Mt. Ellen VT
Jerusalem Trail --> Long Trail
Distance: 7.423 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2,454 ft (overall) 2,589 ft (total)
Time: 2:33 (Summit) 4:28 (total)
This hike all happened because I mistakenly turned around too early when trying to come from Mt. Abraham. I should have already bagged this peak. But since I hadn't, I came back. I decided to hike the Jerusalem Trail up to the Long Trail and the summit. This turned out to be a pretty gentle hike that ended up being an easy summit.
The trail starts on Jim Dwire Road and goes mostly flat as you work your way closer to the mountain. Quickly you come onto private property and an area that is mostly open with a large stand of maple trees. The trees all have tubing running between them for a sizable maple sugaring operation. You never have to cross the lines though except one spot where they are well above your head if I recall. There is one spot that you might have to climb under lines when they are in use though during the spring as they are disconnected this time of year at a crossing of the main trail. Through the stand of maple, the trail follows and ATV/UTV path and is easy walking.
Indian Pipe along the trail
Going through the stand of maples and sugaring operation
When you get to the end of the private property, the trail suddenly narrows up to the normal width and all the sugaring lines are gone. The trail is climbing more steadily now, but it's still pretty easy and has good footing. In this section is where I came over a crest in the trail and saw a cow moose up ahead. She went left, then turned around and went right and off up the hill into the trees. Unfortunately I didn't have time to get out my camera until she was too far off.
Area where I saw the moose
Shortly before reaching the Long Trail, this trail gets to it's steepest spot. I only needed to grab with my hand once to get up one tall step up onto a root. Other than that, it's still not bad. Once along the ridge, it's a nice walk through the woods. Only a few small climbs or obstacles when you get down to it. Just before the summit, you come out onto the ski trails. If you bear right, you'll be there soon. Where the top of the chairlift is, the trail enters back into the woods about 30 feet from the actual summit. The summit has no view, but the area around the chairlift has a decent view. I hung out here for a while before making the easy hike back to the car. Unfortunately, it was a bit hazy today, so the view wasn't as good as it could have been.
Nearing the ridge
One of the obstacles on the ridge
View north from the ski trails
Looking down the ski lift
Limited view west from the trail
In my mind I had set this hike up to be a bad one. Mainly just because of how much I kicked myself for screwing up this hike earlier this year. In the end, I saw my first moose while hiking a 4K (although I have been very close before), and was able to enjoy a easy easy hike through the woods and along the ridge. It was a pretty decent hike and would certainly be good for a beginner.
Not sure what this plant is, but I liked being able to the see the various shades of the "berries"
For all the pictures from the hike, just go HERE