From the parking lot at Sherburne Pass, the hike begins just east of The Inn at Long Trail on the north side of US Rte 4. If you park on the south side, use extreme caution crossing US Rte 4: it is a busy highway. Please stay on the marked trails. Short-cutting to the Deer Leap overlook is very dangerous. In addition to hiker safety considerations, we ask people to stay out of this lower area to give the eroded, denuded surfaces a chance to "heal" and to protect some areas special to Abenaki people. Follow the Sherburne Pass Trail north to the Junction with the Appalachian Trail at 0.5 miles. (The Appalachian Trail North continues to the right in an easterly direction to Gifford Woods State Park (1.0 mile), on its way to New Hampshire and Maine.) To continue the Loop, take the Appalachian Trail South (which travels northerly for a short stretch), and you will almost immediately reach the junction with Deer Leap Trail, with blue blazes. (The Appalachian Trail South continues northerly to its junction with the Long Trail at 0.9 miles). Take the Deer Leap Trail as it climbs quickly to a small ridge and through an open birch forest to another junction at 0.9 miles. The trail to the left is the Deer Leap Overlook Trail, which is 0.25 miles long. This trail brings you to a rock outcrop with dramatic views of the Coolidge Range and Sherburne Pass. Return the way you came to the Deer Leap Mountain Trail junction. Continue north at the junction and you will soon descend steeply to a small brook, and then climb over Big Deer Leap Mountain. The trail then descends gradually to its northern junction with the Appalachian Trail (1.8 miles). Turn right here and follow the Appalachian Trail North (in a southerly direction) back to its junction with the Sherburne Pass Trail (2.6 miles), and the parking lot on US Rte 4 (3.1 miles).
Trail description and directions are courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service. The USFS home page is www.fs.fed.us
From Rochester, travel south on Route 100 for 19.5 miles to its intersection with Route 4. Travel west on Route 4. Parking is on the left, across the street from the Inn at the Long Trail at 1.5 miles.
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