10 Classic New England Hikes, Including Mount Pisgah, West Burke, Vermont

Hiking Mount Pisgah, VermontArriving at Lake Willoughby from the south, the dark blue waters come into view, dwarfed by faces of rock that stand directly across from each other—Mount Hor and Mount Pisgah. Here, cliffs plummet precipitously over 1,000 feet to the glacial waters below. The scenery becomes even more enchanting as you snake your way to the 2,751-foot summit of Pisgah. The trail starts easily on switchbacks. Halfway up, take a slight detour to the left to stand atop Pulpit Rock. This small, semi-circular ledge juts out of Mount Pisgah like a box seat at a Broadway play. The arduous trail proceeds upward in a spiral fashion. On a clear day, you should be able to spot the spine of the Green Mountains and that distinctive peak seen across much of Vermont, Camel’s Hump. Who needs to visit nearby St. Johnsbury’s Athenaeum and view Albert Bierstadt’s famous painting, Domes of Yosemite, when you can see such natural beauty come to life less than an hour north?

3 hours. Moderate. From West Burke, take State Route 5A North for 6 miles to a parking area on the left-hand side, just south of Lake Willoughby. The South Trail begins across the highway.

This entry is excerpted from my latest book, New England in a Nutshell. The book/ebook is slated to published on July 2nd and you can pre-order now at Amazon. The ebook includes all hyperlinks to listings. The paperback includes front and back cover illustrations from Manhattan-based artist, Sarah Schechter, and a small sampling of photos from Lisa, who accompanied me on many of my assignments, resulting in published work for the Boston Globe.