Hike Highlight: Bald Mountain trail takes you to the best views, with a bit of work
What to expect: This hike is a beautiful walk through the woods with something new to experience every season. Though very popular during fall foliage, the bare trees of winter give way to extended views at the Harbour Road, West Ridge Trail junction at the top, and the warmer temperatures tempt hikers to camp out overnight for a glimpse of those sunsets.
Start at the "White Rocks" trailhead on North Branch Street in Bennington, crossing through the Free Expression Tunnel and up 4- to 6-occasionally steep miles of forest to the White Rocks viewpoint. The trail is clearly marked, but tree blazes can occasionally drift apart — keep your eyes open! It is possible to wander off the trail.
Alternative: Begin your hike at the trailhead off Harbour Road in Woodford, or leave a car at both ends and carpool to experience both trails.
This is a popular, but usually lightly-trafficked, moderately-difficult trail. Experienced hikers may be able to summit and back quickly, but it's wise to leave at least six hours your first time up, especially if you plan on enjoying the views at the top.
Local tip: Though this year's Fourth of July festivities are postponed due to COVID-19, the White Rocks are a usually great place to camp out for an overhead view of the annual fireworks display, and they offer eagle-eyes hikers a chance to catch the displays of towns in nearby New York, as well. Keep your eyes open for rescheduling info.
Directions: North Branch Street, Bennington, Vt.
— Meggie Baker, calendar editor
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