Equinox Mountain and Lookout Rock

Last Saturday my dad and I went to hike Equinox Mountain (3,855) because I'm working on the New England 100 Highest. The lower portions of the mountain were snow free but the upper portions had up to an inch of snow. I printed a map of the trails the previous night only to find a kiosk with trail guides. We took the Red Gate Trail to the Blue Summit Trail which we took all the way up to the top. We then took a side trail to Lookout Rock (3,672).

Equinox Mountain is actually the highest point in the Taconic Range and the most prominent mountain in the Appalachian Mountains under 4,000 feet. The name of the mountain is commonly thought to be from Captain Partridge leading his cadets to march to the top of the mountain for barometric observations during the autumnal equinox. The name could also be a corruption of the Native American name "Ekwanok" which means "the top of the place" when translated.

The Red Gate Trail is likely an old logging road. The lower parts of the mountain were completely covered in trails leading to other lookouts and a pond, but we were interested in getting to the top. The Blue Summit Trail was an old road for most of the way as well, but it still got steep in some places. A perfect word to describe the lower portion of the trail is strenuous. After following the old road for a while, you come to a junction where the Blue Summit Trail leaves the road. A side trail leads to a small spring which still had plenty of water. There was a bench and sign explaining the habitat of the American Marten.
As I said, we left the road and followed an actual trail for the rest of the hike. It started to get icy, but not icy enough for crampons. It flatten out once we reached the boreal forest and we got to the junction for Lookout Rock. We continued to the summit and saved Lookout Rock for later. We reached the summit which is home to the Saint Bruno Scenic Viewing Center. The building was closed so we couldn't reach the upper decks which offered better views. Even though we couldn't reach the the upper portions of the building, we still got some great views. We could see Killington Peak and Mt.Greylock.
The plaque for the Saint Bruno Viewing Center

Dorset Peak


After being on the summit for a while, it started to get cold so we headed to Lookout Rock. On the trail to Lookout Rock, there is a memorial for a dog and a bench. We found a viewpoint thinking it was Lookout Rock but we were wrong. The trail kept going until it reached a rock with a bench which had to be it.

Lookout Rock


Overall it was a good day and a good choice. It's definitely one of the better mountains in Vermont. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants a quick hike with great views. If you decide to climb be sure to head to Lookout Rock. The whole hike was under 8 miles including the side trip. I'll be coming back when the Saint Bruno Scenic Viewing Center is open and running.

4 comments:

  1. Great write-up and pics; makes me want to do this hike!

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  2. Very good review. I was also quite intrigued and wanted to do the hike. I have been focusing on the 48 and 52 in NH, with only occasional hikes in VT, so this was a nice treat to read. One minor suggestion, since the 100 list you are following is NE wide: to mention the location of the mountain earlier in the review. I was trying to place Mount Equinox the whole review! (I know if I knew my geography better, the Taconic range reference was a big clue). Congratulations on 75% of the way through this impressive quest. You have a nice sense of details that would be interesting to other hikers. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you so much! I have since tried to make the peaks geographical location clearer due to your suggestion. Again, thank you for reading.

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