Climb to one of Mount Mansfield’s lesser peaks, with an overnight shelter and options for longer loop routes.


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The Forehead is not the highest summit of Mount Mansfield, but it might be the most rugged.

All the mountain’s peaks are named for facial features that they resemble in profile from the east, with The Chin being the true summit at 4,393 feet.

The Forehead lies at the southern end of the summit ridge, rising to 3,940 feet.

The [Long Trail]( crosses over it, and Butler Lodge Trail is one way to reach that section and stand atop The Forehead. Butler Lodge Trail does have a lodge that you can stay in.

Butler Lodge is one of the overnight accommodations built for the Long Trail.

It’s a cabin with primitive sleeping quarters for up to 14 people.

Anyone can stay there, if there’s room, for a $5 fee from April to October.

In the offseason, it is free.

The lodge is convenient if you want to break your ascent into multiple days or take on a longer route that includes The Forehead. The trail begins from the trailhead on Stevensville Road and heads gradually up toward the lodge.

This portion is fairly typical Green Mountain hiking, with rocks and roots and mud, but nothing too technical.

Above the lodge, things get more interesting.

To surmount the Forehead, you’ll join with the Long Trail and break into the subalpine zone, where there is little shelter from the elements.

Ladders and exposed scrambles make parts of the trail, and much of it is on bare rock that’s often slippery. From the top of The Forehead, you can return the way you came, or make a loop with Wampahoofus Trail to get back to Butler Lodge.

There’s also the option to extend your hike on the Long Trail and tag other summits on Mount Mansfield. Sources: