Yesterday I took advantage of the forecasted clear dry weather to drive up to Vermont and climb Ascutney.

This time I went up on Future's Trail, the longest but least steep of the four main trails to the summit. It also has the most elevation gain, since it both starts lower and dips down into a couple valleys along the way. I didn't have quite the fall color I'd hoped for, but still had my share; the maple leaves were on the ground and the beech leaves were still green, but the birches and oaks were turning. I wore my fleece jacket the whole day, but was comfortable with that.

The beginning of Future's Trail is close enough to the interstate to hear it, but you soon get away from that. There's a nice viewpoint a mile in I checked out. After that it dips into a valley and out, and crosses a parking area at the end of a road which is not on my map. While dropping into the next valley it crosses the toll road which brings cars almost to the top. After that I got to the short spur trail to the steam donkey, which I took to check it out. The steam donkey is a rusted thingamabob. (See the pix.)

I didn't take Future's Trail all the way to the end, but when I got to the summit area took Future's Link and Slot Trail to the Windsor-Brownsville Trail. There were a lot more people than I'd ever seen up there. I tagged the summit and then climbed the observation tower. I couldn't make out Washington this time, but could see pretty much all of the other mountains on the identifying signs.

To go down, I took Slot Trail (checking out Castle Rock on the way) to Windsor Trail to the end of Future's Trail, so I could hike that whole trail. A little past the road crossing I met the only other hiker I would see outside of the summit area.

At one point further down the trail I decided to whack up a little knoll the trail was passing. When I got there I realized I was right by the viewpoint, so I took the viewpoint's spur back to the trail. I finished the hike early enough to drive straight home for supper.

I've now climbed Ascutney 4.5 times in 3 seasons and have hiked all four of the main trails. I haven't quite redlined it, though, since I haven't hiked all of the short trails in the summit area.

Here are the pictures.



NE111: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2); Cat35: 32/39; WNH4K: 32/48; NEFF: 40/50
LT NB 2009

"I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Lewis Carroll