|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Lye Brook Falls, Bourn Pond, Prospect Rock, VT|
||Lye Brook Trail, Lye Brook Falls Spur, Branch Pond Trail, LT/AT, Old Rootville Road (aka Prospect Rock Trail), road walk|
|Date of Hike:
||Friday, October 26, 2018|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Nice USFS trailhead at Lye Brook Trail, with a rather large parking area. There is also parking available at the bottom of Old Rootville Road/Prospect Rock Trail. |
||Dry Trail, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Significant, Leaves - Significant/Slippery |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||There were numerous water crossings that were all rock hops this day. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Most of this hike was within the Lye Brook Wilderness, so those standards apply (less maintenance, more blowdown, less paint blazes). About 4 miles up the Lye Brook Trail, the trail turns into a bit of a hobblebush whack for a couple of miles. |
||If you have a water dog, they would love this hike. |
|Lost and Found:
||I am working on the Long Trail Side to Side list, all the side trails of the LT. :) Almost this entire ~17-miles was through beautiful open hardwoods as far as the eye could see, and there was a dusting to an inch or two of snow above ~2000 feet. Most of this hike was above 2000 feet.|
Lye Brook Trail was a lovely old road for the first few miles. Lots of leaf-buried rocks, etc., but the footing was generally very good. The side trip to Lye Brook Falls is well worth the flat 0.4 mile. The falls are said to be one of the highest in Vermont at about 125 feet. About 4-5 miles in, hobblebush starts to seriously encroach on the trail. This is a good time of year to hike this trail because all the hobblebush leaves have dropped, making the footbed MUCH easier to discern. Interspersed with hobblebush whacking are quite a few boggy areas - mud pit land mines. We prodded with our hiking poles, and discovered that some of them are scary deep! Somehow we did a pretty good job of keeping our trail runners dry, not an easy task! Saw quite a few moose tracks in this section.
Bourn Pond was spectacular!! There are established campsites on both the south and north ends, each with an open air mouldering privy, and another campsite about halfway along the pond, where we stopped for lunch and enjoyed the interesting view of snow-encrusted Stratton Mtn. The pond had just a thin layer of ice beginning to form along the edges.
Branch Pond Trail from Bourn Pond to the LT/AT was mostly an old logging road (or RR?) interspersed with divergences around, presumably, wet areas. With leaves obliterating obvious signs of footbed here and there, paying close attention was sometimes required in order to stay on the trail. A half mile after William B. Douglas Shelter, we finally hit the LT/AT and, a mile later, Prospect Rock with its view across to Mt. Equinox and the town of Manchester Center. This is where we met our first hikers of the day.
Old Rootville Road, also known as Mt. Prospect Trail per the USFS and the kiosk at the bottom of the trail/road, was a steep dirt road descent through lovely Downers Glen. Curiously, it is not on the LT S2S list. The final 1.8 miles passed through residential neighborhoods on mostly asphalt.
This was a really nice loop, one I would recommend for those with basic navigational skills who are looking for solitude, or as an alternative to the more crowded LT/AT nearby.
||Snowflea & Fancypants |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.