A great summer hike right in Bennington!
-by Kim Wessex
Since moving to Vermont, I’ve had the pleasure of hiking on a frequent basis, both within my town of Bennington and beyond. The “White Rocks” trail is one of the trails I’ve spent the most time on, and I’ve had the chance to experience it in several seasons. Each time was a positive experience.
“White Rocks” is a section of the Bald Mountain Trail, located in Bennington, VT. Basically, you stop at the beautiful lookout (pictured above) and head back from there, rather than going for the summit. I’ve completed this section once, with my husband, though we’ve also gone for shorter bursts on this trail with our corgi puppy, Fiddle, as it is perfectly dog-friendly. Sometimes when I’m out for a run I stop at the beginning of this trail just to take in the sight of it.
The trail begins with going up some steps, passing a kiosk, and then heading over some small hills that may be covered with wildflowers, depending on the season. One of the neatest parts of the trail takes place before the first mile is even up, as one passes through the “free expression tunnel” underneath the nearby highway, with various graffiti of interest on the walls – not your usual hiking trail scenery, for sure! It’s strange to hear cars whizzing by during this portion of the trail, but it’s also neat in its own way.
After the tunnel, the “White Rocks” trail turns more into your typical hiking trail, though it is a pleasant one. It’s all uphill, but it’s a moderate uphill at worst in this section.
Much of the trail is heavily wooded, with a few small clearings throughout. There are a few streams to cross, but it’s nothing challenging (and I say this as someone who is not a fan of rock hopping) and, of course, these are appreciated by Fiddle, who needs to cool off after working his short little corgi legs to the max.
Just before reaching the lookout, one will find out exactly what this “White Rocks” nickname is all about, as white rocks very literally cover the ground. From here, there’s a few steeper climbs as the paths become rockier, but it’s all worth it for that magnificent view of Bennington and its surrounding mountains at the end of this section.
I have fond memories of eating sandwiches with my husband while taking in this view – nothing helps a peanut butter and jelly sandwich feel more exciting like awe-inspiring natural beauty! It’s all downhill from here – unless one were to go on and complete the full Bald Mountain Trail.
Overall, the Bald Mountain Trail is a good workout, with a decent variety of terrain and fantastic views. It takes a few hours to reach the lookout but it’s possible to complete the hike in a morning or an afternoon.
Kim Wessex moved from Brooklyn, NY to Bennington in the summer of 2018 and is continually excited about exploring all that the state of Vermont has to offer, especially in terms of hiking adventures. She is a full-time elementary school teacher who lives with a helpful husband as well as the world’s cutest corgi. Kim is chronicling her experiences with the Green Mountain State, (from the perspective of a former “big city” girl) through her blog, freshlyvermont.com.
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