There are few things more exhilarating than standing on top of a mountain, with the wind in your hair at the world at your feet… except for standing 55 feet above the top of the highest peak in southern Vermont.
And that's exactly where I was when I finally got myself to Stratton's Fire Tower. There’s no excuse not to go right away, as it’s an easy (and quick) hike from the top of the Gondola, and once there, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t ventured there yet.
On top of getting some of the best views around, when you’re standing in the Fire Tower you're standing on a piece of history. The Stratton Fire Tower dates back to 1914 (though the cabin on top was replaced 20 years later) and stretches 55 feet above the summit of Mount Stratton at an elevation of 3,936 feet. It was here that James P. Taylor first envisioned Vermont's Long Trail and quite fittingly, the tower sits on both the Appalachian and Long Trails.
Nowadays, you never know who you might find there – we got a quick intro to HAM radio from these Floridians.
It's easy to imagine how gorgeous it must be in the fall (or winter, for that matter). I’ll be making the "trek" back for sure.
- A 1.4 mile round trip easy hike from the top of the Gondola (for operating hours, see here). The trailhead is marked to the left of Mike's Way.
- Hike it! Hike a favorite ski trail to the summit, then find the same trailhead on Mike's Way.
- Take the long way around via the Appalachian/Long Trail, now easier than ever with First Run's shuttle to the trailhead. To return to the Stratton base from the Summit, take one of Stratton's ski trails or the Gondi.
See it in 3D (just kidding, we don't have that tech… yet):