I needed to get at least one hike in while I was in Vermont, and Equinox Mountain was recommended to me.  While not a 4,000 footer, it did have a 2840′ climb in the 3.1 miles to the summit.  I took the Blue Summit Trail from the Red Gate Parking Lot right in Manchester Village.  The trail appeared mostly packed down after last night’s snow, but a hiker returning to the parking lot had snowshoes on, so I strapped mine on and got moving.  I wore them the whole time and was glad to have them, even though they made hiking more difficult on the steep trail.

The trail started out wide…

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… then narrowed as it began to climb.

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The trees started crowding the trail as I got closer to the top.

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It was about 18° in the parking lot, but obviously colder as I got higher.  The wind hadn’t been a problem at lower elevations, but I was adding layers back on before I even got out of the trees.

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There is a visitor center at the summit at 3840′, although it and the road leading to it are closed for the winter.

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I walked all around the building to take in the views from its porch, but the wind was especially vicious and my hands were starting to freeze.

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After a few very quick photos, I ran back into the trees.

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I skipped the trail to Lookout Rock and got moving back down the mountain.  My hands very painfully started to get feeling back in them, making me feel slightly sick, so I stopped for a quick drink and snack, and to put on even more layers, before slipping and sliding as quickly as possible back to the parking lot.

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The hike took a little less than two and a half hours up, and a little less than an hour and a half down.  It was a great afternoon hike.