Killington; 4241 feet, Killington, VT.
75 dF at trailhead, 75 dF at summits. Sunny/hazy skies and 30 miles visibility. Very light intermittent breezes at summits — approximately 2 MPH.
Via the Bucklin trail.
Trailhead: 1400. Summit: 1730. Car: 2000. Approximately 7 miles.
In my tradition of not suffering injuries gladly, I decided to finish out the Vermont portion of the 67 by hiking on my injury. It’s starting to resolve itself, so I’ve got that. I bought along a friend who was nursing a cold, so we made a great pair, shuffling up the mountain. All told, it was a great way to convalesce. No medicine like the trail.
Killington is mainly green tunnel. It opens up almost on top of the summit, but that’s OK. There weren’t the wildflowers I saw on Abraham/Ellen, but it was plenty serene just the same. It’s a trail that’s not very strenuous until the top, so it’s a good hike if you just want to get outside and enjoy the woods.
There were three bridges over the stream that tracks the trail for much of its length. For a couple miles, the sound of rushing water was a pleasant background. With all the lush vegetation everywhere, you couldn’t help but be becalmed.
Near the top, the trail goes up quite significantly. It’s very steep, where using your hands becomes a viable option. But I never felt like “wow, this is dangerous” more than “wow, what a view!” It’s probably analogous to climbing a rocky ladder, and to that end, on the way down, I never felt like things were treacherous. Mind what you’re doing, and everything will be fine. (Note, wet weather may change all this, so take appropriate cautions.)
The view was lovely. We’d run into a few AT hikers on the way (and had wonderful conversation with them) and so reached the top later than expected. The golden hues of late afternoon were in full effect, and so it was quite nice. The air was cooling off a bit, so what more could you ask for?
We explored the summit, and specifically the upper part of the ski area (the restaurant was unfortunately closed) for a bit before turning back. Hiking down was quick and easy. Before long, we were back at the car.
Overall, this was the mountain in Vermont that made me feel most “at home” compared to my beloved White Mountains. I’d compare this favorably to something like Waumbek or Cabot. Regrettably, we didn’t have time to explore the surrounding area, like Quechee Gorge, but that’s something for another day.
Pictures will be forthcoming in a separate post.