Happy Trails to You: Spruce Mountain

By Lancee Whetman, Forum Contributor

Winter is upon us, so layer up and let’s go enjoy the snow-covered mountains!

This month we’re headed an hour away to Spruce Mountain in L.R. Jones State Forest—Vermont’s first—located in Plainfield, Vermont.

In sleet, snow, or sunshine, Spruce Mountain is a calm and enchanting procession through the woods. 4.4-miles roundtrip and 1,300 feet of elevation gain, this hike is a moderate, well-traveled trail with troves of spruce trees lining the way. Make sure to grab your spikes for extra traction because there are slick patches of ice to maneuver.

And keep an eye out because you may be able to spot the fungi Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum) or otherwise known as “the canvas of the forest.” If you’re feeling creative, you can etch a sketch on the surface of the fungi for a lovely mountain memory.

When you finally reach the summit, a four-story fire tower, conquer your fear of heights and embark to the top! You’ll be rewarded with stunning wintry mountaintop views. Consider bringing a thermos with your favorite warm tea or cider to stay warm on the tower.

After a careful descent, treat yourself to a celebratory meal. For some southern style comfort food, swing on over to Down Home Kitchen (100 Main St., Montpelier, downhomekitchenvt.com) and try the chicken and waffles—you won’t regret it.
Well, what another great day in the books! As always Swans, until we meet again, happy trails to you.

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