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Ramapo
08-26-2013, 10:28
Hey all, I've been reading up on this site for awhile but this is my first actual post.

I'm planning on hiking the section from Manchester Center, VT - Gifford Woods State Park on Sept 14th-17th. I sectioned from Gifford Woods-Hanover previously so wanted to connect up with that to continue my sectioning the trail. My current idea was to park at Gifford Woods and get a shuttle down to the trailhead at Manchester Center and hike back north to my car. Any tips/insight for this section of the trail?

Also this will be the first time I'll be looking into using a shuttle (other sections I've either used multiple cars or done out and back). I've taken a look at the the AT shuttle list and looks like there's a few options in the area. Any recommendations on shuttlers for a solo hiker in this area?

Thanks!

Slo-go'en
08-26-2013, 11:04
Can't comment on shuttles. That will be a nice section at a nice time of year if the weather is good. Should be some color out.

The climb up and over Pico/Killington your first day is a grunt. Don't plan on staying at Cooper lodge, its made of stone and tends to be cold - and filled with trash since it's to close to the summit and tourists. The trail along the side of Killington is a bit stumbly with rocks and roots due to errosion from Iren. That can slow you down.

But once past there, the trail is pretty melow. Little Rock pond is nice and hope for a clear day on Bromley, it will be one of your only good vistas unless you take a side trip to the top of Killington.

Marmaduke
08-26-2013, 12:13
I spend a week every year hiking in this area and it's one of the most beautiful places on earth as far as I'm concerned. I stayed at cooper lodge two weeks ago and found it to be in pretty good shape, although the wind up there makes it pretty cold! Make sure you take the side trail up to the top of Killington, it's a pretty cool little climb. Clarendon gorge and little rock pond are two of my favorite spots to hang out and eat some lunch.......... Rutland is a great town to hop into and get Pizza (Ramunto's being one of my favorites in the USA)..... Baker peak south of the newly rebuilt Lost Pond Shelter is a fantastic viewpoint, along with the White Rocks Cliff trail, near all of the rock cairns located in what seems to be an enchanted forest. I could go on forever.........

Cosmo
08-28-2013, 18:13
I did the same section earlier this month. Park at the south end (Rts 11&30) and shuttle north to Gifford. Try <silcassano@gmail.com>, or other shuttle folks listed for Mass. As others have said, this is a beautiful section. I can report it's well maintained and in great shape. Climbs aren't as bad as the profile looks on the map.
Things to see, places to stay:
Governor Clement Shelter, great campsites near the river
Clarendon Shelter--really nicely cared for, giant lawn out front.
Clarendon Gorge--giant suspension bridge
White Rocks, cool crowd-sourced sculptures in spruce/balsam forest
Baker Peak, nice views to south and west
Little Rock Pond Shelter--3 years old, with loons on the pond
Big Branch Shelter, not particularly nice, but the giant suspension bridge is pretty cool. Campsites just beyond the bridge, none at the shelter to speak of.
Whistle Stop Deli, sadly, is closed.
Bromley summit. Ski area stuff up there, but great views.

Cosmo

Marmaduke
08-28-2013, 18:29
I did the same section earlier this month. Park at the south end (Rts 11&30) and shuttle north to Gifford. Try <silcassano@gmail.com>, or other shuttle folks listed for Mass. As others have said, this is a beautiful section. I can report it's well maintained and in great shape. Climbs aren't as bad as the profile looks on the map.
Things to see, places to stay:
Governor Clement Shelter, great campsites near the river
Clarendon Shelter--really nicely cared for, giant lawn out front.
Clarendon Gorge--giant suspension bridge
White Rocks, cool crowd-sourced sculptures in spruce/balsam forest
Baker Peak, nice views to south and west
Little Rock Pond Shelter--3 years old, with loons on the pond
Big Branch Shelter, not particularly nice, but the giant suspension bridge is pretty cool. Campsites just beyond the bridge, none at the shelter to speak of.
Whistle Stop Deli, sadly, is closed.
Bromley summit. Ski area stuff up there, but great views.


Cosmo


Random, but did you perhaps run into a guy from Boston in his mid 50s who went by the name Rev?

Mountain Mike
08-28-2013, 20:37
You could just hike the 1/2 mile from Gifford to Rt 4 & catch the bus to Rutland & Transfer to Manchester bus. http://www.thebus.com/

Cosmo
08-29-2013, 07:34
Random, but did you perhaps run into a guy from Boston in his mid 50s who went by the name Rev?

Doesn't ring a bell. I was slow and headed southbound.

Also, don't bother with the road walk south of Gov Clement. The bridge that is out is on the gravel road south of the shelter, but there is an improvised "bridge" of logs across the stream in that location. Then you are back on the white blazes south for a while, then they intersect a flag line of treadway under construction which is pretty much finished. You can follow that past the last of the road walk.

Cosmo

Ramapo
08-29-2013, 12:26
Thanks for all the tips! So you would recommend I hike the section north to south and do Killington the first day? Also, is the parking at Rt 11/30 reliable and safe? I saw on the parking site that there are plenty of spots but it is sometimes overflowing on fall weekends. Is it safe to assume I'd be alright getting a spot on a Saturday morning and then would it be pretty safe leaving it there until Tuesday?

Thanks for the help!

Marmaduke
08-30-2013, 05:55
I've left a car at 11/30 a couple times , but never for anything longer than 2 nights. Never had any issues at all.

Cosmo
08-30-2013, 08:55
Thanks for all the tips! So you would recommend I hike the section north to south and do Killington the first day? Also, is the parking at Rt 11/30 reliable and safe? I saw on the parking site that there are plenty of spots but it is sometimes overflowing on fall weekends. Is it safe to assume I'd be alright getting a spot on a Saturday morning and then would it be pretty safe leaving it there until Tuesday?

Thanks for the help!

I hiked north to south. Killington is a mountain, but the trail on most of the northern side is pretty well switchbacked. I'm a middle aged guy who spends more time at a desk than hiking. It's definitely exercise, but it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. If you want to go to the summit from Cooper Lodge, it's a steep boulder scramble, may want to leave your pack at the bottom.

I left my truck at the 11/30 trailhead for 5 days with no issues in mid-Aug. Took the usual precautions regarding making it look empty, left the glove box open.

Cosmo

trapper
08-30-2013, 09:05
Can't comment on shuttles. That will be a nice section at a nice time of year if the weather is good. Should be some color out.

The climb up and over Pico/Killington your first day is a grunt. Don't plan on staying at Cooper lodge, its made of stone and tends to be cold - and filled with trash since it's to close to the summit and tourists. The trail along the side of Killington is a bit stumbly with rocks and roots due to errosion from Iren. That can slow you down.

But once past there, the trail is pretty melow. Little Rock pond is nice and hope for a clear day on Bromley, it will be one of your only good vistas unless you take a side trip to the top of Killington.

take the side trip to killington..well worth it

Ramapo
09-11-2013, 13:43
Hey guys, so I contacted a couple shuttlers but they are a little more expensive than I was hoping so I think I'm going to try The Bus between Manchester and Rutland. What is the easiest way for me to get between the trailheads and the bus stops in town? Do these buses run generally close to the schedule? Like I said before, this is the first time I've ever tried using transportation between trailheads other than my own car or someone I know picking me up so this is all new to me.

Thanks!

Mountain Mike
09-11-2013, 15:17
If you park at Gifford just walk th 1/2 mile up to Rt 4 to catch the bus & tranfer in Rutland to the Manchester Shuttle. Hitch or taxi from there. When I used it last year from Bennington > Gifford it was pretty much on time.