Cabins & Trails

General Resources

TAM maps

USFS Topographic maps

The Green Mountain Club (includes maps for purchase)

Adirondack Mountain Club

Fortnightly Features 

Spotlight on nearby trails: MMC loves these trails, and you will too.​ We choose accessible day hikes that you can hike on your own time.

Burgin Lodge

When we woke up the sky was just beginning to lighten above the Snow Bowl. The woods were quiet except for a few small streams carrying the recent snowmelt, and we saw no one on the walk down except for a few Rikert employees. When we got back to campus, I was exhausted but my clothes smelled like wood smoke and fresh pine and I already couldn’t wait for the next time I go to the Burgin Lodge.

The Burgin Lodge opened just a few weeks ago on one of the trails at Rikert Nordic Center. Built in honor of Ian Burgin (’08), this backcountry cabin is close to Middlebury and accessible without a car. Don’t be deceived by the word backcountry, though, because staying at the Burgin Lodge is really more like glamping. The cabin is beautifully constructed, insulated, and has a woodstove with plenty of wood. Though there is no electricity or running water, compared to most backcountry standards this is luxurious.

We stayed at the cabin last night in possibly the grossest weather yet this winter. We arrived just as it was getting dark and immediately started a fire with the convenient stack of kindling next to the stove. In no time chili was simmering on the stove and the cabin was warm and cozy.

If staying here is this fun in 50-degree, rainy weather with class the next day, I can only imagine what it’s like when there is plenty of snow—and time—to explore the area around the lodge. With such a good basecamp there are endless adventures here in all seasons.

If you go the Burgin Lodge, reserve the cabin on Ideal Logic. If you don’t have a car you can get to Rikert on the ACTR bus. Make sure to bring enough water, as there is no nearby source at the cabin, and leave yourself at least one hour of daylight to get to the cabin from the Rikert parking lot, especially if you are unfamiliar with the trails (the snowshoe trails at Rikert don’t always line up with the map, so your best bet is to follow the ski trails up to the cabin).

Winter hiking note: Make sure to bring plenty of warm clothes. Snowshoes, cross country skis, and warm jackets can all be rented from the Gear Room for free.

Happy hiking!

Mt. Abe
The leaves are almost all gone and there is snow in the mountains! Pack some warm clothes and get up there to remind yourself how much fun winter is.
            Mt. Abe is the closest “big mountain” to campus, and the fifth highest peak in Vermont. Although I’ve hiked it many times before, the beautiful trail and rewarding views at the top never get old.
            There are two ways to get to the summit of Abe: either up the Long Trail from the top of Lincoln Gap, or up Battell Trail, which joins the Long Trail just before the Battell Shelter. The Battell Trail is a slightly longer approach, but is in my opinion a more well-built (and less crowded) trail. It is also more accessible in the winter when the Lincoln Gap is closed. This time of year fallen leaves sometimes make the trail hard to see, but it’s easy to follow the blue blazes until you come to the junction with the Long Trail.
            This time of year it is still late fall at the trailhead, but as you get higher the snow appears, and by the summit there are a few inches. Early on a Sunday morning there is almost nobody on the trails, and the woods are completely silent except for a hiss of sleet falling. Though there are still at least a few weeks before Middlebury looks like this, it’s exciting to get a first taste of winter. Happy Hiking!

Battell Trail parking to summit: 3 miles
Difficulty level: difficult
For directions to the Battell Trailhead and more information, visit go/fortnightlyfeature

*Winter hiking note: As of this weekend microspikes were not necessary to climb Abe, but depending on the weather conditions could change quickly. If you plan to hike in the Greens, you can rent a pair of microspikes from the Gear Room for free. And remember to bring plenty of warm layers—it’s much colder in the mountains than in Middlebury.

Happy hiking!

Bristol Ledges Trail

The Bristol Ledges Trail is the perfect hike for when you're looking for something short and close by, but with super sweet views. Plus, with the snow that rolled in over the weekend, some of the major hikes in the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks are getting harder to do without winter gear (however, if you're interested, you can borrow all the gear you need from the gear room in FIC on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-7:00). But if you're feeling like it's too early in the year to put on your snow boots, stick to this lower elevation hike with rewarding views. The hike is about 3 miles round trip, with ledges at the top facing out towards downtown Bristol. This is a great spot to watch the sunset; bring a picnic and some friends. There is no parking at the trailhead, so park in town (the parking lot of Shaw's works well). From Main Street going east, turn left on Mountain Street, then the first right on Mountain Terrace. At the end of the road, look for a gate that has a sign for Bristol Ledges Trail. Happy Hiking!
 Bristol Ledges Trail
Difficulty: Easy
Round trip distance: 3 miles
Driving Time (one-way): 20 minutes
Happy hiking!

Fortnightly Feature Fall Break Special: No-car-needed trails:

One downside to living in rural Vermont is that to go anywhere exciting, you usually need a car. However, there are a few trails you can get to from Middlebury College by walking or public transportation, so for those of you who are staying on campus over fall break we’ve put together a list of our favorites.
The closest trail to Middlebury, is, of course, the Trail Around Middlebury. Many of you have probably walked out to the organic garden on it at some point, but the TAM extends for 16 miles around the entire town. This makes for great running or walking. One of our favorite spots on the TAM is the Gorge section in Weybridge, which runs in a loop along the Otter Creek and up through a cow pasture. The trail is well-maintained and mostly easy grade. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, try Chipman Hill, a moderately steep but short climb with views looking back towards campus at the top. There are several trails you can take that come out at a few different entry points, so go explore! An interactive map can be found at go/tamtrail. If you want a little more wilderness try taking the  ACTR bus  to the top of the Middlebury gap. From here you can follow the Long Trail north or south for as long as you want. For a short, moderately steep hike with good views, go to the top of the Snow Bowl on the Long Trail South. Make sure you check out Lake Pleiad on your way (there is a sign marking the short side trail). If you want a longer hike, you can stay on the LT past the top of the Snow Bowl, where it follows a narrow ridge through beautiful high-elevation forest with some partial views on both sides.
You can also head north from the gap, to Silent Cliff (0.8 mi one way) or Breadloaf Mountain (5.1 miles one way), both of which have views. If you want to do a loop, try splitting off the LT on the Burnt Hill Trail,which connects to the Norske trail at the bottom. In the winter this is a ski trail (maintained by the MMC!), but this time of year it’s not too wet to hike and you can follow it back up to Rt. 125, where it comes out across from the Snow Bowl driveway. In total this loop is 6.7 miles, moderate difficulty.
The best part about the Long Trail and the TAM is that you can make your hike as long and hard as you want. There are a lot of cool spots on these trails, so we recommend you take advantage of fall weather and fall break to go exploring!
Happy hiking!

Noonmark Mountain:

This week we ventured across the bridge to New York and into the Adirondacks for a moderate day hike up Noonmark Mountain, in the heart of the High Peaks. From the trailhead on Ausable Road, it is a 2.4 mile one-way hike to the summit over mostly moderate terrain. The trail gets steep near the top, but there are several rock outcroppings along the way where you can catch views of Giant Mountain to the north and the Great Range to the west. Once you're at the summit, bask in the glory of Keene Valley, the 360-degree view of the High Peaks Region, and the New England fall foliage we all love! The vibrant fall colors are a definite perk of hiking Noonmark now, as the trees change earlier in the Adirondacks than they do here in Middlebury.
After you’ve had your fill of incredible views, reward yourself for a good hike by stopping by Noon Mark Diner in the nearby town of Keene Valley for a slice of their legendary pie. If you’re still feeling adventurous, go for a swim in Chapel Pond on your way home. By the time you get back to campus, we hope you’ll be ready and waiting for your next Adirondack adventure. Happy Hiking!

Primary Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 86 and Route 73 in Lake Placid, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue through Keene and Keene Valley and proceed to Saint Huberts. Locate the trailhead for Giant Mountain and Roaring Brook Falls on the left. The parking for Noonmark is directly across the road.This 2.4 mile, one way, hike is over moderate to steep terrain. From the parking lot (parking is not permitted on the road past the parking area) walk up the dirt road for around 0.25 miles to the register at the trailhead for Noonmark Mountain. The trail starts on a private driveway for 0.2 mi. before the foot trail bears right just before a large barn at the end of the driveway. From this point the trail is moderate as it follows an old woods road. At a bit over 0.5 miles from the trailhead you will come to the intersection for Noonmark Mountain on the right. 

Address for Noon Mark Diner:
1770 NY-73 Scenic, Keene Valley, NY 12943

Noonmark Mountain
Round trip hiking: 4.8 mi
Round trip driving time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Snake Mountain:

Snake Mountain is the classic Midd hike—it’s close, relatively easy, and has great views of the Champlain valley. Unfortunately, there have been middkids who go up to see some foliage and end up on the other side of the mountain because they turn onto the wrong trail. But if you’re paying attention, it’s not that hard to stay on the right trail. Here's how:

The two main trails up Snake go from the West (Addison) or East (Weybridge) sides. The West side is the most popular. To get there, follow these directions to the parking lot. You have to walk south along the road a few hundred yards before you hit the trail. You will come to a T intersection about a third of the way up—take a left here, going uphill on an old carriage road. The trail to the right leads down through a meadow and merges onto a farm road, eventually ending at a gate on Mountain Rd Extension. This is a nice alternate route to the main trail, but since there is no parking lot you will have to pull off on the side of the road. (Directions are here)

The main trail is easy to follow up to the summit, a concrete slab that used to be a hotel. Just before the summit there is a split and a trail keeps heading north—stay on the main road to get to the top.

A shorter, slightly steeper trail branches off from the main road just after the T intersection—you will see a large green stop sign saying the cliffs are closed from March 15 to August 1 for peregrine falcon nesting. Follow this trail up to an old pond and partial views of the valley. To get to the real summit from here, walk North across the rock ledge and into the woods on a narrower trail. There is another peregrine falcon sign at the top of this trail where it joins the main road.

The Weybridge trail is slightly longer, but less crowded. Directions to the parking lot are here. The trail goes through a small meadow, past a gate and up to some beaver ponds. It joins the main road at the steep switchback 0.3 mi above the T intersection.

Depending on which trail you take, the hike is about 2 hours round trip, with mostly easy to moderate climbing. Happy hiking!

Skylight Pond:
Skylight Pond is another easy day hike in the Greens that's not too far away from campus. While there's no view at the top, there is (as the name suggests) a beautiful pond and a cabin with a porch where you can have a picnic! The trail is easy to follow and climbs for 2.6 miles through a mossy forest, crossing a few streams towards the beginning. Directions are here​--a sign marks the parking lot on the right.

Buck Mountain:
Buck Mountain is a great place to spend a lazy spring day enjoying the sunshine and views of the Adirondacks. For how short of a hike it is, this mountain has some of the best views in Addison County. It also happens to be close to Vergennes, where you can grab something to eat before or after your hike (the Vergennes Laundry is an especially yummy bakery).
Directions to the trailhead are here​. There are a few pull-offs for parking. Avoid the muddy section at the beginning by taking a cut-off trail, which comes out a bit farther down the road, by the second pull-off if you are heading east.

The Gorge TAM: 
Take a study break and check out this awesome section of the TAM! The gorge trail is one of the less muddy trails in the area right now and is within walking distance of campus (though there is parking if you want to drive). This trail makes a great running or walking loop through open woods, a cow pasture and above the Otter Creek gorge. There is even a picnic table in the field next to the road on the north side so you can sit and enjoy the sunshine! 
Click here ​for a map (find section 5 of the TAM).

Abbey Pond:
Only a 15 minute drive from campus, Abbey Pond Trail follows a stream up to a beautiful pond​. The trail is 4.2 miles long, becoming steep at times but flattening out for the latter half. There are three stream crossings--the first has a bridge, and the other two can be crossed on rocks. Microspikes are recommended, especially for the stream crossings which can be icy this time of year. Click here for directions, and here for a trail map and more detailed description of the route.