Ascent of The Head on 2018-06-17

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose.
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, June 17, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:The Head
    Elevation:246 ft / 74 m

Ascent Trip Report

Rose and I haven't been to the northwest end of Vermont for awhile so we decided on a shopping trip to Burlington, taking in a few hikes on-route, on this very glorious "Father's Day" Sunday. All of our activities are recorded in this one only TR. The scenic drive across the number of Islands in Lake Champlain, at the northwest corner of Vermont, is as nice as you going to find anywhere in the northeast.

THE HEAD ... trail/whack southbound, 1.6 miles, 100' gain, 50 minutes RT.
We drove south down the center of Isle de Motte on Main Street, to its very south end to were it bends right (west) - there is the start of a maintained mowed wide trail at this corner (probably for x-country skiing, no postings) - we parked here (44.84007,-73.35187). There appears to be a large network of trails in this area, posted signs to the north and before arriving at this corner.
I hiked the trail (generally a magnetic-left-of-south line) .3 miles across a grass field to its southeast corner, where I entered the woods and followed/bushwhacked the same line .5 miles to the all wooded obvious HP and the BM "ISLE LA MOTTE" embedded in a concrete pedestal - there are no views on this hike.
On-route (few-hundred-plus-yards before the HP) I came upon a grass trail (stayed left) that took me to an old concrete pad, just 50 yds beyond (inside the woods) is the HP.
This is an easy whack in a beautiful/tall deciduous forest (mostly very open, with animal paths). Well worth the visit. My guess is that the trail I picked up on-route is part of the trail network - didn't take the time to check it out.

MALLETTS HEAD ... grass road/whack, .6 mile, 110' gain, 30 minutes RT.
We found our way to Mallets Bay and drove west on #127 to a right turn on Marble Island Road which heads north for a good mile to a T-JCT where Malletts Road is to the left and Marble Island Road continues to the right (east). We went right for half a mile as the road bends/climbs west to its dead-end. We parked here (44.56951,-73.23771). The HP is 200 yds to the west.
The area appears to be a future development. I hiked an old grass road abt 200 yds southwest to where it bends/loops right and heads the north. I left the road at a quarter mile from the TH (just before it reaches a height-of-land) and bushwhacked left (northwest) 70 yds to the obvious HP - GPS 44.57001,-73.24023, on a N-S rocky ridge, 40 yds from the Lake Champlain). This whole wooded area, mostly rock with large outcrops, is very interesting. No views this time of year. The topo maps do not reflect the actual ground of this area.

ETHAN ALLEN PARK HILL ... trail hike, .6 miles, 60' gain, 30 minutes RT.
Ethan Allen Park is long/narrow N-S Park with the main entrance on the south side, JCT North Avenue/Ethan Allen Parkway. A beautiful deciduous forest of tall trees with a large network of multi-use trails. Well worth the visit.
From the entrance we drove the Parkway north for .6 miles to a right on Ira Lane, at 100 yds east is parking area. This was our TH (44.51299,-73.24081), perhaps the shortest route to this HP.
From this parking a small trail enters the woods to a N-S trail at just 10 yds. I went left to an immediate right on another trail heading south. At about 200 yds came to a small 4-way JCT, where I turned/climbed left (east) 50 yds to the N-S main road (broken pavement) coming up from the south entrance. I turned left (north) for 200+ yds to the HP at a round Observation Tower (a stone Pagoda). No views from the Pagoda this time of year (small west views to one side). There is a good N-S cliff immediately west of the Pagoda.

BURLINGTON HIGHPOINT ... drive up to the water tank
An enjoyable drive up on the beautiful campus of the University of Vermont. The HP is located in the Redstone Campus, at the water tank immediately north of Redstone Hall, #376 South Prospect Street.

From I-89, exit 14 in Burlington we went east on Williston Road (Hwy #2) to a right turn (south) on Hwy #116. The HP is 3.4 miles south on #116 and 150 yds west on a N-S ridge. We parked at the abandoned farm house abt 250 yds further south. then hiked x-country/whack northbound to the HP. Views on-route. There is a large private residence nearby to the west.

We drove to downtown Burlington for lunch very near the Ski Rack (JCT Main/Pine) where I bought my Cannondale touring bike back in 1991 - I used the Cannondale for my X-Canada Bike Tour in 1992. After doing some shopping we took in one more hike on the way home.

COBBLE HILL ... road hike, 1 mile, gain, 45 minutes RT
Found our way to the northeast side of the Hill, JCT Middle Road/Cobble hill Road and drove Cobble Hill Road to its end at 1 mile (the road heads west/south/east/south), straight ahead is the gated "Sharp Park" #204 Cobble Hill Road. From here a gravel service climbs/winds steeply south .7 miles to the summit.
The gate was open so we drove another .2 miles and parked (44.60124,-73.13773). The gravel road continued but it was too steep for our van, also at 200 meters further-on the road is gated.
I hiked the half mile to the communication tower, then a short 50 yd whack to the wooded highground.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:96 ft / 29 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Route:trail/whack sb from main st
    Trailhead:Main street  150 ft / 45 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack

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