Pinnacle - Ridge - Skyline Trail

Pinnacle - Ridge - Skyline Trail

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.42400°N / 72.645°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Walk-up/ Class 2
Sign the Climber's Log


See the "Getting There" section of the main page

Route Description

8.6 miles round trip with 2511 feet of vertical gain.

Begin your hike by heading east from the back of the parking lot, crossing a field and overgrown pasture. Heavy trail maintance has been performed to allow hikers to avoid the often wet and muddy conditions. After leaving the open area you enter a forest of mixed hardwoods.

For the first .1 mile the trail climbs gradually, but quickly becomes steeper as you leave the "boardwalk" behind and the trail becomes rockier. You will continue to travel east to southeast as you continue to climb to the summit.

Over the next .4 miles the trail becomes gradually steeper following a minor switchback-style path. The climb continues through hardwoods, which provide excellent color in the fall.

Over the next .3 miles the trail becomes steeper as you climb. The trail will go right (south) as you reach a plateau. Continue on the trail, scrambling over some rocks into a notch. A spur trail (Vista) joins your path from the North East. If you take the Vista trail you will be rewarded with a view of Mt. Mansfield.

From the main trail continue to head east -southeast as you begin to wind around Stowe Pinnacle. The trail begins to go down, losing approximatel 50 feet of elevation before you begin to climb again. The trail becomes rocky and the hardwoods give way to short Fir trees.

At 1.4 miles you reach a junction with the Ridge Trail. Take the Ridge Trail leaving Stowe Pinnacle (and most other hikers) behind.

Ridge trail is 1 mile long, gains 1000' of elevation and takes you to Skyline Trail. The trail continues heading south east. After a quick dip down and traveling across some relatively flat terrain the trail begins a steep climb, gaining 800 feet in a quarter mile. The trail is rocky with heavy tree cover. It is also constantly wet, and care should be taken while ascending the slick rock.

After reaching what seems to be the ridge, the terrain flattens out and you are surrounded by Fir, Birch and ferns. At this point the ground is heavily saturated in many areas, including standing water. Be sure to be on the lookout for moose and other wildlife. While enjoing the relative ease of our new terrain gain the last 200 feet of elevation over a half mile where you will reach the Skyline Trail.

The Skyline Trail is a ridgewalk, linking three major peaks of the Worcester Range. It begins (or ends depending on your direction of travel) at Mount Hunger, crosses Hogback and ends at Mount Worcester. The trail is heavily forested, however it does provide an occassional glimpse of the surrounding areas. With little foot traffic it is also a prime spot for animals, as we saw evidence of moose everywhere on the trail - just no moose.

At this junction a trail sign marks the way for Mounts Hunger and Worcester, however leaves Hogback off the list. That may be becasue there are conflicting reports on where the summit truly is. We looked at two different maps and both listed a different summit. To be sure you get it - take the trip to both.

To reach the summit per Topo head South once on the Skyline Trail towards Mt Hunger. Climb 300 feet in about .10 mile to the coordinates on the main page.

Once you have reached this high point, turn and head North towards Worcester Mountain. From the juntion you will travel approximatly 1.6 miles to the summit per Map Adventures.

You quickly loose 300 feet of elevation as you climb/ scramble down the trail. At this point the trail flattens out while you trek through heavy vegetation and boggy terrain. Many times the trail becomes completly saturated and you will be ankle deep in boot-sucking mud. Use logs laid in the trails when possible.

You will travel approximately 3/4 of a mile before you reach your next vertical gain. In the next half mile you gain 500 feet. Prior to reaching the summit a vista trail joins from the right. Take the trail for a view of the ridge and Mount Hunger. On clear days the Whites are visible. There is also a make-shift teepee shelter and fire pit.

Once you leave the vista head back to the Skyline Trail and continue with your ascent. After you cross a permanent puddle and climb approximately 50' you have reached the highest point on the trail. Mount Worcester can be seen in the distance. Search for the highest point off trail.

To return to your car, follow the same trail in reverse.

Essential Gear

Standard seasonal gear required. Gaiters and Waterproof boots recommended from May to November. The Skyline Trail is at elevation and is significantly cooler than the trailhead. GPS to find your high-points!

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


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