|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Ascutney, VT|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, February 8, 2023|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||The TH parking lot was plowed, but is sloped and freeze thaw cycles had resulted in thin patches of ice which was tricky to walk on without traction. It wasn’t totally iced for our visit, but I can foresee this parking lot being a problem. It would be good idea to keep some sand in a bucket in your car. Mark slipped on an icy patch (removing his light traction too early) and fell on his butt on returning to the truck. |
||Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||No problems |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||No Problems |
||No problems |
|Lost and Found:
||I’ve never hiked 3091’ Mount Ascutney so I hesitated to attempt this hike in winter season and was unsure what trail would be best choice. We finally decided to hike Ascutney via Brownsville Trail starting from TH at 750 on Route 44. At end of hike, Garmin indicated this was 6.25 miles and roughly 2500 feet elevation gain. |
The trail climbs steeply for first ¼ mile at first but moderates considerably on meeting up with what turned out to be sidehill road leading to the old Norcross Quarry. The road climbs gently for close to one mile and ends at the old quarry at 1350’ or so. The quarry features artifacts and massive piles of tailings. Among the artifacts is a huge wooden boom complete with a massive rusty hinge. Rusty cables festooned in the trees etc.
The terrain in quarry area features a lot of cliffs etc – some of them manmade. The road comes to end and the trail threads up through the cliffs and ice flows. There were some tricky spots can be negotiated with light traction with care. I was relieved to find the cliffy terrain only lasted a short time as we still had some 1500’ to go. Trail climbs steeply 1000’ for next ½ mile. Thankfully the trail is well supplied with short frequent switchbacks making the climbing less of a burden. The trail moderates on reaching the summit ridge. The trail was well packed out especially after it met up with Windsor Trail.
The short spur trail to Brownsville Rock is worth a visit as terrain drops off sharply offers an excellent down look to valley below unavailable from the tower. The tower is great and offers 360-degree views. It is small however and would be hard pressed to accommodate more than 4 people. We visited on a weekday in February, so we had tower all to ourselves for our 30-minute stay. I foresee long wait times to climb in weekend summer or any season so it would be best to aim for early or late starts to avoid crowds. Thankfully skies cleared by the time we summited so we got benefit of good viewing conditions.
||rdcaron at rcn dot com |
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.