Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Joseph Smith Birthplace in South Royalton, Vermont - Patriarch Trail

Quick Facts:
Moderate incline, 1.6 mi round trip, 1440 ft summit elevation.

Winnie the Pooh "Honey Bear Tree", sitting benches aplenty, perfect picnic spot at the summit!

From I-89 heading south: Take exit 3 (Bethel) and take a left onto Route 107 towards Royalton. At Eaton's Sugarhouse, take a right onto Route 14. Go through Royalton and into South Royalton - once you pass through the intersection for 110, Dairy Hill Road will be on the left about a mile down Route 14. On Dairy Hill Road, travel up the hill about 2-2.5 miles to a big sign for Camp Joseph on the right. Although it's the entrance to the Memorial, it's also technically "LDS Lane". Drive about 1/4 mile until you see signs for parking, and a gravel lot to the left where you can park. Out of the lot, walk left until you see the memorial. There is a small road to the left of the memorial that leads into the woods, follow that all the way to the end until you see a small sign for the Patriarch Trail - there is a restroom building at the trailhead as well.

If it weren't for the groundskeepers at Camp Joseph referring to this little gem of a trail as a "challenge", I probably would have written it off completely. It's very short, about 1.6 mi round trip, and to a seasoned hiker, not very much of a challenge. Keep in mind that the groundskeepers were a couple of 60 year-old, pork-chop lovin' gentlemen to which this hike might very well pose such a challenge! Bless their hearts for leading me onto the Patriarch Trail on this day, though. The hike, though short, is still very sweet. Feel free to walk all around the roads there as well (or drive) to check out all the old foundations. My favorite? The old stone bridge built in 1803!

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