Vermont Route 9 (Bennington) to Little Pond then on to Porcupine Ridge on the Appalachian Trail.
Trip length: 8.35 miles
Departure time: 9:45 am
Return time: 2:00 pm
We parked at the Little Pond parking area off Route 9 in Bennington and headed north on Forest Road 275. It was a hot day with full sun and we were happy to get outside.
The road was flat and easy to navigate with houses back in the woods on either side. The road is accessible by vehicle seasonally much of the way. We stopped at the powerlines where the VAST trail is well-marked at took in the view.
At the end of the drivable part of the road were two trails to Little Pond. We made our way to the pretty pond and a well-established camp fire area. We had hoped to have lunch at the pond but the assault of black flies deterred us and we left after a short break.
A look on our InReach showed the close proximity of the Appalachian Trail. It's magnetic pull could not be stopped, so we took the connector to the AT and headed north. The path was much flatter than the beginning of the Rt. 9 north section and we covered a lot of ground pretty quickly.
We stopped for lunch at Little Pond Lookout and enjoyed the view for a bit before returning to the car. It was a beautiful day.
We watched our mileage as we hiked and were thrilled to have done a 9 mile hike. When I exported our route today I was irritated (as an understatement) to see that the InReach reported 9 miles while the tracking points showed a mere 6.9. What?! This is the second time this has happened. I am going to reach out to DeLorme, but suffice it to say this is not an acceptable margin of error. To be continued...
Update (7/26/16): I was in touch with DeLorme and they explained the discrepancy. Because we are sending tracking points to their server every 10 minutes (though we are logging every 60 seconds), the distances are interpolated and can have inaccuracies. Syncing the data -- via USB or with a data connection using the EarthMate app -- uploads the full tracking data and allows for a recomputed and more accurate distance. I have updated our trip duration from 6.9 miles to 8.35 miles, which is the ground-true distance. I also made updates to the Branch Pond/Bourn Pond information.