I am having a WONDERFUL time in Vermont so there is a lot to post about. This one has three more of my adventures in my first week here. I went hiking, kayaking and covered bridging again. Therefore, beware, lots of pictures.
It’s Monday and I’m takin’ a hike. The Long Trail runs the length of the state of Vermont, 273 miles. It is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States, constructed between 1910 and 1930 by the Green Mountain Club. It follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail and they share 100 miles of trail in the southern part of the state of Vermont.
Being a big fan of the AT and having hiked the entire thing through the Shenandoah National Park and pieces of it in North and South Carolina, as well as Pennsylvania, Maine and previously in Vermont, I wanted to hike at least a section of the Long Trail in northern Vermont and a piece of the LT/AT in southern Vermont next month
The piece I’ve chosen for today will take me up to the top of Prospect Rock which is supposed to have good views and it will go over the famous long suspension bridge which is a trademark of the Long Trail. When I set off from the marker at this LT parking lot, I have to wade through some brush before getting onto what looks more like a trail. You can find parking lots to section hike the LT throughout it’s length in Vermont. I guess all the rain has pushed these bushes over to nearly cover the trail from the road crossing.
But here I am and it looks much better. Almost like a road at this point.
Lots of big rocks to scramble around on if you so desire.
Or maybe a sheltered campsite if you are what is called an “end to ender” rather than a thru hiker on this trail.
I come to the edge of a cliff and the trail seems to indicate I need to go down and hike across a set of small streams. I walk back and forth on the cliff edge thinking surely there must be some other way down than this metal ladder chained precariously to a tree root that could potentially give way anytime.
But not there isn’t and this is the way down. So I take a big breath and down I go.
At the bottom I find it easy to walk over the huge rock faces and around the water.
On the other side I find the steps to the suspension bridge over the Winooski River. Prior to the opening of the bridge in 2015 you had to walk along busy roads 3+ miles and pass under two interstates to connect the North and South ends of the long trail. A 92 year old member of the Green Mountain Club painted the first blaze on the bridge in 2015. He’d been a member of the club since he was 14 years old. Read more of the very interesting story about him and the bridge here.
Views of the river from the bridge.
Here’s a picture of the bridge on opening day in 2015 from an angle I can’t get.
Borrowed from the above link.
I cross the bridge and very shortly find this sign telling me that I am not going to be going to the top of Prospect Rock to see the views. But supposedly there is a “temporary trail” and maybe there are at least some views from there and I’m here for the hike and I’ve seen the bridge so I’m good no matter what. On I go.
Well on I go after a snack and a rock sit on the trail.
I’m climbing up and up and up and then on my way up some more I come to this tree.
So far no views on this temporary trail
I take it all the way around until I start to go down the other side and see the blocked off original route coming from the other direction.
It’s official, no views today.
So I turn around and head back down. The orange flags mark the “temporary” until August 1 trail. That’s the day I leave to move to Southern Vermont. So I have missed my chance by one day. Guess it wasn’t meant to be.
Still, there are big trees to hug.
And I get to go back over the suspension bridge climbing steps down to get to it this time. Putting this bridge in was a BIG undertaking. No wonder it took more than 100 years.
Nobody here but me. Just the way I like my hikes. I avoid being out and about on week-ends and can often have trails, lakes and rivers to myself.
Time to climb the ladder again – see it in the distance hanging off the cliff? I think the Club needs to work on this problem now. It’s been 6 years since they finished the bridge.
On Wednesday I go over to Molly’s Falls Pond, a beautiful tranquil place.
I saw familiar faces on the pond. This Mallard mom and her brood.
I wondered if the Cormorant followed me up here from Florida where I see them every time I’m on the water.
This is how far I actually was away from him.
So I’m not sure what made him take wing and start to run across the water
before he took to the sky.
Maybe the Cormorant and the Great Blue Heron came up north together.
This was the waterfowl I had hoped to see here at Molly’s Falls today.
First one, then two. How lucky am I??
At one point one of them takes off to catch up to the other one.
Just getting started here
On the way. And the best part is that he is calling constantly while he runs.
Here’s a video of what I saw. He was hard to keep up with. But my luck in seeing it, hearing it and filming some of it makes me filled with joy. I wish David were here to share it with me.
I decided to beach the kayak and look around a bit on shore.
As I was walking away from her a heard rushing water.
I think I’ve found Molly’s Falls. Sounds beautiful.
I got back in the kayak and went on around so I could see the falls straight on.
I took this video of them. I wanted to save the sounds to listen to again.
And then it’s back to the launching spot. I’ve gone all the way around this lovely pond and would definitely return.
And now for more covered bridges.
Lydon Vermont bills itself as the “covered bridge capital of THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM”. I think the North East Kingdom thing is hilarious and I’m not sure Lydon has more bridges than other areas but whatever.
I start out on my tour of Lydon’s bridges on Thursday with the School House Bridge. Built in 1879, it is 42 feet long and has a pedestrian walkway on one side.
The Chamberlin Bridge was built in 1881. Ruby and I drive through and I park to go back and see the view of the river.
It’s terrific, an impressive cascade and a swimming hole I can see out the bridge’s open sides.
As you can see, I took many pictures of it from several angles and can’t decide what I like best so here are too many of them.
Perhaps I’m waterfall deprived. I can’t find any of them near by so far.
Miller’s Run Bridge was built in 1878, taken apart and completely restored in 1995.
Most bridges are only one lane but you can see that this one can do two which is why the car is far over to his right.
A real treat at the parking lot behind this bridge is a trail going along the Passsumpsic River and on to the County Office Buildings. On my walk I spoke to several people taking a stroll from there on their lunch hour.
Some sections were narrow and wet with foliage hanging into the path.
Seems like a nice beach but no one was there on this day.
What a lovely bell lilly. But you can’t see it’s real beauty without looking up inside.
Looks like I’m having fly away hair troubles. I need a trim already. This is why I don’t often cut my hair. At the price of cuts and the speed with which my hair grows, my pocketbook can’t keep up. Maybe I could do it with the Flowbee but David always helped me with that.
It seemed very odd to me that the sign to Welcome folks to Lydon and proclaim it as the capital of covered bridges was at the Sanborn Bridge. The reason for my feeling was that this was the least well cared for bridge of any I’d seen so far and I’m into the double digits at this point.
The Sandborn Bridge is privately owned. No idea why but it is clearly suffering from that. Built in 1867 it is on the grounds of the Lynburke Motel. Wonder why the town doesn’t buy it from the motel owner?
The story is that the bridge was to be torn down and replaced at another crossing near Lyndonville but lots of people were upset with that. In 1960 Armand Morin who then owned the motel had it moved and placed over the East Branch of the Passumpsic River here on the motel property. But it goes no where now. A room built into the interior once served as a real estate office.
But as you can see, the current owner of the property is not maintaining it. I hope folks will get together about this before it is too late.
The Randall Bridge built in 1865 is the oldest of the ones I visited today. It is two years older than the Sanborn above.
Apparently the town of Lydonville owns this one which is no longer in use.
It is also a bridge that goes no where.
I’ll end with this rock cairn on the edge of the Moose River behind Winnona. I thought it looked better in black and white. This is a great spot to spend a month and I’m just getting started.
I apologize for SO many photos. I’ll try to do better but it’s hard. I don’t do well with choosing.