As some of you may know, my Dad and I made a pack that we plan to hike all of the tallest mountains in New England. That’s not to say we won’t venture out to the other states, but why not start in NE first.

We completed Mount Greylock last year when we went out to visit my Dad’s side of the family in the Berkshires. Mount Greylock’s elevation is: 3,491′ (1,064 m). Not too bad of a mountain to start with. My Dad and I are both in good shape, but hiking straight up 3,491′ is a different story – so make sure you stretch before. We completed the hike in about 3 hours round trip.

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Over the past year, Dad and I have both lost weight, are in better shape and have become stronger. We were ready to take on Mount Mansfield: 4,393′ (1,339 m). One thing that I noticed really helped me was my flexibility. Don’t get me wrong, my strength and endurance helped me throughout the hike, but my flexibility helped me climb over the rocks with ease.

We had a great dinner the night before at a place called Cactus Cafe. I had tilapia tacos and a house margarita – cant go wrong with tequila and fish tacos šŸ™‚

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We stayed at The Mountain Road Resort in Stowe which was very nice – continental breakfast included!

The next day we checked out at 8:30 and hit the mountain by 8:45 am. There are many, many different trails you can take so make sure you do your research before. We decided to take the Long Trail up. For the first 3,000-4,000 feet you are climbing, you are surrounded by trees and brush so you move on up. When we got to about 4,000 – all of the brush and trees cleared and it’s just you and the rocks. Secretly I was both scared and excited. We both just stayed low and took our time – but I kept finding myself picking up speed and used my momentum to get over all the rocks.

Once you’re at the top, it’s like something you’ve never felt before. We just climbed up almost 4,400 feet and you just feel amazing. Round trip took us about 5 hours. Coming down is a little bit harder on your knees so take your time.

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Even if this is your first hike, there is no excuse for not being prepared. Make sure you have the following:

1) Backpack
2) Extra pair of shorts, pants or crop pants
3) Jacket or zip up (it was 54 degrees up top in August)
4) First Aid Kit
5) Map
6) Extra pair of socks
7) Poncho or rain jacket (however I would suggest not to hike in the rain)
8) Water bottle
9) Trail mix or as my Dad likes to call it GORP (good old fashion raisins and peanuts)
10) Extra shirt if you want to change
11) Hat
12) Camera
13) Sunscreen
14) Hiking boots – I loved the new ones I bought from LLBean. They gave me great support and traction on the rocks.

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Good luck and remember, have fun!