The first lead trip in COVID era with a full group of 10, awesome! We met at the trailhead to begin hike at 8:30 am. The parking lot is very small holding only about 5-8 cars squeezed in and the rest is road parking on this forest road. Began with review of hiking COVID practices followed by introductions with asking each person to introduce self and one other activity (or two if ranked evenly as a favorite) enjoy outside of hiking:
- Dale- biking, skiing/snowboarding
- Marcus- proofing Tess’s books for editing, running, photography
- Bamby- camping
- Tess- eating
- Ted- lying in bed during a virtual meeting with screen backdrop of some beautiful scenic locale
- Phil- driving fast cars
- Ethan- outdoor activities such as skiing
- Susan- overseeing her current house being built in Charlotte
- John- spending time with grandchildren
- Jill- dancing, specifically ballet
Most of us had never hiked this trail and for others it had been some time since hiked this trail so we were all in for a hike adventure. After introductions, we began the hike at 8:50 am. The first couple miles of the Cooley Glen trail portion of the hike was a fairly gradual elevation gain but did have a couple steep section runs and one where I noticed if talking it was a challenge to keep up the pace along with conversation.
The lower part of the trail felt warm and balmy once began hiking with temperatures at about 60 degrees F. The hiking trail is a beautiful wooded area with much fern growth and stream bed running alongside the trail.
During our ascent we only encountered 4 people descending the Cooley Glen Trail thus an excellent trail in terms of traffic flow. We arrived at the Cooley Glen Shelter at 10:30 am where we took a 15 minute break to have a snack. We all agreed the hike seemed to go fast up to this point.
A hiker Ethan met at the overnight hike done on Friday and Saturday was at the Cooley Glen Shelter with her dog so Ethan had a chance to speak with her again about how the hike was going.
We resumed our trek up to Mt. Grant on the Long Trail North at 10:45 am with arrival at the summit at 11:15 am. A very small summit area but an opening with beautiful views to the south of the Killington area as clear, sunny skies were the norm today.
We found an area for us to gather for the group picture on the summit and had some fun moments with the group photo. After the group photo, we headed back at 11:30 am to the shelter to break for lunch with ample room to spread out around the shelter area. Arrived at the shelter at 12 pm, where took our lunch break until 12:30 pm. This is where we encountered the last 3 hikers of the day.
Ted had some fun on the way down with some trail encounters involving blow downs and low tree limbs as Lorne asked for me to let him know about trail conditions. This gave Ted some ideas and thus some great photos. During our hike we discussed our next hike outside of the GMC as we put together a family hike with an outdoor/physically distancing housewarming party at Tess’s new home since recently moved to Waterbury.
One of the pictures that received the most attention was our friend the cecropia moth whom made his way into the spotlight video with a little trek along the wood bridge railing to Frank Sinatra song New York, New York, My Kind Of Town. We returned to the trailhead at 2 pm with a general consensus we enjoyed this hike as change of pace from the normal challenging/technical hikes that are physically demanding on the legs/knees. Just a nice all around hike to round out the Labor Day weekend!
Hike length 8 miles with 2,200 foot elevation gain, with no difficult scrambling tasks.
Hike participants: Ethan Arrowood, Marcus Keely, Tess Stimson, Bamby Pierpont-Bates, Phil Hazen, John Sharp, Jill George, Susan Tobin, Ted Albers and Dale Schmit(Hike Leader).
Photos: Dale Schmit, John Sharp, Ted Albers, & Marcus Keely.