental fees

Hazen’s Notch Association, 802-326-4799, hazensnotch.org/Hiking.htm

Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None

USGS Hazen’s Notch quad; hazensnotch.org/Winter-Trail-Map.htm

This remote, relatively unknown mountain leads you past beaver ponds, a high-mountain orchard, and a craggy summit.

Hazen’s Notch is home to remote and beautiful hiking and world-class, groomed cross-country ski trails. Consider this trip for any season, though note that trail pass fees apply in winter; cross-country skis and snowshoes may be rented at the welcome center. At the trailhead, stop to check the kiosk on the right for trail updates and information about the Hazen’s Notch Association, which manages this land. Started in 1994, the association is a prime example of a community-based land trust formed to preserve habitat and recreational activities.

From the trailhead, Beaver Ponds Trail starts as a wide woods road for the first mile and passes a series of beaver ponds on the right. Be prepared to get your feet wet: the very active beaver population creates ponds anywhere they can, often flooding the path, forcing hikers through ankle-deep water.

Beaver Ponds Trail then enters High Meadow (0.5 mile), a historic apple orchard that is now maintained as a semi-wild meadow full of wildflowers, and apple trees—and likely more than a few fairies, forest nymphs, and gnomes. This is a great picnic and turnaround spot if the little ones are tired; from here, the trail starts to climb up into the high country. Look for the summit of Burnt Mountain looming above the meadow—the path heads all the way up there!

Follow High Meadow Trail through the meadow and stay left at the intersection with Westside Trail, and right at the intersection with Notch Trail. After another 0.25 mile on the Notch Trail the trail meets steeper and rockier Sunset Ridge Trail.

The footpath climbs steadily up switchbacks through a maple and birch forest. This section is short and steep; take plenty of quick breaks and have some chocolate handy to keep motivation high. The reward at the top is worth it! Finally, the trail tops out on Burnt Mountain Ridge, traverses its length and the forested summit, and reaches the lookout rocks on the southern flank of the mountain (2.4 miles). Look for Mount Mansfield (Trip 71) to the south. Return the way you came.

Plan B:

There is a serene and sandy swimming hole on the Trout River just below the Longley Bridge on VT 118 in between Montgomery Center and Montgomery.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Find great delis and restaurants in nearby Montgomery.


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