Round trip hiking distance: 6miles
Round trip driving time: 1hr 15min
The leaves are almost all gone and there is snow in the mountains! Pack some warm clothes and get up there to remind yourself how much fun winter is.
Mt. Abe is the closest “big mountain” to campus, and the fifth highest peak in Vermont. Although I’ve hiked it many times before, the beautiful trail and rewarding views at the top never get old.
There are two ways to get to the summit of Abe: either up the Long Trail from the top of Lincoln Gap, or up Battell Trail, which joins the Long Trail just before the Battell Shelter. The Battell Trail is a slightly longer approach, but is in my opinion a more well-built (and less crowded) trail. It is also more accessible in the winter when the Lincoln Gap is closed, as you can still drive to the trailhead. This time of year fallen leaves sometimes make the trail hard to see, but it’s easy to follow the blue blazes until you come to the junction with the Long Trail.
This time of year it is still late fall at the trailhead, but as you get higher the snow appears, and by the summit there are a few inches. Early on a Sunday morning there is almost nobody on the trails, and the woods are completely silent except for a hiss of sleet falling. Though there are still at least a few weeks before Middlebury looks like this, it’s exciting to get a first taste of winter. Happy Hiking!