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Thread: Bread Loaf and Wilson via Emily Proctor (Vermont, Winter) 2017-01-15

  1. #1
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    New Hampshire

    Bread Loaf and Wilson via Emily Proctor (Vermont, Winter) 2017-01-15

    This report is primarily about access and parking via the Emily Proctor Trail and Long Trail in January 2017. The actual hike is through open woods down low, with one significant crossing (was ice bridged) that appears to have decent rocks to cross on, and some 50+ rills all of which are step-overs. There are blue blazes along most of the Emily Proctor Trail and the corridor itself was easy to follow once transitioned from hardwoods to softwoods. The Long Trail corridor was mostly easy, except on top of Wilson and the blazes (being white) were not always obvious due to snow and rime stuck to the trees. I was lucky in that the entire trail was packed 9 days earlier and I had consolidated conditions the whole way (I did wear snowshoes above the Emily Proctor Shelter.)

    You cannot access the Emily Proctor (and Cooley Glen) trailhead from the Middlebury College side (125 and Steam Mill Road) on FR 59 in winter. Nor can you access it via FR 59 (Natural Turnpike) in Ripton Center, although you can get as far as the Skylight Pond Trailhead, which is about a 4 mile road walk to the Emily Proctor Trail from the south end of FR 54. Winter access is from the north on FR 54 (South Lincoln Road). FR 201 to the actual trailhead is not maintained and is about .3 miles on foot. Note that I did see a 4WD pickup had made it to the summer trailhead on my way out.

    Use Solar Sweet Maple Farm for a GPS waypoint when driving and you'll be less than .25 miles from the winter parking lot. All navigation and mapping apps I tried found this location without problems. Note that there is little or no cell phone reception (on Verizon anyway) from Middlebury Gap to the trailhead so if you are using a phone, you might want to screenshot the stretch from the top of Middlebury Gap to the end, or do it the old-fashioned way.

    Note that when you walk up FR 201, the summer parking area will be on the left. Straight ahead are the two trailheads. The Cooley Glen sign is facing you and to the left. Less obvious is the Emily Proctor sign, which is to the right, but is turned 90 degrees, making it easy to miss (I started down the Cooley Glen Trail for a few 10ths before I realized the mistake.)

    Map showing road access

    Emily Proctor sign is not really visible as you approach but it is over to the right

    Parking is just above (past) FR 201 at the end of the maintained stretch of FR 54. FR 201 is downhill on the right in this photo.

    There was a small yellow sign on the light pole marking this the "Catamount Trail".

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    Last edited by bikehikeskifish; 01-17-2017 at 06:54 AM.
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  2. #2
    Junior Member OnAClearDay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Capital Dist, NY
    Just saw this post. I went up the Skylight Pond Tr on 1/16, parking at the gate on FR 59 /Natural Turnpike or the northwest side to the summer trail head. It was about a mile of road walk on solid ice.

    Continued with spikes to the ridge on a bullet proof track (almost all visitors only went to the pond) and then snowshoes through to Wilson via BL. To Bread Loaf there was only one set of snowshoe tracks and the ridge trail was a mix of hard crust and pockets of deep drifts where even snowshoes would sink in. Reaching BL I was glad to find Wilson well tracked out - thanks for your efforts! Without the track I would have likely skipped Wilson!

  3. #3
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Center Conway, NH
    Great info Tim. Well documented as usual.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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