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Sterling Pond Trail to Long Trail via Smugglers Notch Pass.
If you fund yourself in the Stowe, VT area during the summer months, Smugglers Notch Resort has a great array of trails for hiking around it’s three different mountains, Morse mtn. Madonna mtn. and Steeling mtn. The trails range from moderate to hard and include x-country skiing and mtn bike trails as well. One thing to note is that the altitude range is from 1100′ and the base to 3640′ at the top of Madonna mtn so it’s important to pace yourself at a pace slower than you might be used to if your not accustomed to higher altitude hiking.
Sterling Pond trail is a great late morning to early afternoon hike that will take about 3 hours or so including so resting time at the top for a beautiful view and some lunch. The trail starts across from the parking area at right in the middle of the Notch and has about a 880 foot vertical ascent. This is about 3 miles south of Smugglers Notch Resort on Rt 108. The start of the trail consists of old wood/rock steps that in some spots are better avoided. Since the trail is pretty popular, it well cared for and easy to navigate as long as you use general precausion on slipperly rocks and such.