Green Mountain Club
Montpelier Section


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Long Trail News and Long Trail Guides.

Tour

Smuggler's Notch to Chilcoot Pass

Gorham Springs to Jonesville

The Montpelier Section maintains two portions of the Long Trail - Gorham Spring to Jonesville and Smugglers' Notch to Chilcoot Pass, including the overnight sites: Bamforth Ridge Shelter, Sterling Pond Shelter, and Watson Camp. The section also maintains the Sterling Pond Trail (former LT). Also see the Section's trail responsibilities since 1955.

  • LT: Sterling Pond to Chilcoot Pass

  • Sterling Pond Shelter

    In Mount Mansfield State Forest in the town of Cambridge, Vermont. It is on the Long Trail 3.7 miles from the Elephants Head picnic area on Vermont 108. It is also 1.4 miles from Smugglers Notch via the Sterling Pond Trail. Elevation: 3030 feet. The Long Trail was rerouted onto the former Elephants Head Trail in 2002. This three sided shelter was built in 2005 by the Montpelier Section. Green Mountain Club has adopted a management plan for the Sterling Pond area.

  • Sterling Pond Trail

    For many years this section was part of the Long Trail. In October, 2002, the Long Trail was rerouted to the former Elephants Head Trail. This is now known as the Sterling Pond Trail.

  • Watson Camp (Removed)
    Watson Camp was donated to the GMC in 1980.  The camp was razed in the fall of 2008, most of the detritus hauled away in 2009, and the site cleared in 2011.


LT: Vermont 108 to Sterling Pond

In October, 2002, the Long Trail was rerouted here to follow the former Elephants Head Trail. The name "Elephants Head Trail" now refers only to the short segment south of Sterling Pond, between Sterling Pond Shelter and Snuffy's Trail.

A spur trail, marked with a "View" sign, leaves the Long Trail 2 miles north of Vermont 108 (1 mile south of Sterling Pond). The spur ends with an overlook into Smugglers Notch. Underneath the view is a cliff known as Elephants Head.

Peregrine falcons build nests on cliffs like those of Elephants Head. The National Wildlife Federation, Northeast Natural Resource Center, in Montpelier keeps track of peregrine falcons in Vermont. Peregrines vanished from Vermont from 1970 to 1982. In 2002, 59 adults produced 40 fledglings. One of the nests was in Smugglers Notch.

In the event that another pair of falcons nests in the immediate vicinity of the view, the spur trail could be closed during the nesting season. The nesting season ends when chicks are fledged, roughly the beginning of July.

Smuggler's Notch (Cambridge): The Smuggler's Notch pair nested on the Mount Mansfield side of the notch for the third consecutive year and successfully raised 2 fledglings. C. Clark reported seeing a peregrine when ice climbing on the cliff on 24 March. During the cliff survey on 11 April, M. Ferguson observed the pair and confirmed incubation of the 2001 eyrie in an old Common Raven nest near the top of the Mount Mansfield side of the notch. Incubation activity appeared to continue until 4 June, when M. Ferguson saw an adult feed at least 2 chicks on the nest side. On 11 June, A. McClosky observed 2, 30 to 35-day-old chicks on the nest side. Both chicks had fledged by 27 June. Closure signs were posted on 8 May, near the top of the notch road behind the parking area and along the Mount Mansfield side of the road. We were unable to determine the banded status of the adults at Smugglers Notch.

The 2002 Breeding Status and Population Dynamics of Peregrine Falcons in Vermont

New steps New steps, Photo by Ken H.

View from Elephant's Head View from Elephant's Head, Photo by John B.

LT: Bamforth Ridge Shelter to Duxbury Road

The Duxbury Window is a great place for a break when climbing Camel's Hump from the north.  This spot is 1.6 miles and quite a bit uphill from the trailhead at Duxbury Road. Duxbury Window Duxbury Window, Photo by Fred J. View up the Bamforth Ridge View of Camel's Hump from LT on Bamforth Ridge
Photo by Nancy J.

Bamforth Ridge Shelter

The shelter is a 3-sided leanto constructed in 2002 by the Montpelier Section of the Green Mountain Club. The walls are cedar logs and the roof and floor are cedar tongue-and-groove planking. On the front is a "deacon's bench," a log laid across the front at platform level which can be used for cooking. On the back is a 2-foot wide porch which can be used for drying gear. Nearby is a picnic table. Also at the site is a composting privy and 3 tent platforms. A path leads about 300 feet to an untested brook.

The shelter is located in Camels Hump State Park, on the Long Trail 1.9 miles north and 2100' down from the summit of Camels Hump and 2.7 miles south and 1500' up from Duxbury Road.

The shelter is dedicated to Montpelier Section members David P. Morse and Harlan Farnsworth. The shelter replaces Gorham Lodge, which was removed from its home higher up the Bamforth Ridge after many years of service.  The ridge is named after trail maintainer Eugene Bamforth.

Bamforth Ridge Shelter Photo by Fred J.

LT: Alpine Trail to Bamforth Ridge Shelter

Montclair Glen Lodge

This four sided lodge was built in 1948 by the Long Trail Patrol and has bunk space for 10. The lodge was reconstructed (as opposed to replaced) in 2009, with massive sill logs brought up by helicopter. During the summer season, a caretaker based here maintains the nearby trails. (not part of Section responsibility)

© 2018 Montpelier Section of The Green Mountain Club, Inc.     Top    Sat 21 Jul 2018