The first of many perfect summer days. Bring your favorite hiking pals. Meet at the Bristol Bakery for breakfast. Drop a car a the Jerusalem Trailhead, and travel onto the Battell Trailhead in Lincoln, Vermont. After two miles of steady climbing, the trail connects with the Long Trail. Shortly after Mount Abe, look for a small cairn on your left. A well-worn but unmarked trail leads to a small plane that crashed into Mount Abe in 1973. Legend has it that the occupants survived with scrapes and bruises, but were unaware of the proximity to the Long Trail and bushwhacked to the town of Lincoln.
The next few miles feel like rolling hills as you travel along the spine of the green mountains. Between the trees, Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks are visible to the west. Sugarbush Ski Area is located to the east. Take a break on the deck of the Sugarbush Ski Patrol house and enjoy the view.
Continue on to Mount Ellen, one of five four-thousand footers in Vermont. The summit is below the tree line, but there is a small sign acknowledging the summit. The Jerusalem trail will be on your left. Follow it to the cars.
Variation: Watch for Mad River Glen’s Siptemberfest or the Fall Foliage Weekend Chairlift Rides. Instead of taking the Jerusalem Trail, go a little further on the Long Trail, and take the single chairlift down the mountain. The scenery is spectacular. The chair lift will end at the base of the ski area, with music, food, and beverages. Make sure you planned ahead and dropped a car at Mad River Glen instead of the Jerusalem Trailhead!