Vermont has two major trail systems, the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail. We are lucky enough to have both trails intersecting not far from our house. Recently we had friends up for a few days; the weather was perfect so we decided to hike the Appalachian Trail. There is a wonderful short hike in Barnard that takes you to Luce’s Lookout. Luce’s Lookout is on the Appalachian Trail (AT) between Woodstock and Killington. You can start you hike on the AT from Route 12 or you can take the back roads up to a local trailhead for a much shorter hike, about 3 miles round trip. The trail is very easy to follow, you hike up an eroded road and take a sharp right at the Y, at that point you merge with the AT. Continue hiking until you see the sign for Luce’s Lookout.
The trail we took is a 3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Woodstock. When you get to the Lookout there is a small cabin with a lookout platform built on the roof, accessible by a steep ladder. Once you are on the lookout you just about have a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.
The cabin is open as a hiking shelter and you can spend the night there if you are a through hiker on the AT. There are no facilities but at least you have a roof over your head. It is also a very nice place to just sit and enjoy the scenery.
Although the trail is popular and used for hiking, nature trips, and birding we only meet a few people on the trail. It was a perfect morning hike with our friends, there was time for conversation, enjoying the scenery and getting a little exercise at the same time!
An excellent guide for hiking long distance trails in the United Stated can be found HERE.