Mansfield Mountain - Sunset Ridge - Long Trail- Loop

#1 of 7 trails in Underhill State Park

Join the largest community of outdoor enthusiasts.

Get Started

Upgrade to Pro

Unlimited access to National Geographic TOPO! & Trails Illustrated Maps

Learn More »

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.

Sunset Ridge Trail
Long Trail
CCC Road

Start at Underhill State Park

Trail Starts at Underhill State Park. Park here for a fee in Summer
Parking on road only in winter about 1 mile down.

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

53 Completed 74 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!

Icon_


N/A:

7 Completed 1 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!

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

59 Completed 30 Reviews

Beautiful ridge hiking!

Person_placeholder


N/A:

1 Completed 1 Reviews

Wow!

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

56 Completed 17 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.

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

11 Completed 6 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.

Icon_


N/A:

1 Completed 1 Reviews

Amazing hike, going up on sunset ridge trail and walking along the ridge was very nice with the view on lake Champlain on one side and smuggler's notch on the other. The only down side would have to be the end of the loop, we used a trail called "half way house" which is actually a rather steep creek and could be un pleasant to some (we will go back and try to come down from one of the many other paths because it is otherwise an amazing place to hike).

Note, there are a lot of people, many with dogs (most do not keep them on leashes).

Icon_ad1c7d4c4d903d051c6102f0653a0ede


N/A:

22 Completed 2 Reviews

Stayed up at Stowe this past weekend and, given the lack of snow for skiing, decided to hike the mountain instead. It was warm, but not too warm (in the 50s at base) with overcast skies.

We took the Long Trail up. Despite the lack of snow on the mountain, the trail still had plenty of snow - especially as we reached the higher elevations. The lower portions had packed snow and ice from foot travel. As we moved higher the snow became less compressed and we would have a foot sink in every few steps in some of the less traveled areas.

Once out of the woods the snow and ice made for slow going up the steep rocky areas - I stopped to put on my gloves so I could use my hands in the snow - but a manageable final ascent at any rate. Up at the top visibility was great despite the cloud cover. The breeze made it a bit colder but not bad considering it was a March hike.

Not wanting to slide and fall down the snow-covered trails, we took the Cliff Walk to the Gondola coming back down. Definitely had several stretches of skiing on boots from the snow and steepness. At the gondola we decided to continue down the half-covered ski trail - it quickly turned into a sprint down the mountain, slipping and sliding down the slushy snow and slogging through the mud.

Overall a highly enjoyable trail despite the wintry conditions. Great variable terrain with some bouldering mixed in. Ascent: about 3 hours. Descent: about a half hour. Skinning/sprinting down a ski trail takes far less time!

Icon_b72863685ed55792064aa1fa556702b6


N/A:

12 Completed 1 Reviews

Awesome hike! I hiked the sunset ridge route with my jack russel terrier Nellie all the way to the summit. The conditions on top were very cold and windy but the view was stunning. You can see lake champlain and across to NY and the adirondacks. On the way down it was a bit steep and I had to carry her over some tricky parts above the tree line. Overall a really good day hike with fantastic scenery and views that really make it worth the trip. :)

Person_placeholder


N/A:

16 Completed 2 Reviews

Went last year in February with my dad and brother. Bring a sled it is awesome

Support