Official Trails on Mt. Philo
Mt. Philo has a variety of wonderful hiking trails leading to picturesque vistas, lovely settings, and unusual land formations. Most visitors walk along the tarred road, which is open to motor vehicles from May through October. When the park is open there is occasional slow moving auto traffic, and infrequent bicyclists, but is wide and safe. A trail leads from the lower parking area to the top, crossing the road about half-way up. The trailhead is found just behind the information booth. State park rangers and the youth conservation corps have done an excellent job in recent years improving accessibility and keeping water off the paths.
Unofficial trails on Mt. Philo:
The Blue Gate Trail: From the bottom, the trail can only be reached by leaving the State park parking area and proceeding north on Mt. Philo Rd. 1/4 mile to the remnants of a road on the right at a chain gate. The state can't afford to mow a path across the field. You will recognize its thick white limestone. Follow it more than a mile till it ends. Bear left around the trees, then swing right up the hill toward the top of Mt. Philo.
From the top: start at the large blue gate. This can be found halfway up on the north side of the north access road (down). Pass through the blue gate, which is locked but passable by foot. Follow the trail North into the field. Take a look around, because these are the best northern views of the Lake Champlain Valley. Follow the trail down the wide grassy slope bearing northwest. You will soon reach a newly re-graded, though unused road made of white limestone. Follow the new road till you reach the base of the hill. Pass the pond on your left, then circle left (south) along the mown trail through the field till you reach the west side of the State Park parking lot near the entrance. 2.5 - 3 miles, mild-moderate difficulty.
The Youth conservation corps has done a fantastic job to rebuild many sections of the walking trails up Mt. Philo, making them easier and safer in some difficult terrain