Time  7 hours 14 minutes

Coordinates 1784

Uploaded June 27, 2016

Recorded June 2016

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-
4,259 f
1,699 f
0
3.0
6.1
12.12 mi

Viewed 345 times, downloaded 7 times

near Telemark Village, Vermont (United States)

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Stage 143

⇐ Link to the previous stage: 142 - APPALACHIAN TRAIL AND LONG TRAIL - VERMONT -Section 4.2 and 5.1 -Governor Clement / Swansong Shelter, to Bear Mt. and Rt VT-140
⇒ Link to the next stage: 144 - APPALACHIAN TRAIL AND LONG TRAIL - VERMONT - Section 3.2 - Route US-4 - Rutland VT, to Notown - Stony Brook Road

Tour of the Appalachian Trail ( Appalachian Trail ), passing through the state of Vermont (United States), on this occasion, and exceptionally, in a north-south direction, for reasons exclusively of logistics.

The stage corresponds to section 4.1 according to the official distribution of sections of the Appalachian Trail in the state of Vermont, and begins at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail with US-4, near the town of Rutland, VT, ending shortly after passing the Governor Clement Shelter, in a private refuge called Swansong Shelter, that some walkers have known for years with the bombastic name of "secret shelter".

The day is dry and sunny, with a fairly high temperature, mitigated in part by the shade offered by the dense forest.

The route of this stage, which is developed through the Coolidge Range, in the Green Mountains, coincides in its layout with that of a section of the Long Trail, which is the oldest long distance trail in the United States, created between 1910 and 1930, with a total length of 438 km. (always through the state of Vermont), from the boundary of this state with Massachusetts, in the vicinity of the town of Williamstown, MA, to very close to the Canadian border, in North Troy, Vermont.

The main goal of this day is the ascent to Killington Peak (4,241 feet), the highest peak of the Appalachian Trail as it passes through the state of Vermont, and the second highest peak in the entire state.

The ascent from the north is quite gradual, surpassing a difference of 2,360 feet spread over 10 km. of route, in which is observed little by little as the dominant vegetation of maples, birches and other deciduous trees, is transformed as we gain altitude, in a forest of fir and other conifers.

The old trail of the Appalachian Trail and the Long Path ran along this stretch on a different route, now called the Sherburne Pass Trail, which borders the Peak Peak (3,957 feet) to the east.

The road to the summit presents no major difficulties, but once the Cooper Lodge (3,900 feet) is reached, a side path, identified with blue markers, invites us and tempts us to climb to the mere summit of Killington Peak, located at only 300 meters away.

Naturally, we climb, and the ascent is short, but very steep and rocky. In some sections you have to use your hands and feet and try to hold on to the roots of trees and rocks. Once up, the show is extraordinary. An almost 360º view over the Green Mountains, from Glastenbury Mountain, to the south, to Mt. Mansfield, to the north, with the bottom of the Taconic and Adirondack Ranges in the state of New York, and of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. To the southeast you can also see Mt. Ascutney, and to the west, the city of Rutland.

Returning to the trail, we descend the Killington Peak to the south, with a difference similar to that of ascent, but less gradual, and with a small section quite rocky and steep.

In the final part of the stage, the AT passes through the Governor Clement Shelter, a refuge of stone walls located almost on the banks of Sargent Brook, and that has good facilities, but a bad reputation, derived from the fact that in the past it was frequented by local hikers, who met in this place to spend the weekends and get drunk, leaving the place made a dunghill. It seems that this problem has been solved already, cutting off the easy access of vehicles, through the numerous gravel roads that exist in the area.

In spite of everything, and not to risk to spend a sleepless night by the presence of a large group of divers, we observed that it was camped next to this refuge, we decided to continue a little further, until we found the famous "secret refuge" of the that many "hikers" speak, built on a private property close to the path, but of which there are very few references that allow to locate it with precision.

The Swansong Shelter, or "Secret Shelter" is actually a small shelter, with capacity for four or five people, built with great care and dedication, a few years ago, on a private property located near the trail, a mile (1, 6 km) south of the Governor Clement Shelter.

There are no signs, nor any announcement indicating the situation of this refuge, which had its moment of splendor six or seven years ago, but which is currently semi-abandoned. Reaching him is not difficult, if you follow the indications that are mentioned below, but we really think that, with everything, at present the Governor Clement Shelter is the best option.

To get to the Swansong Shelter walking from south to north, one mile before the Governor Clement Shelter, we will find a gravel road for vehicles, which crosses the Sargent Brook through a wide concrete bridge with wooden sides. The AT continues this gravel road for 300 meters to the west, and then deviates to the right to continue through the hill to the Governor Clement Shelter.

If you want to get to the Swansong Shelter, just continue that gravel road to the west, about 300 meters more (instead of taking the detour to the right that follows the AT), to a point where the gravel road reaches another perpendicular road, called Gilman Road, forming an intersection in T. If we follow the branch line on the right for 20 meters, we will find on our left the secret refuge, located 50 meters from the road and visible from it.

As we said, that refuge had its moment of splendor, but nowadays it has little or no maintenance (the table is destroyed, the latrine has been removed, there is no sign to find the water supply, and the cobwebs have taken over little to little of the place ....). We were able to condition it well for the night, but with the feeling that, in spite of its old bad reputation, it would have been preferable to use the Governor Clement Shelter.
Parking

Inicio de la etapa. Intersección del AT con la ruta US-4, Rutland, VT

Inicio de la etapa. Intersección del AT con la ruta US-4, Rutland, VT
Photo

Tramo del sendero de subida. Algo empinado pero poco rocoso

Tramo del sendero de subida. Algo empinado pero poco rocoso
River

Pequeño torrente

Pequeño torrente
panorama

Vista panorámica. Mendon Lookout

Vista panorámica. Mendon Lookout
Photo

Sendero. Zona con más abetos

Sendero. Zona con más abetos
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Intersection

Intersección del AT con el Sherburne Pass Trail a Pico Camp (3.480 pies)

Intersection of the AT with the Sherburne Pass Trail to Pico Camp (3,480 feet)
Photo

Tramo de sendero bastante llano, próximo a la cresta

Tramo de sendero bastante llano, próximo a la cresta
Photo

Corta subida escalonada

Corta subida escalonada
Intersection

Intersección del AT con el Bucklin Trail

Intersección del AT con el Bucklin Trail
Photo

Tramo final de subida hacia la cima del Killington Peak (4.241 pies)

Tramo final de subida hacia la cima del Killington Peak (4.241 pies)
Shelter

Cooper Lodge. Refugio

Cooper Lodge. Refugio
Photo

300 metros de empinada y rocosa subida al Killington Peak.

300 metros de empinada y rocosa subida al Killington Peak.
Summit

Cima del Killington Peak (4.241 pies) y vista panorámica

Cima del Killington Peak (4.241 pies) y vista panorámica
Photo

Sendero de bajada hacia el sur

Sendero de bajada hacia el sur
Intersection

Intersección del AT con el Shrewsbury Peak Trail

Intersección del AT con el Shrewsbury Peak Trail
Photo

Tramo de bajada muy empinado y rocoso

Tramo de bajada muy empinado y rocoso
Photo

Sendero en el tramo final, después del descenso

Sendero en el tramo final, después del descenso
Shelter

Governor Clement Shelter

Governor Clement Shelter
River

Robinson Brook

Robinson Brook
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Shelter

Swansong Shelter, refugio abierto a todos los senderistas, instalado en un terreno privado colindante a la Gilman Road

Swansong Shelter, shelter open to all hikers, installed on private land adjacent to the Gilman Road

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