We chose to start the Long Trail off Route 108 near the Smuggler's Notch Picnic area. The drive was very neat with winding narrow roads along the mountain passing boulders... drive with caution here. We were determined to hike up to the chin (highest point of Mount Mansfield). We are both relatively fit and used this opportunity to train for an upcoming trip to Mount Kilimanjaro. Boy, this was probably one of the hardest hikes for me so far. It took us about 2.5 hours to reach the top (sadly, we went on a cloudy day and didn't see much). When we went we crossed streams and mini waterfalls (likely due to snow melting) which was very cool. Take snacks and water and wear proper gear (i.e. good hiking shoes with good tread, jacket for the summit). While the hike up was a cardio workout, the hike down is what did me in. My knees hurt and quads got a really good workout. I would do this again even if I didn't get to enjoy the view from the top. If you love to hike and don't mind a challenge, Mt Mansfield is a must.
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