For last Tuesday, I was really trying to look for one last foliage hike, but I wanted to test myself after the bout of Bronchitis I had. I needed something a bit more ambitious for that. Looking around for reasonable drives for a 4k. I settled on driving up to Lincoln Gap to snag the last VT 4ks I have left. While this wasn't an above treeline, It does what VT is good for. Long easy walks over beautiful ridgelines. Getting to some of these peaks is interesting to say the least. A bunch of highway followed by dirt backroads and going over some mountain passes (gaps in VT). Roxbury gap Was a fun little bop in the fog in the morning, and has a fun little hairpin turn going down heading Westward. Make sure your brakes work!
The next last haul up Lincoln Gap was a challenging one for my car. it wen't up it alright i was cautious though since the margins of the road were covered in leaves and didn't want a gear shift on them nor did I want to misjudge where the end of the pavement was. I have never seen the temperature gauge get so high while going up a mountain pass. I was only going 20MPH up the last push to the Gap. While I didn't get to hike through much foliage I did get to drive through some of it, and along some great roads to boot!
Going up Lincoln Gap road
At the Top I let the car run for a few minutes with the AC fans on and the heat on full blast to cool her off while i set up my pack and got changed.
The less colorful Lincoln Gap at 2400 Feet.
It's kinda nice starting up a 4k from more than halfway up the thing. Its 2.6 Mile and 1600 feet. A good chunk of this trail is flat more or less. The only tricky thing was the leaves and rocks were wet from the previous nights heavy rains. It doesn't take you long to get out of the deciduous trees and get the smell of Christmas wafting through the air. You wouldn't know it though since it was 60 degrees out and hiking in shorts was still a thing in mid October. The fun stuff is right below the Top itself with interesting scrambles and the first views to the south.
Some foliage in the fog. (was hoping it would burn off)
To evergreens for the remainder of the trip.
You pass the Battell Shelter that is otherwise unremarkable. You also pass one of those newfangled outhouses with the barrels of human waste out in back of them. They didn't leave an odor which was surprising and welcome! While nothing terribly steep, or interesting, It's still a pleasant walk in the woods making your way to the fun stuff.
On top of Potato Hill, the cloud deck was peeling back on the East and views down towards the rest where the oranges and browns were filling in the countryside. There was a bit of a whipping wind here as well. Not enough to throw you around, but enough to make loose clothing flap and a gust or so to make you shake a bit. There is a bit of a wind break on the summit but it was facing the wrong way for today's winds.
The deck peeling back
The countryscape with some color
Ellen in The clouds ahead, but that should clear up by the time I get there.
I didn't spend much time here since I was going to be coming back through later in the day for the out and back to my car. Up ahead though was a gorgeous 3 and change mile ridgewalk with occasional viewpoints I just wish there were more looking towards the West. Even on a good day, one would appreciate the views towards the Daks from here. I was informed about a plane crash just beyond the summit. I was informed that the herd path was easily seen. I will tell you that just beyond the summit going North that the herd path does not start at the big brown sign. There is a reason The drainage is brushed in. And yes i did follow it for quite a ways before it was completely brushed in naturally. Looks like a good enough place to hang a hammock though. Further down the trail is the obvious herd path marked with a small cairn.
To the right, the LT north. The left, the herd path to the goods.
The guy survived so you can feel good about checking out the wreckage. I'm surprised Joe didn't check this out the other week, its like 30 yards off the LT. It's pretty crazy the guy survived considering the condition of the fuselage.
Back on to the Ridge. Its just a bunch of easy and not even annoying PUDs that add up the elevation. Nothing hard, just up and down, up and down. The locals quite often to an out and back to the top of Sugarbush Resort On Lincoln Peak. After Lincoln the trail goes back to a softer trailbed compared to the granite highway it is to Lincoln. At the top of Castlerock i saw some herd paths go off from the chairlift turnabout so i checked those out and they led to nothing. just the top of a wooded hump. Motoring along I came to the top of some bump that I thought may have been ellen. I pulled out my phone and found i was still a bit of distance from it. So onward ho! Ellen is another wooded hump but the ski slopes just a bit further provide decent views towards camels Hump, Mansfield, The Daks and Whites on a good day. Otherwise, a good place to hang out for a bit, sit down and have lunch. To the East the cloud deck kept receding. It looked like one big wall. Just stopping on the smaller ridge to the East and blanketing everything you could see.
Fantasy landscape long the ridge
view of the ridge from Lincoln
more awesomeness along the ridge, one of the only viewpoints Wesward
one of the better outlooks a bit past Lincoln
The view from just past Ellen towards the Hump and the Top of the State.
Now the part that I wasn't completely looking forward to. The walk back over the same 6 miles I just came from. I mean it's not that bad with the awesome scenery and forest. Just repetitive. If you don't care for this sort of thing, bring two cars to VT. I made good time going back, took about three hours, since I wasn't taking as many pictures. The wall to the East kept taking my attention however.
Damn! More of this
back at the top of
The wind had picked up and some people were making their way up to enjoy sunset. I was tempted to stay but sunset was still an hour and a half or so away. The hazy Views weren't much to write home about anyway at this point. I still kinda wish I had stayed for sunset. The last 2.6 was fairly uneventful minus the short scrambles near the top. A few people asking how much further. As well as smiles from every hiker on the way. While this wasn't a 10/10 hike. It was more than worth the day from all the Natural and man made attractions along the way. Lincoln gap road was no cake ride going down either. Make sure your brakes work on this one! The locals though, they drive over this like it's nothing. I can tell they are getting annoyed at the Masshole slowing down their groove. I probably would also. Can't blame them. These roads look to be a blast if you are used to them. While I didn't get sunset at the top, I sure got it at the bottom.