Short and Sweet: Putney Mountain

Sometimes short hikes are the best. Not all mountains need to be over the top in beauty, or constantly topping the last. Doing that will eventually leave you at a dead end, so it's good to go back and do easy hikes. Just because a trail is easy and short, doesn't mean it won't be amazing. Putney Mountain in Vermont certainly makes for a great short hike, and with it being autumn as well, the mountain fits the bill perfectly. A little mountain with a big view, that's for sure.

Emerging onto the summit of Putney Mountain.

Putney Mountain is an incredibly short hike, with barely any elevation gain. The path follows an old, wide logging path through the woods. This mountain supports my hypothesis that Vermont is the best state for hiking when it comes to the fall, and especially leaf peeping. Also, don't be fooled by these photos of empty trails, this mountain can fill up quick in an afternoon. Either way, the trail was steady, and covered in leaves, surrounded by glowing oranges and vibrant yellows on the trees.

Starting from the kiosk at the trailhead.
The trail winding through the trees and their fall colors.
A large, burnt tree along the trail.
Passing through one of many stone walls.

The mountain was eerily quiet this early in the morning, and that's in no way a bad thing. As we approached the summit, the trail gave us a bit of an incline, but nothing warranting  heavy boots and trekking poles. The path gently brought us to the summit, which featured a large open meadow with views out to the surrounding peaks in both Vermont and New Hampshire, the most notable being Stratton Mountain and Mt.Monadnock.

The sign just below the summit.
Looking further into Vermont.

The summit area of Putney Mountain is quite the attraction in an of itself. There are several herd paths that cut through the bushes and grass that line the summit. The highest point offers spectacular views into New Hampshire, with Mt.Monadnock distinctly visible. Another trail winds down to a lower meadow, with a great view out west, and a sign about hornets.

The view into New Hampshire, with Mt.Monadnock clearly visible to the far right.
Stratton Mountain as seen from Putney Mountain.
Mt.Monadnock stands tall, with Gap Mountain to the right.
Stratton Mountain, with the ski slopes visible on it's right side.
They're not kidding! Look at the size of the nest in the background!

Down the trail a bit more is a bird watching station, with extra folding chairs, information on the mountain, and even statistics for the bird migration in the area. There were a couple bird watchers on the summit, but besides them, there was nobody else on the mountain. We slowly made our way back down the trail, enjoying the walk all over again.

The bird watching station.
An arrow toward the trail.
The summit area.
Heading back.

Putney Mountain is one of the best little mountains around. It's the kind of hike you find yourself doing on an early fall morning, kind of like this! I can't wait to come back and have the same amount of fun hiking it as I did today. I dedicate this blog to not only the appreciation of short hikes, but also making fond memories, and revisiting them. This mountain makes me want to return day after day. 


  1. Evan, I wholeheartedly agree with your statement that reads “Just because a trail is easy and short, doesn't mean it won't be amazing.”

    Over the years, I have gained an appreciation for shorter hikes. They can be just as rewarding (or sometimes even more so) as longer hikes. Plus, you don’t have to commit the entire day to the hike which leaves you time to enjoy other activities, or run errands, or whatever. ☺


    1. Thank you for reading John. It's always good to see my words leave such an impact!

  2. Wonderful hike, great pics, nice write up, what an awe-inspiring view!

    I really enjoy the short, sweet, rewarding hikes...

    1. Thank you for the kind words. This hike sure was short but sweet!

  3. Also you can visit Georgian mountains, its amazing.