Due to our ultra training schedule, we didn’t plan any big trips for the holiday weekend. Thus, on the final evening we decided on an impromptu overnight hike in Southern VT.
Bourn Pond is 2.4 miles from the LT/AT (Long Trail / Appalachian Trail), near the Stratton Mountain ski area and sits at around 2,400 ft. It resides in the Lye Brook Wilderness Area where many trails intersect.
Knowing it was a holiday weekend we took a chance that a site would be available. Since we are stealthy backpackers, we took our most inconspicuous tent in the event that we had to find our own site. Since the pond is in a Wilderness Area this is allowed, so long as leave no trace principles are used.
The dirt road getting to the trailhead is long and I was anxious. When we backpack, I’m forever fearful that we won’t find a place to camp. Silly, since most places we go are wilderness and we can camp anywhere. However, not all the places we go to are ideal for tents (somewhat flat and near a water source) so that’s why I get anxious – I am working on that.
So the Branch Pond trailhead was busier than we expected. The parking area is hardly two cars wide so vehicles were parked along both sides of the road. We parked, grabbed our gear and booked it outa there and onto the Branch Pond Trail.
The trail was heavily worn from foot traffic and muddy. John was there about five years or so ago and remembers the trail being difficult to follow. That shows you what a few years and articles in Backpacker Magazine will do to a trail.
Anyway, we came to the trail register (which wasn’t there the last time John visited) and signed in. A decent number of people had passed through, a few of which were still in the woods according to the register. Odds looked favorable.
Trail remained damp and the rocks were beading with sweat from the humidity. Arriving at Bourn Pond, we turned left to stay on the Branch Pond Trail, passing occupied tent sites. Better for us, because we landed at the North Bourn Pond Tent Area. The tent area is perfect for a group, we checked it out and it was vacant -score! It’s a small peninsula (more like a blip) into the pond. We were able to fit our small tube tent near the shoreline and are currently listening to the sound of loons, birds and crickets welcoming the evening.
Oh, and there is a privy. More on that soon…