This one is a doozie:
Short of a gondola ride, Hell Brook is the absolute shortest distance to the summit of Mount Mansfield. 1.3 miles of root grabbing, cussing and scrambling will bring you to the Lake of the Clouds. That’s a 2,600’ gain in 1.3 miles. Most trails would be three times as long for an elevation gain like this.
It’s not an easy hike, but you’ll be very proud if you make it to the top. If you have little ones, maybe this is one you do without them. If you have teenagers, take them with you and they won’t remember what they were complaining about before the hike. From Lake of the Clouds, follow the Hell Brook cutoff trail for .3 miles to Eagle Pass. From there it’s just .3 miles more to “The Chin” (summit) of Mount Mansfield. Do that, and you’ve just hiked the steepest route to the tallest peak in Vermont.
Where is it?
From downtown Stowe, take 108 north into the mountains. The trailhead is located approximately 1.25 miles north of the Long Trail South trailhead, which is about .5 miles past the Stowe Mounatin Ski Resort (It’s not as complicated as it sounds). There is a small parking area for the trail on the left hand side of 108 heading north.