Day Hike Notes – Mount Pisgah, Vermont

Lake Willoughby from Mt Pisgah, Westmore, Vermont

Lake Willoughby from one of Mt Pisgah’s outlooks.

I started putting this post together two weeks ago, perched above the Saint Lawrence river near Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec. It was before 7 a.m. My youngest was still asleep in her tent behind me. The sun was up and there was a cool breeze. But before I make it sound too idyllic, I’ll add that a few mosquitos were up too – and breakfasting; and that my view of the Saint Lawrence was heavily screened by birch and pine. 

Still, summer roadtrip time had come round again, and that is always good. It was the fourth year in a row that D3 (daughter number 3) and I have hit the asphalt together. This year, we went to Quebec again, with bits of Vermont on the way up and back. After Rivière-du-Loup, I got carried away with the roadtrip, and forgot the post about our hike in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom the day before. So here it is now.

I have to thank Alex for the hike. He builds trails for Timber & Stone LLC, the VT company laying down the Norwalk River Valley Trail in Wilton. I asked him about his favorite hikes in VT as we walked down what was gradually becoming the NRVT last winter. Mount Pisgah was, if I remember correctly, at or near the top of the list.

DATE: Thursday, July 17th.
START & FINISH: Trailhead approx. 0.5 mi south ­of Lake Willoughby on VT Rte 5A.
ROUTE: Up Mt Pisgah south trail; down north trail; return to trailhead on Rte 5A.
DISTANCE: 7.0 miles total, of which 2.8 on Rte 5A.
TIME: 3.75 hour (8:00-11:45).
TERRAIN: 1,500-foot elevation gain to the 2,751-foot summit. The trail is steep in places (including some manmade steps), but well-maintained.
MAPS: Posted at trailhead kiosks.

WEATHER: Sunny and warm.
WILDLIFE: Red squirrels high up.

Mount Pisgah, Vermont

Looking south from Mount Pisgah.

PHOTOS: Just those in this post for now.
BREAKFAST: Half a cold quesadilla before setting out; the other half, plus granola bars, on the summit.
LUNCH: Dube’s Pittstop, Pittsburg NH, many hours and miles later.
– Well, the views of and around Lake Willoughby.
– Resting on a rock beside the crystal-clear lake on the final leg.
DOWNS: If I must find one, maybe that the summit is thoroughly wooded, and the views are from a few small outlooks; or maybe the wind farms in those views.
KIT: We set off in t-shirts, but could have used an extra layer when up top.
COMPANY: D3, plus one hiking pair on the way up and another on the way down.

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