Hiking in Groton State Forest Day 1 (Signal Mountain, Silver Ledge, Big and Little Deer Mountains)


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New member
Sep 11, 2023
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Chittenden VT
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to do some hiking in the Groton area of Vermont. I had only hiked two peaks in that area before (Spruce and Owlshead Mountains) and jumped on the opportunity to climb some 3000s in the area. My base camp would be at Seyon Lodge on Noyes Pond. On Saturday, September 30, my Dad and I got an early start up Signal Mountain. Our plan was to hike Signal, walk over to a false summit called Goodwyn Mountain on Peakbagger.com, and descend back to Seyon Lodge all before breakfast. We started down the Noyes Pond-Spruce Mountain ski trail and walked on this for a little under 1.3 miles. We then jumped into the woods and began our ascent up the north side of Signal. People rarely approach Signal from the north side, and I, therefore, was unable to find trip reports of this route as most people hike Signal with Butterfield from the south. I was expecting there to be more spruce but all that stood in our way was hobblebush. We managed to find a way around most of it but had to whack through some of it. Around 2300' the spruce line came in and the hobblebush would begin to thin out until 3000' when it was entirely gone. The last 300 vertical feet were very pleasant as there was nothing to whack! we walked through the nice open spruce on the summit plateau area and found the red Nalgene canister on the eastern side of the summit plateau. Unfortunately, the register was wet and unreadable. We took a few pictures of it and had a little snack before going down. If hiking Signal this fall, bring another register notebook to replace the current one. Signal was 126/452 for my New England 3000 Footers.

As we descended, we quickly came upon a large glade perfect for backcountry skiing my Dad jumped on this and we followed it down to the Signal/Goodwyn Col. It continued within 100 vertical feet of the 2600-foot col and seemed to drop off the southeastern side of the col. We continued up Goodwyn which was open. No register was found as this peak has less than 160 feet of prominence. We dropped off the backside of Goodwyn through mostly open hardwoods and down to a small road spur that ends abruptly on Gaia GPS. Before we hit this road, the woods were pencil woods and it was a little muddy we cleared this quickly and continued to the next road. We then followed a powerline back to Seyon Lodge where pancakes and bacon were waiting for us.

After breakfast, my Mom and I started biking towards Silver Ledge. This peak has a trail to the summit. However, because of the flooding in July, the trailhead is unaccessible by car since the road is washed out. Instead of your hike being 1.2 miles, it turns into 2.8. We stashed our bikes at the trailhead and hiked up to Silver Ledge. The trail crossed a small stream that had flooded the trail and woods back in July. The trail then goes up a ridge to the summit area where there are multiple large erratics and 1 nice viewpoint with another through the trees. We walked back to the bikes and biked down to 232. My Mom biked back to Seyon Lodge and I continued on the Cross Vermont Trail towards Deer Mountain. I reached the Deer Mountain trailhead at the nature center near Lake Groton. I hiked up the nature trails, then the Telephone Line Trail which connected to the Coldwater Brook Trail. This put me about a half mile below the summit. These trails were relatively easy and I hiked them faster than I had anticipated. I hiked up to and then up to the Big Deer Mountain spur and found the summit which also had multiple erratics scattered around along with a nice view to the south of Lake Groton and a view to the east of Devil's Hill. Big Deer was 15/20 for me on the NEK Mountain Challenge. After spending a few minutes at the summit I turned around and headed toward Little Deer Mountain. I quickly summited Little Deer which also offered a view south. This time, however, it was more directed to Signal Mountain. I descended the Telephone Line Trail back to the trailhead and biked up to New Discovery where I met my Dad after he had climbed a few hours at Marshfield Ledge.

This is the first part of my two-day peakbagging excursion in Groton. I will post day #2 soon. I am new here and am just learning how to use it I will be posting trip reports for New England 3000 Footers and New England 1000 Highest