An Interesting Trail

Sterling Pond Trail, Image

Shannon scales Sterling Pond Trail

That’s all it took. Shannon noticed an interesting-looking trail, and moments later we had parked the car and were scrambling up rocky steps to who knew what.

We actually had no intention of hiking that afternoon. Our plans only included a scenic drive through Smuggler’s Notch on our way back from a short stop in Stowe, Vermont. The Notch is a winding 2,16- foot crag cleaved in Sterling Mountain.  Breathtaking views of rocky cliff walls and mountain waterfalls can be seen while threading your car through the bolder-strewn switch backs of what is now Route 108.  But if you’re lucky enough to have an eagle-eyed girl in the passenger seat, you can also see the trail head to Sterling Pond leading up the mountainside.

Sterling Pond Trail Waterfall, VermontSterling Pond trail ended up being more of a climb than a hike, with a 1,500-foot elevation gain over the 1.1 mile path. That’s basically like walking a flight of stairs from 14th Street in New York City to the top of the Empire State Building on 34th Street, plus a couple hundred feet. We felt surprisingly good on the ascent, though. Maybe these hikes are starting to undo the years of entropy that had turned us into large bags of jelly. One can only hope.

The actual hike was the most interesting we’ve been on during this trip. Much of the trail is a shallow brook that bubbled around rocks and over our feet as we made our way up the mountain. Countless tiny waterfalls sprang from nearby rocks and cascaded across our path. At the top, a large flat rock at the tip of Sterling Pond offered a welcome place to take in the stunning views and catch some sun–and our breath.

Sterling Pond Image

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2 Comments on “An Interesting Trail”

  1. Matt September 29, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    Nice picture of Sterling Pond, hopefully you guys had a chance to go around it and see the breath taking views from atop Smuggler’s Notch.



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