This is a wooded peak with gentle slopes tucked away in the Green Mountains of Vermont and has a fire-tower-turned-lookout on the summit. Unfortunately since 2003 the lookout is closed. Goddard Shelter has been replaced with one of the same design possibly to be named Keenan. At least that is what the memorial plaque inside declares. Completely unforested and grassland for profitable sheep-herding 150 years ago, the forest has returned and now new stands of trees cover it's slopes.
I believe it is the 9th highest summit in Vermont. The fire-tower is off limits, but from the top four states could be seen and endless rows of mountains like the Adirondacks, the Tactonics and the Berkshires.
The summit is traversed by the famous Long Trail of Vermont. The same treadway is also a small part of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This ensures that not just locals get to enjoy this mountain.
The Long & Appalachian Trails are long distance backcountry hiking trails. In the southern part of the state the two trails coincide. Just beyond route 4 at Sherburne Pass the trails diverge. The LT continues north to the Canadian border and the AT turns east toward Maine. The Long Trail is totally contained within Vermont while the mighty Appalachian Trail spans 14 states from Georgia to Maine.
The US has a well organized and active long distance community and both these paths see lots of use by backpackers hiking the whole trail in one season. About 70 people per year successfully complete the LT and become End to Enders. 2,000 - 3,000 backpackers per year attempt to thruhike the entire AT in 4-8 months. Estimates vary but approximately 10% - 20% succeed. In 2005 AT hopefuls were about 1000 people less but the success rate shot up to around 25%.
For more information on the mountains along the trails please visit:
Long Trail Mountains
Appalachian Trail Mountains
For more information on the organizations behind the trails please visit:
Green Mountain Club and LT website
Appalachian Trail Conservancy and AT website
VT 9 Forest Service TH: This trailhead is on route 9 between the cities of Bennington and Wilmington. From downtown Bennington (rt 7) travel east about 5 miles. From Wilmington travel west 8.8 miles past the VT 8 junction. The parking lot is on the north side of the highway. The white blazed LT/AT is just to the east.
Branch Street Extension TH: From Bennington go 1 mile north on VT 7 from the VT7/9 intersection. At Kocher Drive travel east about 1 mile to a small parking lot with a blue blazed utility pole. There is a power line crossing here.
The following is good info too:
Date: June 03, 2005 10:52 PM
Responding to one of the comments about Glastonbury - no, there are few to no shorter ways in. It's a straight 10.1 miles from the south (Route 9) and 12.2 from Stratton-Arlington road (actually West Wardsboro road). The only loop trail option is to go from the south to the summit, then the West Ridge Trail (7.8 miles) to the junction with the east trail to Bald Mountain. (About 21 miles in all and one of my longer day hikes)
There are no permits, fees, or other red tape. The shelters are first come, first served.
Year around! The trails to the summit are well marked and easy to follow. It can be skiied, snow-shoed, or postholed in winter. Be aware that this peak is somewhat remote. Be prepared.
Also consider that during droughts the water supply at Goddard has been known to dry up.
Camping is allowed in all areas, provided that you camp at least 150 ft away from any trail or water supply. Around the Goddard Shelter it is best that you camp at the designated sites because of the delicate vegetation.
Melville Nauheim on LT near the VT 9 trailhead
Goddard at the junction of the LT and West Ridge Trail .3 miles south of the summit
Kid Gore and Caughnawaga shelters 4 miles north of summit on the LT
Story Spring on LT 8.6 miles north of the summit.
No fees should be paid for using the shelter or camping.
You're back at the trailhead and your thoughts naturally turn to food and drink. Where do you go?
Good question. I am not familiar with the area so please post suggestions here and I will incorporate them into the main text. Thanks.
Thanks intrepidhiker for the following.
Highly Recommended pre-hike eating: The Blue Benn Diner for breakfast heading north on Route 7 in Bennington; The Top Notch Diner just as you're entering Bennington on Route 9; Dot's Diner in Wilmington on Route 7 and 100.
Also, Jensen's on Route 7 heading north on Bennington for dinner.