OverviewI'm just throwing this up on SP because I love Mt. Elmore and I think it should have an SP page. I'll find some images and beautify the page soon.
Mount Elmore is a nice little mountain in Elmore, VT. It sits within Elmore State Park, rising from the eastern shore of beautiful Lake Elmore. That's a lot of Elmores. This is the northernmost mountain in the Worcester Range, separated from the main skyline of the range by a low-lying ridge.
The normal hike up Mt. Elmore goes not to the summit, but to a fire tower just below. Like all but the highest Vermont mountains, Elmore isn't high enough to get above treeline, so there wouldn't be much to see from the actual summit. The fire tower, however, provides spectacular views of the Green Mountains (notably Mount Mansfield and Camels Hump), as well as the rest of the Worcester Range, Lake Elmore, and the gorgeous countryside of Lamoille County.
Getting to the tower is easy. Once you're in Elmore State Park, follow the road to the parking area at the end. Go to the left and follow the blue-blazed cross country ski trail for a bit.
NOTE: If you go to the right from the parking lot, there is a little nature loop with info about some of the plants and stuff. It would be cool for little kids, but probably isn't what you're looking for.
The cross country ski trail is wide and road-like. Keep your eyes peeled for the Elmore Mountain Trail on your right--it will be marked with a sign saying 'ELMORE MT. TRAIL'.
NOTE: Before you get to the Elmore Mountain Trail, there is another, less conspicuous trail onto which you could make a right. It leads to a marshy area and a rock wall, and probably isn't what you're looking for.
Once you take that right onto the Elmore Mountain Trail, follow the obvious trail and blazes until you see a big ole fire tower. Climb up the tower, and enjoy the views. Go back to your car the same way you came.
I've seen the RT distance listed alternately as 3.4 miles and 4 miles. Elevation gain is 1,450 feet. Distance and elevation gain are slightly increased in the winter, but it is still a smallish hike. GMC lists book time as 2.75 hours, but in reality it will probably take about an hour up and maybe 45 minutes down. Because of this, it is a really great hike to squeeze in when you have other stuff to do.
This hike is kid and dog-friendly.
Getting ThereThe entrance to Elmore State Park is on the west side of VT 12, just north of Lake Elmore. This means that, if you're coming from Morrisville, you take a right into the park. If you're coming from Montpelier--you guessed it--you take a left.
If coming from Wolcott, you don't need to drive all the way to Mo-ville to pick up VT 12. Use Elmore Pond Road to get from VT 15 to 12, then take a right on 12 and a left into the park.
In the winter, the Elmore State Park gate is closed, thankfully. Turn onto Beach Road, just south of the park entrance, and park in the lot on the right where you would normally park to go swimming in Lake Elmore. Follow the obvious path up into the park and walk up the park road instead of driving on it. Obviously, this adds some distance and elevation gain, but not much.
Red TapeThere is a $3 day fee to enter Elmore State Park between 10 am and sunset, Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend. Otherwise, park in the Beach Road lot and enter as you would in winter.
CampingThere are 45 tent/trailer sites and 15 lean-tos in the park at the base of the mountain.
Winter NotesI HIGHLY recommend hiking this hill in the winter. Very pretty.
I've never needed snowshoes on this hike, because it is quite popular and the trail is always packed down. That doesn't mean I've never post-holed. If you go early in the morning after a heavy snowfall, obviously you may want snowshoes.
As easy as this hike is, it can get pretty icy in the winter. In particular, there is one steep bit near the top that becomes a snow and ice step in the winter. Microspikes, the New England hiker's best friend, really come in handy. Not essential, but recommended. I always have them in my pack when hiking in the winter because, why not?
As with all VT State Parks, snowmobiles are allowed in Elmore SP. Usually a non-issue, but can be annoying for hikers if the wrong person is operating the snowmobile.