Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Butterfield Mountain, Knox Mountain - East Peak, Knox Mountain, VT
Trails: VAST trail, old logging roads, ATV trails, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, October 13, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Park at gate off Smith Road, just north of bridge across Nelson Brook. Sign indicates no hunting nor trapping, but public access is OK. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Leaves - Significant/Slippery 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All streams are easily crossable. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The VAST trail running between Butterfield and Knox is slightly overgrown on the west side, cut much trimmer on east side. Lots of ATV trails on Butterfield and Knox, it's sometimes hard to figure out their routes.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Back to the "Groton Range" to get the last significant peak I needed - Butterfield.

This was my second time coming in from Smith Road (after doing Knox last year) - a much less frequented access to the Groton peaks (most come in from the east). The VAST trail was wet from yesterday's rain, but my boots handled it OK.

I went as far as the height of land between Butterfield and Knox, and then went cross-country up Butterfield's SW slope. Easy bushwhacking overall, with just one steep spot. It was cloudy and socked in all the way up, but thankfully the clouds began lifting as I approached the summit.

Many nice glades around Butterfield's summit - could see into NH after the clouds lifted. I saw some moose beds as well.

There is a well-defined ATV path down Butterfield's SE ridge, which I took down to a point where I needed to drop off to the S in order to get to East Knox. Very open cross-country. After crossing the VAST trail, the N side of E. Knox was a bit scrappier, but still easy (this whole range in my experience is fantastic bushwhack terrain). Just short of E. Knox's summit I reached an ATV trail, which crossed the top and went into the saddle between E. Knox and the main peak of Knox. It was hard to find where the ATV path went up Knox, so I bushwhacked a bit again until I regained it. I enjoyed once again the splendid view E from Knox's summit, albeit the high Whites were totally clouded in.

On my way off Knox, I followed the ATV path to the saddle between Knox and West Knox, and then continued on it as it turned north. However, the path fizzled out a couple hundred feet down the slope, so I bushwhacked back down to the VAST trail near Nelson Brook - OK terrain, but lots of overgrowth on the old logging roads (plus some drizzle at this point). I'd recommend the route via West Knox (see my Knox report from last year).

Another interesting day in my home range....  
Name: Dan Saxton 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-10-13 
Link: https:// 
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