~ White Rocks National Recreation Area ~

White Rocks National Recreation Area is located in southern Vermont, within the Green Mountain National Forest. The Peru Peak and Big Branch Wilderness areas are within White Rocks NRA.

White Rocks was my second national recreation area of this trip. If you have never been to a national recreation area, then you are missing out of some of the most beautiful parts of the country. I have visited several and have not been disappointed.

The longest 0.8 miles of my life

Getting to White Rocks National Recreation Area

Green Mountains of Vermont

Drove some gravel roads to the backcountry

Finally arriving at the trail head and headed into the wilderness

Vista Point and Hiking the Ice Beds Trail

It was a well-worn, but unimproved trail

I was climbing and saw many steep dropoffs along the trail

At times it was steep on both sides of the trail

The trails are marked with blue blazes on the trees. Most times you can only see two blazes, the one you are passing and the next in line. I do not recall seeing more than two at any one time. Many times only one is in view, until you reach it. Sometimes the next is difficult to find as the trail is not a straight line and meanders through the forest.

From the Vista Point I could view the Ice Beds. They didn't look much like ice beds, but more like landslides of rock. More on that, when we actually get there.

Left: Looking down from the cliff. Right: Do you see the head of a Great Dane here?

I was on a small plateau area very high up

I headed down from the Vista Point and onto the trail to the Ice Beds. On the left the blue blaze on the tree to the right points the way. This was one of those areas where the next blaze was not visible. That next blaze was way up to the left.

Panorama of the Green Mountains from the Ice Beds Vista Point

It seemed that I had traveled much farther than the signs indicated, but this is wilderness and not a stroll in the park. The trail was not always clear. And I was still not in my best hiking form. Or perhaps I'm just getting older. Or all of the above.

I crossed several small streams and would soon find their origin

The Ice Beds

At the end of the trail is the base of one of the talus piles of massive rocks in the photos above. Deep within these piles lie the Ice Beds. In the winter, ice forms deep within the recesses of the rock piles. Protected, the ice lasts late into the summer and slowly melts. All summer long a draft of cool air and a stream of 40° water flows down the ravine from the rock piles.

Someone left an Inukshuk at the Ice Beds. On my return trip I came upon this guy on the right. He was about three feet long.

Do you see a dinosaur or lizard head on the right?

The hike back was a bit easier, even though I was completely wiped out by then. Although the return trip was mostly downhill, I was very happy to see Arvie through the trees. I ate lunch and took a short nap, before heading to Rutland, VT.

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