In my perpetual quest to engage in hiking adventures that are new to me, I drove about an hour southwest of my home in Bethlehem, NH to hike on a nice network of trails at Lake Morey which is located in the town of Fairlee, VT.
There are many hikes that can be done at this location, but I only had time for three short treks to the following destinations: Glen Falls; Bald Top Mountain; Fairlee Palisades. The hikes to Glen Falls and to Fairlee Palisades were done on trails maintained by a cooperative venture of the Town of Fairlee, Lake Morey Protective Association and Lake Morey Foundation. The hike to Bald Top Mountain was done on the trail system maintained by the Cross Rivendell organization.
Besides having a nice network of hiking trails, here is another interesting tidbit about Lake Morey. In winter months, the Lake Morey Resort, Upper Valley Trails Alliance and the Hulbert Outdoor Center maintains a 4.5-mile ice-skating loop trail around the lake. This is the longest ice-skating trail in the U.S.
For those like me who are interested in knowing such things, Lake Morey was named in honor of Samuel Morey (1762-1843). He is considered by many to be the true inventor of the steamboat, rather than Robert Fulton. Morey experimented with a steamboat on the Connecticut River. He patented his engine, but later sold it to Fulton who later gained fame from a steamboat he built and named the Clermont.
As to how the surrounding town of Fairlee got its unique name, there are several theories. One is that the Connecticut River was a convenient 'highway' during the 18th century. When a group of soldiers from Rogers’ Rangers were returning from their northward trek in the French and Indian War to the fort at Charlestown, NH, some of them camped at this spot along the river and noticed the “fair lea’’ between the hills. And so, they decided this would be a desirable place for a town to be called “Fairlea”.
Okay, that's probably enough jabber about the lake and the town. Shown below are some snapshots that were taken at various points along the way during my three short treks. There are many other hikes to be done at this location, and I hope to do several of them over the upcoming months.
|Glen Falls (would guesstimate the drop to be about 25 to 30 ft.)|
|Some additional cascades located above Glen Falls|
|Approaching the summit area of Bald Top Mountain|
|Nothing in particular, just a nice vista of rolling hills as seen from Bald Top Mountain|
|Zoomed view of Mt. Moosilauke from Bald Top Mtn (too overcast for any crystal-clear views of distant peaks)|
|Upper end of Fairlee Palisades closed due to nesting Peregrine Falcons|
|The nesting areas for Peregrine Falcons are on the distant cliffs (just left of center)|
|View from Fairlee Palisades looking eastward across Connecticut River to Orford, NH|
|Vast majority of my travels to all 3 locations was on snow-free trails (only a few patches of ankle-deep snow here and there)|
|View from shoreline of Lake Morey where I began my trek to Glen Falls (lake is perhaps only a day or so away from being ice-free)|
|Photo taken from Blood Brook Road at the trailhead for the hike to Bald Top Mountain|
|Soon after leaving the trailhead on Blood Brook Road, the trail runs adjacent to a horse farm for a short distance|
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