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Tower Road Trail

 
Tower Road Trail

Page Type: Route

Location: Vermont, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 43.30914°N / 73.02784°W

Object Title: Tower Road Trail

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Class 1 Hike/Moderate

Route Quality: 
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Page By: dobsonian

Created/Edited: Aug 3, 2007 / Aug 10, 2007

Object ID: 319704

Hits: 2346 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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Overview

99 of 100 on the New England top 100 peak list. They call it trailess and have the summit cannister to prove it but it's far from trailess. The route is short with 2000' of elevation gain in 3 miles, most of it over 1.5 miles. This is a nice quiet peak on an interesting little mountain with lots of historical ruins along the route.

 
Dorset South Summit View  to North (The only one there is!)
 

Getting There

From Burlington take I89 south to 189 to Route 7 South to Route 30 to the town of Dorset turning left on Dorset Hollow Road then follow directions below.

From Albany take 87 to 787 to Route 7 to Route 30 to the town of Dorset turning right onto Dorset Hollow Road then follow the directions below.

Take Dorset Hollow to the split for Upper and Lower Dorset Hollow Roads, you can take either, they meet at the end where the road becomes Tower Road but the upper road is shorter. Upper/Lower/Tower are all unpaved. Park beyond the last house in the small field (N43.28478 W73.04751). There is parking for 3 to 4 cars.

 
Tower Road Trail
 

Route Description

Park at the Trailhead (N43.28478 W73.04751) and begin hiking North on Tower Road (an old logging road). You'll find flat terrain for ~1 mile until you reach a hunting cabin (N43.29511 W73.05990 1830 ft). Be aware that there is a fork just prior to the hunting cabin, stay right at the fork (N43.29420 W73.05952). The general rule on this hike is to bear right at all major intersections until you reach the South Summit, from there you go straight through at all intersections.

For the next .8 miles you will climb steeply gaining 700' of elevation. There is a short reprieve prior to the T intersection (N43.30724 W73.04829 2890 ft) where again you turn right. The remainder of the hike is another steep climb, bearing right again at the first cairn (N43.30747 W73.04318 3143 ft) and another sharp right at the second cairn (N43.30690 W73.03678 3566 ft ) which leads off of the logging/ski mobile road onto a herd/hiking path that takes you quickly to the South Summit (N43.30533 W73.03601 3740 ft) where you will find the remains of the old fire tower and a grill.

Make a left on either side of the tower and follow the trail through the woods, you will encounter a 4 way intersection with a cairn and 2 knobs on a tree, go straight through this and any other intersection. Further along you'll come across a sign post with distances/directions (N43.30782 W73.03201 3674 ft) continue straight through to the NE summit and summit cannister (N43.30914 W73.02784 3770 ft). The trip from the south to north summit is .5 miles along an obvious path with little elevation loss or gain however the col between the 2 peaks is very wet/muddy and you will sink in deep if you don't step on rocks/branches. At the north summit you'll find the remains of a cabin, the cannister, and a set of pitchers that has some history.

For the return trip reverse the directions or to make an easier descent turn right at the door knobs/cairn and descend via the same snowmobile path that you branch off from at the 2nd cairn.

Total trip is 6miles/3.25-4 hours but the hike is quite steep.

Hunting Cabin N43.29511 W73.05990 1830 ft
Begin Snowmobile Path N43.30040 W73.05387 2322 ft
T Intersection Keep Right N43.30724 W73.04829 2890 ft
CAIRN1 N43.30747 W73.04318 3143 ft
CAIRN2 N43.30690 W73.03678 3566 ft
Tower Road Trailhead N43.28478 W73.04751
DORSETSOUTH Summit N43.30533 W73.03601 3740 ft
Signpost on Top N43.30782 W73.03201 3674 ft
Dorset Peak N43.30914 W73.02784 3770 ft
First Fork N43.29420 W73.05952


 
Dorset Tower Rd Trail Topo
 

Essential Gear

You won't need much special except in winter time where some snowshoes, crampons, ice axe would be useful in the steep sections. Hiking poles would be great for your knees on the way down.

Oh yes, almost forgot the all important DEET, once you reach the south peak and hike to the north peak you will be plagued with flys. The muddy section between the peaks seems to be the magnet but if you stand still and aren't protected you'll be very unhappy.

 
Tree Knobs @ 4 Way Intersection with Summit and Snowmobile Trails
 

Images

Dorset Peak Cabin Ruin