Stratton Pond Backpacking Trip
Saturday, August 31 -
Troop 54 traveled to Vermont for our August backpacking trip. The drive to the trail head in Manchester, Vermont was a very scenic 2-1/2 hours, passing through several picturesque Vermont towns. The troop hiked a section of the Long Trail / Appalachian Trail, as well as the Prospect Rock Trail and portions of the Branch Pond Trail and the Lye Brook Trail. For its overnight stops, the unit camped first at Bourn Pond and then at Stratton Pond.
We had three Boy Scouts and three leaders participating.
The weather was wet, with rain during each night and while we cooked meals. Luckily, the Stratton Pond camping area featured tent platforms, provided to reduce impact to the area. Without those, our tents might have floated away during the torrential overnight rain. By the last day, much of the trail was more like a stream or a pond.
The only steep part of the trail was the first mile, in which we climbed over 1000 feet. The last day had the longest distance on the trail, over seven miles. This was due to the need to walk the long way around Stratton Pond to get back to the Appalachian Trail. Going back down the steep hill at the end reminded us of some muscles we had forgotten about. View our actual trail as recorded by ASM Keith MacNeal's GPS unit:
This was our 98 year old troop's fifty-sixth consecutive month with at least one overnight camping trip.
Narrative originally posted on Trimble Outdoors by Keith MacNeal:
Backpacker calls this the "Best Damn Weekend Ever"
Our itinerary differed slightly from theirs. We passed by the Douglas Shelter and continued on to Bourn Pond where we spent the first night. On Day 2 we hiked over to Stratton Pond where we made camp. We did not hike to the summit of Stratton Mountain. The weather was threatening and we had a late start in the morning, so we just hung out at Stratton Pond.
There are a few parking spots on Rockville Road. The hike starts with a steep climb up Rockville Road. Be sure to stop at Prospect Rock for a rest and a view of the valley. When Rockville Road ends, follow the AT/Long Trail to the Branch Pond Trail. The Branch Pond Trail will take you by Douglas Shelter. There is no longer a shelter at Bourn Pond, but there are several tenting spots along the shore and there isa privy near where the shelter used to be. On Day 2, continue south on Branch Pond Trail to Lye Brook Trail. Flow Lye Brook Trail east to Stratton Pond. There was still evidence of the large blow down that occured a few years ago. Trail crews have done a nice job opening things up. When you arrive at Stratton Pond, take the northern pond trail to the tenting site. There are tent platforms, a central fire ring, and a privy. On Day 3, travel back on the Stratton Pond trail around the southern shore. The trail around the northern shore of the pond was impassable due to the high water level of the pond. On the eastern shore of the pond, you'll find the caretaker's campsite and the trail to Stratton Mountain. Continue a short distance and pick up the AT/Long Trail. You'll eventually cross the Bourn Pond Trail again. Follow west to Rockville Road and descend to the parking area (with another stop at Prospect Rock if you like).
Page updated 3/14/17