Mansfield Mountain - Sunset Ridge - Long Trail- Loop

#1 of 7 trails in Underhill State Park

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This loop starts on one of the most popular trails, Sunset Ridge and is a 5.7 mile strenuous hiking trail near Underhill, Vermont. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing.

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James Macduff (182)

47 Completed3 Reviews

Sunset Ridge trail - earned 5 stars because it is a challenging and fun trail when done during pleasant weather or with the proper equipment. Hiked this trail yesterday and there was ample snow and ice above treeline- got less than 0.5mi from the Chin before having to turn around. Bummer! Mt. Mansfield will likely be snowcapped for the rest of the season; be careful.

Baer Tierkel (1204)

27 Completed13 Reviews

We wimped out and drove to the top, and then hiked to the summit. Still, such a wonderful spot!

John Parizeau (83)

3 Completed2 Reviews

What a great hike !!! Did it on Friday after Labor Day so we were pretty much on our own. We're in our fifties so we were a bit sore the next day, but well worth it !! Hope to do it again soon !

Mary JM (309)

7 Completed7 Reviews

Seriously a kickass hike!!! Strenuous enough to give you a great work and well worth the scenery!!!

Maria Wishart (5313)

56 Completed79 Reviews

My husband and I are working on hiking all of Vermont's 4000-footers, which is manageable because there are five! This was our second one. We hiked up the Sunset Ridge Trail which is accessed by the CCC Road which is an easy one mile walk from the parking area through a wooded section with a small gradual incline. At what looks like a dead-end there will be a box to sign in at, an informational board and a picnic table. Take a left to access Sunset Ridge Trail. It's always difficult to say how difficult or challenging a hike is because people are at different levels when they read these. Some people have hiked a ton of mountains, others more cross-country style hiking and others not much experience. For us, we've been hiking for about 2 years and have done both Massachusetts and Connecticut on the Appalachian Trail, hiked all over Greylock and summited that over 20 times, if not more, and various other trails/smaller mountains. The incline up is very rocky, which is positive because with rocks, you gain elevation a bit easier than with dirt trail. Watch your footing in spots because there's a lot of roots. There are steps here and there and the trail is very well maintained. I would highly suggested the short side trip to Cantilever Rock. Beautiful views and a great resting spot. After this side trail the climb will become steeper as you go above tree line but the views are breathtaking. Though there are many people on the trail, the spacing between them is not too tight because everyone we encountered had slowed at this point. Soon you'll see the hunk of rock of Mansfield "the chin" summit. Eventually the trail leads into the Long Trail for your final summit push. Views are beautiful but you will encounter crowds on a nice day. Stay on the trail because there is fragile alpine vegetation.
We continued down the Long Trail across the ridgeline which takes you over the Upper Lip and Lower Lip to the visitor center (which is pretty run down but has some information about the mountain and no bathrooms, just port-a-potties). I'd highly recommend crossing over the ridgeline. It's beautiful.
We continued on to the Nose (you can't summit because of radio/tv towers) then on to the Forehead to take the Maple Ridge Trail down. Warning! The Maple Ridge Trail is extremely steep and has a lot of smooth slab to descend. Probably easier going up then down. On this descent you are above tree line for a good portion of the hike. We chose to sit and slide at points due to the grade and smoothness of the rock and then there were some rock scrambles. If you go down this way you will (after 2.1mi) come to the CCC Road. Take note: This is not the same section of it you left at the beginning of your hike. You will have to hike along this part of the CCC Road for about a mile before reaching the area with the picnic table, then another mile back to the car.

Though this hike is challenging, it is probably my favorite. The views are well worth every step you take. Just take your time and enjoy!

Trista Cronin (58)

9 Completed1 Reviews

This is by far my favorite hike I've ever done. I chose to do Sunset Ridge both out and back. I got to the parking area of Underhill State Park just in time as it was already mostly full. I paid $3, which was not only manageable but worth it. I left parking lot around 10:15am and took the Eagle Cut to the trailhead - a nice surprise cardio/warm-up! The rest of the hike was a good variety of gradual incline throughout the lower portion followed by some hand-over-hand climbing spots (my favorite!) as you approach the tree line. I highly recommend taking the quick detour to Cantilever Rock. Although I've been told the rock itself is no longer accessible, the trail will put you right at the base of a boulder directly underneath Cantilever that, when climbed, serves as both a great resting/snack spot and lookout point! Once above tree line, the trail spoils you with breathtaking views until the very last step. The temperature at the base that day was in the mid 70s, but at the summit it was significantly windy and colder. My fingers were going a bit numb by the time I finished my lunch and began my descent. There's lots of room for exploring at the summit, so take the time to poke around and enjoy all the different views! I got back to my car around 5:30pm. Overall an incredibly beauitful and rewarding hike. The trails were fairly busy--which I expected would be the case on a nice summer weekend--but it was not intolerable. I would love to do this hike again!

Eric Ruffin (14290)

123 Completed94 Reviews

Beautiful ridge hiking!

Steve Chapados (46)

1 Completed1 Reviews


Mike C (3323)

74 Completed27 Reviews

I did this hike with my wife and 2 year old daughter just last week. The trail is rugged and fun but quite a challenge with my daughter on my back. Despite the extra difficulty from carrying her, it was well worth the effort. This was also both my wife's and Daughter's first venture above the timber line so it was extra exciting to see them really take it in. A few sections require a bit of balance and climbing but it is not to challenging for beginners. The trail was well kept, and well marked. I was disappointed to see a good bit of trash along the way such as snack wrappers an toilet paper, however it wasn't so bad as to ruin the hike.

Mark Sawczuk (1389)

11 Completed6 Reviews

Fantastic Hike! It's a bit of a challenge in a few places if you are bringing dogs. (I had to lift my dogs up in 2-3 places about 5-6 feet where they couldn't get up or down on their own.) The winds can be quite strong at the top.