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Hike-NH.com - View topic - Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15

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 Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15 
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 Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
My wife and I usually go away for a weekend every October for our anniversary, but there was just too much stuff on the calendar to do with the kiddos this year for that to happen. :( We decided to leave the kids with the grandparents for a day and head out by ourselves. We wound up in Vermont, Waterbury to be exact, where there was plenty of food and fun to be had including the hike we chose up Mt. Hunger. So there's a hiking report mixed in here, but there's more ramblings that make it a true trip report too. Read it all, skip it, or pick the parts that interest you.

Mt. Hunger is 3539 feet high and located in the Worcester Mountains and Putnam State Forest. The Waterbury trail is 2 miles long and climbs steeply up the mountain from the west, gaining 2300 feet in those two miles, and that's the route we chose. But before climbing Hunger we were hungry, so we stopped by the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury for a hot cider and some of their famous cider donuts hot out of the fryer! :D One of my favorite treats in the world and a great start to the day. The mountain actually provides the scenic backdrop to the cider mill, and the trail starts just a couple miles up the road, so a very convenient stop before we hit the trails.

Welcome to Vermont. Stop here for a free Green Mountain Coffee! :D


Mt. Hunger and some rusty foliage on the way into Waterbury, Vt.


Mt. Hunger and White Rock Mountain's ledgey summits


If you haven't been, you should. And soon!


Making the cider


Making the donuts


Making me happy happy happy!!




The trail starts off climbing through nice hardwoods down low with moss and ferns filling in the gaps. Green and lush, just what you'd expect in Vermont. Or maybe not. Isn't this supposed to be prime foliage time in possibly the most famous state for it?? Shortly it begins the climb and never relents, with lots of nice stonework and steps down low. The middle section has some muddy spots and either washed out or badly eroded chunks (not sure which) as you head up a small brook valley, passing some cascades and then more mud up above that for a bit. The foliage was a bit more yellow up higher but still nothing like I was expecting. The last 1/4 mile or so turned into pine trees and also into some fun scrambles. Fractured ledge, rock shelves and roots help you climb the final and steepest section of the trail to the scrubby alpine zone summit of Mt. Hunger.

Easy start, but it gets steep quickly






Vermont. October. Foliage?? Foliage??


Climbing up beside some small cascades


Getting muddy for a bit. Then scrambly for a bit more






Views start to open up and after 100 vertical feet or so of that you hit the summit with panoramic views in all directions! Many consider this to be the finest viewpoint in all of Vermont, surrounded by the Green Mountains from Killington to Camels Hump to Mansfield and overlooking the villages of Waterbury and Stowe. The rest of the Worcester Range stretches away to the north and south while the Adirondack High Peaks are visible farther west, and to the east the whole of the White Mountains and then some stretches across the horizon. I'm not sure I'd say it's the best in the state, as there's a few more rugged and dramatic spots I've visited that suit my eye better, but it's definitely near the top, and probably the most encompassing view I've seen. We settled in as the warm sun beat down with virtually no wind and polished off the rest of our donuts for lunch before exploring the various ledges and photo ops and taking a long break on top of the world.

Views opening up near the summit alpine zone




Apparently the flight path from Burlington goes over Camel's Hump


View west from summit ledges






VFTT




Looking out over Waterbury


Life is good!! :D


Our donuts made it safe and sound in a bag I inflated so they wouldn't get squished


Cold Hollow, where they were made, down below


Worcester Mountains including White Rock Mtn to the west with Camel's Hump in the distance


White Rock's ledgey summit


Camel's Hump with the Adirondack's beyond




Mt. Mansfield across the valley






A few dozen people came and went while we hung around, and eventually we decided it was time to turn our little spot over to someone else. we wandered around the various ledges again for a couple minutes while discussing our next stop. I wanted to visit White Rock Mountain, my wife said we could but didn't sound enthused about it so I decided to save it for another day. Have to go back for the high point of the ridge anyhow. Mt. Putnam is the high point of the range and on the 50 finest and a fantastic traverse of all these plus Hogback and Stowe Pinnacle is easy enough with two cars. So the trip down was uneventful. The scrambles slowed us and everyone else up a bit, but once off the upper part where the scrambles and mud are it was smooth sailing in the afternoon sun. We made it down and headed for town, done with Hunger but hungry once again. So we first visited the Cabot Cheese Annex where you can (and we did) taste as many of the 31 different cheeses they have available. We only tried 29, passed on the Habanero and Chipotle pepper ones, but it was kind of amazing to see the differences side by side in 20 kinds of cheddar and a dozen other things. That was a nice snack but to complete the Mt. Hunger trifecta we headed down the road to Ben and Jerry's factory, where we decided the Vermonster (a 20 scoop ice cream sundae) was too much to tackle, but the Mini Vermonster (the 8 scoop version) was just about right. 4 flavors of ice cream with hot fudge, caramel, brownies, cookies, bananas, nuts, Reeses pieces, whipped cream and more stuff I can't recall filled our bucket, and we actually finished it off before hitting the road home. So much for the calories we burned hiking. :roll:

A few last VFTT's


Camel's Hump and the High Peaks of the Daks




Not much between us and NH. Foliage looks a little better that way though


The White Mountains on the horizon


Presis, Franconia Ridge and Moosilauke standing tall above the rest




The Fab Four


Leaving the top


Traffic Jam


One last look at Mt. Hunger




Post hike snack at Cabot




A more substantial post hike snack at Ben and Jerry's








Yes, we ate the whole thing :D


We took the scenic route (VT 100) south from Waterbury. It follows the Mad River through the Green Mountain National Forest and is probably the most famed foliage road in the most famous foliage state, so we were expecting quite a show. Unfortunately while a lot of the leaves are turning, they are very dull with next to no bright colors popping out, and those usually come first. Brownish golds, rusty reds filled the woods, and while there is some green left still I've always heard dry summers make for dull foliage, and this may be the case this year. It started turning late, so there's still time for it to shape up, but from what I've seen Vermont is not going to have it's usual place at the top of the foliage pyramid this year. A quick stop at Moss Glen Falls along the way and then we left 100 behind and headed for South Royalton, where we decided to stuff the best burger in Vermont and some fries down our throats before hitting the highway and going home.

Moss Glen Falls




About as good as the foliage got


A lot of trees with no leaves already


Just to make complete pigs of ourselves we stopped for the best burger around




Not limited to beef, although it is extraordinary




Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:54 pm
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
Hunger is one of my favorite peaks. Some of the best views in the Northeast. I worked in Waterbury for 20 years so got to see Hunger and Camels Hump nearly every day. I have some old friends who live on the eastern side, in Shady Rill. You can climb it from that side also.


Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:47 am
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
If I worked in Waterbury for 20 years I'd weigh 300 lbs. I can't resist the donuts, hot cider, cider slush in summer...

We did consider the other approach and I'll use it next time for sure. White Rock mountain looked very appealing. We were just in a hurry to fill our faces I guess.


Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:42 am
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
You had to post the cider donuts pictures, didn't you? Now I have to go here, like right now! :evil: 8)
http://www.russellorchards.com/

Hunger is another, "on the list" peaks. Passed on that a couple years ago when Brain and Greg did it. Not sure exactly when it was so I'm not sure what I did instead. This summer has totally screwed me up on my to do list. Had hoped to knock off a good dozen of the long time bucket list stuff. :(

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Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:28 am
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
Yes, a very nice hike. My how much it looks different with no snow and ice.
I could do without the cider and donuts though ;p

Greg

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Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:54 pm
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15


Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:46 pm
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
Negative. i am more a southern iced tea, bar-bee-que texan. i think its more of an acquired taste by far but i am more than happy to share :)

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Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:59 pm
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
Don't let Greg fool you, he does at least get in the New England spirit. He is as bonafide a pumpkin junkie as I am. 8)


Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:27 pm
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Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:43 pm
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
I love how this report was more about food than anything else. You ate then did a bit of hiking. Grabbed some ice cream, walked around a bit. Then dove in for a hefty dinner. Sounds legit really.


Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:54 am
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Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:15 am
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
Nice pictures as usual GG. You and Spencer turned me on to Vermont and Maine. Now I'm going there most of the time. Hey, Margaret was looking at the pix and her favorite one was this. Yup..."The Ring"! :shock:


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Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:56 pm
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 Re: Working Up An Appetite On Vermont's Mt. Hunger - 10/4/15
Just a few rocks Joey. Some us us like to climb them, others like to wear them. She likes a bit of both! :D Personally I can't hike with my wedding band on. She never takes here off.


Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:00 pm
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