We’re deep into mud season in Vermont, but I was hoping that a lower elevation hike over in the Champlain Valley might be a little more dried out.  Snake Mountain is only 1287′ high and, in general, the valley tends to be a lot warmer than my side of the mountains so their snow has been gone much longer.  All the snow in my yard just melted this week!

The 1.8-mile trail to the summit from the west side of the mountain is all on old logging roads through the Wilmarth Woods Natural Area and the Snake Mountain Wildlife Management Area.  The roads at the bottom certainly started out very muddy, but what looked like a social trail to the side turned out to be a marked trail, so we had a dry option sometimes.

We were excited to see signs of spring ephemerals – trout lily leaves all around, although not yet blooming.

Then we started seeing blooming bloodroot!

Then hepatica!

There were flowers everywhere at the bottom so it was a very exciting start to the hike.  Some vernal pools with egg masses got Corrie even more excited, and from one higher on the mountain, we could hear lots of spring peepers.

Elderberries and fungi rounded our our exciting identifications as we made our way up the mountain.

The top of the mountain still has a foundation from a hotel that was there in the 1870s.  We sat there for a long time enjoying the view of the Champlain Valley, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondacks over in New York.  It was sunny and 65° so there was no rush to go anywhere.

On the way down, we were rewarded with one more spring ephemeral, an almost blooming trillium.

The flowers haven’t started on my side of the mountains yet but I’m looking forward to them popping up soon.