Via.The Long Trail North: 5.6 miles round trip
Located in the heart of the Green Mountain State, Mt. Abraham is the fifth tallest of the Vermont 4,000 footers. The Long Trail traverses it’s summit that runs north to south. From the bare peak views of the Champlain Valley and west to the Adirondacks are stunning in good weather. This mountain also supports a small alpine zone, a habitat that is very rare for the state. It is in fact only one of the four places in Vermont where these delicate plants grow, so when hiking stay on the rocks and out of any vegetation, weather it is roped in at the top or not. Keep any dogs on leash in this area too. When you approach the alpine area there is clear signage indicating its rules of use and caution.
Abraham is frequently climbed with Mt. Ellen another of the 4,000 footers in Vermont. This is best done with a two car traverse, starting at either Lincoln Gap or Appalachian Gap and hiking the Long Trail exclusively from north to south. This is an 11.6 mile hike one way, without a car, hitchhiking is possible but not recommended. Abraham can also be done alone in a much shorter but very rewarding hike of 5.6 miles, plus another .1 or so to check out the plan crash near the summit.
Starting at the Lincoln Gap parking area, located off the Lincoln Gap road, which can be reached via VT 100 outside of the town center of Warren. This road has very steep grades and is narrow and windy use extreme caution while driving up to the Lincoln Gap. This is also a popular road with cyclists so keep and eye out of them and approaching cars. There are several parking areas when the hight of land is reached in the Gap. Parking is also available along the sides of the road and in several small pullout areas. There are no facilities in the parking area and no fee collected.
The Long Trail traverses the Lincoln Gap from south to north, follow the northern route to reach the summit of Abraham in 2.6 miles. Starting grades are steep and they continue to vary from moderate stretches to more difficult. However the footing is solid the entire hike, there is a small scramble before the summit is reached but overall it is a pleasant hike up. At mile 1.7 the Battell Trail junction is reached and the Battell lean-to is located. This the only place where camping is permitted on this side of Abraham. The last .9 miles from the trail junction to the summit is more challenging than the 1.7 from the trailhead. However there is little scrambling and no major obstacles for dogs or kids to navigate. When the open summit is reached enjoy the panoramic views that stretch for miles on clear days. When finished enjoying the summit return down the Long Trail back to Lincoln Gap.
This is a moderate hike with views that are more than worth the effort. Due to the short mileage and relatively small elevation gain of 1,700 feet it makes a great day hike. Book time is about 4 hours so it is a fine hike for children and dogs of all abilities. Bring water as there is not much access to streams along the way.
Interesting Facts about Mt. Abraham: Notice the bench mark on the summit has the mountain labeled as Potato Hill, this was its original name in the late 1800s, until it was renamed for president Abraham Lincoln.
If you continue past the summit about .1 miles there is an old plane crash site. About 90% of the plane is still on the mountain. On June 28, 1973, a pilot on his way from Twin Mountain, Vermont to Newburgh, New York was trying to navigate through a thick cloud and struck some trees at roughly 3,000 feet elevation on Mount Abraham. He survived the plane crash, but parts of the place still exist on the mountain today.
Plane info: Cessna 182N Registration Number N92431.