Nestled into the southside of Mt. Mansfield is a rustic cabin on a small clearing with unobstructed views out to Mt. Mansfield State Forest.
Butler Lodge is only one of two lodges located in the Mt. Mansfield vicinity, the other being Taft Lodge on the northside of Mt. Mansfield. The shelter has a max capacity of 14 people and is most heavily used by Long Trail thru-hikers from late Spring to Early Fall. Regardless of your overnight or day hike plans if you are in the area I would highly recommend planning your route through this area or taking a small detour to visit.
When I was here in September I made my summit to Mt. Mansfield from Underhill State Park in the morning and followed the ridgeline down to the Mt. Mansfield Peak Visitor Center before the short descent to the Lodge. This made for a higher mileage day but another alternative is to start your hike at the Butler Lodge Trailhead. This trail puts you at a 1.4-mile distance from the lodge.
A great feature of adding this onto your Mt. Mansfield hike is that you get to see an entirely different angle of Mt. Mansfield. The Long Trail that goes along the ridge breaks into several shorter trails at a place called the Forehead (see trail sign below). From here taking the Maple Ridge and Wampahoofus Trails are your best option for getting down to Butler Lodge. Maple Ridge offers sweeping views of Mansfield and the eastern state forest park while the funnily named Wampahoofus Trail is a short descent trail with cool geological features including the trail passing through small caves.
Getting There and Important Site Information
Depending on your hike of the state forest or Mt. Mansfield there are many options of starting and parking locations. I highly recommend having a paper map because of the various trails that intertwine and could have you end up hiking in circles. A downloaded AllTrails map would also be sufficient.
Similar to many wilderness lodges Butler Lodge has a gang of feisty chipmunks. Avoid leaving your bag and any food unattended.
©Copyright 2020 Dan Oliver
Photography exclusively by Dan Oliver unless otherwise stated and cited. Embedded maps are provided by Embed Google Map (embedgooglemap.net) and map images shown are provided as stated and cited.
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