family photo in the Stratton Mountain Fire Tower via the Stratton Ridge Trail
Peri is shouting for joy about the amazing view from inside the Stratton Mountain Fire Tower!

Stratton Mountain Fire Tower: A Family-Friendly Adventure

Whether you are an experienced hiker or looking for a leisurely family outing, the Stratton Mountain area promises an unforgettable experience for everyone. Let us embark on a journey through the heart of Vermont’s green mountains, where adventure and tranquility coexist. Welcome to the breathtaking Stratton Mountain Fire Tower that you will access via the serene Stratton Ridge Trail, nestled in the lush landscapes of Vermont. This guide is your key to unlocking a world of natural beauty and adventure. Ideal for families and outdoor enthusiasts, these trails offer a perfect blend of scenic views, wildlife encounters, and a peaceful escape from the everyday hustle.

If you have questions/comments about all of this, feel free to leave them below, and in the meantime, happy hiking!

Trail Information – Fast Facts

  • Trail Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 1.35 mi (2.17 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 257 feet (78 m)
  • Duration: Approximately 2 hours depending on pace and breaks

Trail Description and Points of Interest

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Stratton, Vermont, the Stratton Mountain Fire Tower, located just outside the bounds of the Stratton Mountain Resort is a haven for families seeking an adventurous yet manageable hiking experience.

As you embark on this gentle 1.36-mile round-trip journey on the Stratton Ridge Trail, you’ll be greeted by a mix of serene woodland paths and a very gentle journey to the fire tower itself.

Moreover, as the fire tower is located on both the Vermont Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail, you’ll get a tiny taste of those two epic trails as well.

One of the major highlights is the historic fire tower at the summit. This tower stands as a testament to the area’s rich history.

The Stratton Mountain Fire Tower
If you brave all the stairs, the view at the top of the Stratton Mountain Fire Tower is fantastic!

It also offers breathtaking panoramic views that are especially rewarding during the fall foliage season.

view from inside the Stratton Mountain Fire Tower
The panoramic views are second to none!

Recommended Gear

For a comfortable and safe hiking experience, we recommend you bring the items mentioned in our day hiking packing guide. However, at the bare minimum, we recommend you have:

  • Sturdy hiking shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Map and compass or GPS

Family Hiking Safety Tips

  • Stay on marked trails to protect the environment and ensure safety.
  • Keep children close and educate them about not straying away.
  • Regularly check for signs of fatigue or dehydration, especially in children.

Trail Head and Route

The trailhead starts at the top of the Stratton Mountain Gondola. So, you can either ride the gondola up to the top, or you can hike up the entire mountain under the gondola line. We opted for riding the gondola to the top. In either case, you’ll be immersed in the natural beauty of Stratton Mountain.

riding in the Stratton Mountain Gondola
The Stratton Mountain Gondola is fun to ride and offers effortless excellent views!

Route Map

If you’ve read any of our other posts, such as the one on the family-friendly and very short hike to Pikes Falls, you already know that our favorite app for offline navigation is GuruMaps.

If you do decide to download GuruMaps, you can then download our annotated route map (click one of the file format options in the top right-hand corner of the map below – GPX, KML, or GeoJSON), and then you’ll be able to open that file using GuruMaps. Once it opens, you’ll have our annotated trail map in your own hands.

It’ll take 30 seconds at most.

Our favorite part is…

GuruMaps works without WIFI or cell service. So as long as your phone is charged, you’ll be good to go!

If you prefer a Google Map, no sweat. Just keep in mind, it might not work up at the top of Stratton Mountain.

Elevation Profile

Elevation profile for the Stratton Ridge Trail that leads to the Stratton Mountain Fire Tower
Elevation Profile for the hike to the Stratton Mountain Fire Tower via the Stratton Ridge Trail

Nearby Hikes

After conquering the Stratton Mountain Fire Tower, explore other family-friendly trails in the area such as:

Why This Trail is Family-Friendly

The Stratton Mountain Fire Tower is an ideal choice for families due to its manageable difficulty, clear paths, and the educational opportunity it presents. It’s an excellent way for families to bond, while children learn about nature and develop a love for the outdoors.


Q: Is the trail suitable for young children?
A: Yes, the trail is family-friendly, but supervision is necessary for younger children.

Q: Are there restroom facilities along the trail?
A: There are no facilities on the trail, so plan accordingly.

Q: What is the best time to hike this trail?
A: The trail is beautiful year-round, but autumn offers a spectacular fall foliage display.

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