Mount Abraham and the Tunbridge Fair

Forest and Farm, in one day.

For my hike this weekend I decided to return to a peak I had not visited since the early 1980s – Mount Abraham, which is one of the five 4000-foot peaks in Vermont and one of only three Vermont peaks with an alpine-zone summit. My notion was to scramble up there in the morning and to stop by the Tunbridge World’s Fair on the way back, which would give me ample opportunities for lunch of both the healthy and unhealthy kind. Read on!

The hike was lovely – 2.6 miles along the Long Trail (which traverses the Green Mountain range from the bottom of Vermont to the top), in the clouds, with the trees dripping gently on me whenever a puff of wind disturbed the dew-laden treetops. On the summit there were brief glimpses of sunshine and blue skies, clearly indicating that we were nearly – but not quite – above the deck of clouds that were smothering the surrounding valleys. Bum luck. Indeed, my only memory of this place from my trip 38 years ago (19-20 November 1983) was also of grey skies and no views… a shame for a peak that normally promises widespread views!

View from the summit of Mount Abraham, Vermont.

By the time I reached the Fair I was hungry from my hike, and eagerly set out to find my favorite local-food stands while skipping past the standard junk fare (burgers, sausages, corndogs, fried dough). I had an excellent slice of fresh wood-fired pizza (basil & pesto), then a soft taco with pulled pork and cabbage. I succumbed to the temptation of french fries but then dove into the Orange County Maple Growers Association for a big bowl of their famous maple cremee ice cream. I skipped the midway and the money-wasting games and spent time wandering among the animal barns, the record-setting sunflowers, and the antique machinery, before spending a few minutes watching the tractor-pulling competition. I had happened upon it during the youth division – 5-year old kids riding a pedal-powered toy tractor while pulling a 40lb sledge; it was a real crowd-pleaser as parents cheered wildly and the live commentator really hammed it up. Meanwhile, in another corner, children prepared to show their prized cows and steers for judging at the 4H tent.

Ready for showing (and judging) cows – Tunbridge Fair. Vermont.

The weather was fine, the visitors were in good spirits. Such a fine day!

Check out the photo gallery.

Hike stats:
Distance: 7.64 km
Time: 2h37m including 20min on summit
Gain: 477m

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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