On Sunday, Caroline and I finally headed out for our first hike of the year. After six months of snow cover, temperatures way below freezing and roads covered with ice, spring has arrived and looks like it’s here to stay. Almost all snow has disappeared by now, except on the mountain peaks, and trees are starting to bud.
Although we’ve done a few snowshoe and cross-country ski trips, I had been looking forward to this first hike for several months. I don’t mind cold temperatures – I’d take cold over hot any time – but half a year of them is more than enough.
So, on Sunday, we drove to Lake Morey in Fairlee, Vermont, a beautiful lake, and hugely popular in summer, that lies about 15 minutes from where we live. The trailhead lies on the shore of the lake, across the road from the boat ramp and paved parking lot. While driving around the lake, it’s impossible to miss.
Hiking Bald Top Mountain – A Perfect Sunday Afternoon
The trail to the summit of Bald Top Mountain is actually a section of the much longer Cross Rivendell Trail, a 36-mile hiking trail the runs from Vershire in eastern Vermont to Orford in western New Hampshire.
The distance from the Lake Morey trailhead to the summit of Bald Top Mountain is 3.3 miles. It’s a fairly easy hike, with a few short and rather steep sections, none of which provide a challenge to speak. The trail climbs gradually enough to raise your heartbeat, though, which is always a good thing.
It winds through dense woodlands, still leafless this time of year and somewhat looking like a dead forest, crosses a couple of tumbling mountain streams and runs over lesser mountain tops until it arrives at the top of Bald Top Mountain. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there.
More hiking in New Hampshire: Mount Moosilauke
Though the top is, in fact, bald, it’s only because all trees and shrubs are cut down up there. I have no idea why, but it does create an absolutely great summit. Nearly 360-degree views take in both the Green Mountains of Vermont to the west and the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the east.
There’s an expansive patch of soft grass at the summit, making it a potentially amazing place for a picnic on a sunny afternoon.
We rested our legs for a while and shot some photos and videos, before heading back down. The way down is, of course, much faster and took us roughly 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Hiking Bald Top Mountain is a fun activity to do on a Sunday afternoon, a round trip that takes about 3 hours in total. Definitely make sure to bring a picnic if you go! Not knowing that the summit would be this great, we didn’t bring any food at all, a mistake that we will not make again.
I think I can say that we’ll definitely be back up there later, with a towel and a picnic. (How do cheese, pepperoni, a baguette, honey and some fruit sound?). It’s a wonderful place to lie in the sun and read a book!