MORE INFORMATION: Appalachian Trail Conservancy 799 West Washington Street Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 (304) 535-6331
HIGHLIGHTS: Stratton Mountain at 3,936 feet is likely the birthplace of the Appalachian Trail. Benton MacKaye, who first published a proposal for the creation of the A.T. is thought to have come up with the idea during a hike on this mountain. A cabin with a summer caretaker is near the summit for overnight use, and a side trail leads a short distance to the Stratton Ski Area where a gondola provides access to the base of the mountain. Stratton Pond is located just north of Stratton Mountain, and it has two shelters, a swimming area, and a camping area. The pond is one of the busiest areas on the entire Long Trail and a caretaker is on site to manage the site.
The Appalachian Trail continues from here to the town of Manchester Center, then climbs up Bromley Mountain which is topped by a fire tower and a warming hut. If you follow the chair lifts down the ski slope, there is an alpine slide that starts half way up the mountain. Tired Dogs, Laid Back Sue, and I took multiple rides on it, and I highly recommended it.
The Trail continues in this section past two alpine camp sites, Griffin Lake Campsite and Little Rock Pond. It then passes near the town of South Wallingford and eventually drops down to Clarendon Gorge. A suspension bridge crosses the Mill River here, and it’s only a short distance from it to VT 103 and the town of North Clarendon.