It took me a little while to get over the shock of what I had run into. This farm center was quite a pleasant surprise. My plan had been to climb Antone Mountain (2600'). Once I got oriented, I found that a woods road, Antone Road, leads almost to the summit. The whole farm and forest complex is quite an attractive area for xc skiers, and I saw a number of them out today catching some last spring miles in the snow. The cabin rentals sound appealing also. I'll have to find out more about that. Details are at merckforest.org.
|The signage at VT 315|
|The visitor center.|
|The sap house.|
|Mount Antone in the center background.|
|The animal barns|
|The sap was running!|
|Lots of choices|
Rev and I had another late 2 PM start, but again this was a short hike, 5.5 miles round trip. It was an easy walk at a continuous moderate grade on a packed trail. A snow squall came through and there were some interesting skies which made for the fun photo opportunities.
I must admit that hiking through a farm to start a hike feels quite different than taking a hike in the Adirondacks, but that made it all the more appealing to have a different experience. The entire wooded portion of the hike was through hardwoods. That was also different.
|Rev, climbing Antone Road|
|The view from Antone Mountain. The Merck Farm can be seen down below in the center.|
|Gallop Peak is the back right.|
|Rev on Antone Mountain|
|Leaving the summit.|
|Going back down Antone Road. This would be a nice downhill xc ski.|
|Returning to the farm.|
I was sorry that Leesa was not with me on this day. I will be back soon with her to see other parts of this phenomenal Merck Forest. A map of the Merck Farm trail system can be found here.
Hike Distance: 5.5 miles
Hike Time: 2 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~1000'