Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Stratton Mountain, VT
Trails: Long Trail, Branch Pond Trail, Lye Brook Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Ample parking at the LT/AT junction on Stratton Arlington Rd. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All Long Trail crossings were either bridged or very easy. Branch Pond Trail crossings also posed no difficulty. The Winhall River crossing on the Lye Brook Trail (at the boundary of the Lye Brook Wilderness) looked like it could be a major problem. There was a tenuous ice sheet at the site of the crossing, and there were large logjams on either side that could potentially take you in the right direction, though none of these solutions looked ideal. Ultimately, I made it across the [cracking] ice without falling through- but would not recommend trying this until solidly frozen. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: There were numerous stepovers within the Lye Brook Wilderness, but nothing that obscured the trail corridor. Blazing was excellent where it needed to be (primarily on the Lye Brook Trail). 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Scenic and interesting 18-mile loop including Branch Pond, Bourn Pond, Stratton Pond, and Stratton Mountain. There were about 2" of fresh snow- not quite enough for snowshoes, but microspikes were perfect. Ice was minimal to nonexistent, so you could probably get away with barebooting- except when climbing the ice-encased Stratton fire tower! I took the Long Trail south from the parking area to the Story Spring Shelter. I then backtracked north 0.1 mile to pick up an unmarked connector trail which led back to Stratton Arlington Rd., directly across from the southern Branch Pond trailhead. The Branch Pond Trail was easy to follow to the Lye Brook Trail junction. The Lye Brook Trail (heading east) took a bit of attention to follow, and an occasional step into the snow would end in a shallow mud pit. That Winhall River crossing at the wilderness boundary required some thought before I decided to have a go at it. There were indeed blue blazes on trees partway across what looked like a nondescript swamp. Maybe one of the logjams would have been a better route, but I went straight across the ice, which thankfully held. The shoreline of Stratton Pond was beautiful, as was the winter wonderland near the top of Stratton Mountain- lots of snow-cloaked trees. Full route details on Unnecessary Climb!  
Name: Jason 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-11-23 
Bookmark and Share 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.

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